New pigs / Veg sowing / Cattle out / Bee inspectionRSS feed

Posted: Wednesday 19 April, 2017

by Rosemary at 12:21pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 10th April

Back from sunny Gran Canaria today to find that the weather here has been pretty good too – with no rain while we were away.

John got all the paddocks harrowed and there were no mishaps – all animals stayed where they were supposed to and stayed healthy, which is good.

Tuesday 11th April

Jeez, windy today. Good drying day so got caught up with washing and housework and some paperwork. It’s the end of the financial year and the time of year when I mentally promise to do better next year – new spreadsheet; clean slate and all that. My record keeping isn’t bad but could be better.

Got up to Astwood to discover that Winnie has broken her horn.

Winnie's broken hornWinnie's broken horn.

It’s only the tip and there’s no bleeding so hopefully it will sort itself out without vet intervention.

The steers have finished their last bale of straw, so they need to go on to fresh grass now after the winter in the woods.

The sheep at Ravensby were full of beans – I think they’re getting fitter with being on hilly ground.

Wednesday 12th April

Lovely day – sunny, warm and breezy.

Moved the steers and Winnie first thing to a fresh paddock – the three 2016 stirks look a bit ribby but the two 2016 steers are carrying condition.

Steers on fresh grazingSteers and Winnie onto fresh grazing.

A bit of new grass will soon perk them up but I’ll keep on with some sugar beet meantime.

Let cows out this afternoon – happy girls and Ace was full of nonsense. Arranged to pick up our three pigs at the weekend, so bedded the ark with loads of fresh straw.

Fresh pig beddingFresh bed for the pigs.

Poo picked the ponies’ field – the brushes on the scratching post were full of hair, so I pulled it off and left it for the birds.

Finally made it into the vegetable garden – did a bit of weeding, planted early spuds Anya and shallots Red Sun and Yellow Moon, then a did bit more weeding in the perennial bed.

Early spuds planted - AnyaEarly spuds planted - Anya (they are in there, honest!)

Some of the rhubarb was starting to flower, so pulled them off.

Thursday 13th April

When we were on holiday, I saw some info on Open Farm Sunday – so we’ve decided to do it here at Dalmore (but on 4th June not the 11th). Registered today and now waiting for my pack of information.

Thinking about starting small and doing two bookable farm tours.

Friday 14th April

Dan played hooky from the office - cleared up the old fences from the pig pen and finished off the new fence in the corner, then got on with some mowing and strimming, now the spare part for the strimmer has come, went to the skip, moved wood and tidied up another bit of the track.

Rosie approves.

Rosie inspecting the trackRosie inspecting the new track work.

I spent the morning in the greenhouse sowing seeds – lots of seeds.

Lots of veg seeds sownLots of seeds sown today. One of these things is not like the others.

After dinner, I made flapjack (best recipe ever), almond biscuits, apricot All-Bran loaf and a fruit tea loaf. That should keep us going for a wee while.

Saturday 15th April

Gave the three cows, Winnie, Ace, Urquhart and Ted their Bravoxin boosters.

Constructed a sheep hurdle pen round the pig ark, and then went to pick up the three pigs from Parkhill. They are OSB x Large Blacks.

 2017 pigs in transitIn transit, quite content.

Brought them home in the puppy cage and put it in the hurdle pen (I wanted to keep them close to the ark so they would find their bed, come bedtime).

Smallest pig comes out the cage, goes straight under the hurdles and off down the paddock. Thankfully, his two mates were still asleep, so he was quite happy to go back long enough to let me secure the pen better.

Pigs settledPigs settled in their new home.

Took fencing materials to Astwood; Dan put out the posts and netting while I went to the vet for Bute for Bugsy (sair feet this morning but fine by lunchtime).

Once it warmed up this afternoon, Dan checked our two beehives – both are doing well, but one has a bit of chalk brood.

Dan brushed Bugsy - his winter coat's coming out and he's shedding masses of hair (Bugsy not Dan).

Dan brushing BugDan brushing Bugsy.

I snuck off to our chums A&J for a lamb and pygmy goat kid fix.

Sunday 16th April

Dan has a stinking cold and raging sore throat; I’m not quite so bad, but bad enough so fencing is suspended for the time being.

Still, had to go for straw this morning, so had a tidy up in the barn and dropped a few rubble bags of waste straw and hay at the recycling on the way.

Moved the cows to a fresh paddock – we have five of roughly the same size, so planning to move them weekly, with each paddock harrowed when it’s vacated.

Let the pigs out into the full paddock; they seem quite settled.

Pigs exploring their new paddockPigs exploring their new paddock.

Pigs bushedPigs bushed after all that exploring.

Did a bit of tidying, gardening and pottering in the sun then had roast lamb and roast veggies, followed by gooseberry crumble and cream. Happy Easter!

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