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Pigs / Rhubarb / Mucking outRSS feed

Posted: Monday 17 May, 2021

by Rosemary at 4:42pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 10th May

Definitely, finally, feels like spring. Warm, sunny showers, a light breeze. Braw.

Office day but did sow grass seed in Sheepfold where Dan harrowed yesterday, and put a tape across to divide the field into two unequal halves. I thought it would be nice to see what grows if it’s not grazed.

Found a dead hen in the field shelter – she must be four years old and must have just keeled over while scratching in the straw.  Not a bad way to go. And we had to cull one of the new batch. She’s been looking off for a couple of days, then looked better, but was plainly struggling today.

Blizz is still lame. I took her a carrot and gave her a brush. I think I might bring her in.

Tuesday 11th May

Blizz much better today. And it’s glorious – warm sunny and only a light breeze. Had a quick trip to the feed store but had to curtail as the steers had got through the very ropy fence protecting the culvert. By the time we got there, they were all back in the field, so we did a quick and dirty repair. The bought in steer isn’t looking great. He’s tiny compared to Albie and awful thin. I’ll contact the vendor and see what he’s had in terms of wormer and flukicide then have a word with our vet.

Bertie was enjoying the polytunnel.

BertieBertie enjoying the polytunnel.

Cleaned out the hens and Dan took the trailer off to be emptied, so I can get on with the barn tomorrow.

Turned the ponies out in Near Ditch to protect Sheepfold and the new grass seed.

Wednesday 12th May

Happy birthday Smokey – 24years old today! He and Euro had a bottle of beer each on their breakfast to celebrate.

And we had biblical rain first thing. Pigs wouldn’t come out the ark this morning so I chucked their food inside. They can root through the straw for it. The sheep came to be fed and went straight back in the field shelter. One hen came out of the caravan. Sadly, the cattle just have to tough it out.

However, whatever the weather does, winter is officially over here at Dalmore. The cowshed is now mucked out. The work we did last summer on the mats has paid off and they’ve moved much less. A couple to lift to clear the drains and maybe a few little adjustments. The problem comes form the ring feeder – although it’s secured to two uprights, the cows can and do move it about a bit and that rucks up mats. Not sure there’s a workable solution.

shedCow shed almost cleaned out.

Had a wee tidy up in the workshop end of the barn and at the hay store. Now I’m planning to take the rest of the afternoon off. Shower and change of clothes, I think. I smell, and if I can smell it, it’s pretty bad.

Oh, poop. Was looking at the lambs today and thought, “Why has Bean’s (the BFL tup lamb) tail not withered?” The reason is that Mrs Flaky Brain forgot to ring him. I’ve never done that before. I think it’s because I was thinking about keeping him entire – and just missed rings off the agenda completely. Will have to get the vet to sort it.

Thursday 13th May

Our vet pooped in this afternoon and ringed Bean’s tail and castrated the two cross bred tup lambs. They’re not very happy.

We’re in full rhubarb harvest. Love it.

rhubarbDelicious rhubarb.

Friday 14th May

Eleven years ago today, we became the proud owners of Dalmore. Eleven years.

Weeded the lavender bed and took the netting off; some have done well, some not so well but it was delicious to weed. I’ve ordered some Night scented Stock to sow, for the lovely balmy summer evenings. Which seem a long way off just now. Swept up the two patios and thought about the hanging baskets and pots but haven’t plucked up the courage to actually pot them up yet.

Saturday 15th May

Lovely day; spent most of it in the vegetable garden, weeding and planting out but started the day cleaning out the field shelter while Dan made a start on the annual round of fencing repairs, banging in twelve posts in Sheepfold.

We planted out the peas, Dan weeding, me planting – then we covered them. After last year, it was a case of once bitten, twice shy. Courgettes (Tosca) and pumpkins (Blaze) – why did I grow so many? The annual question! Runner beans (Scarlet Empire), similarly. Just got the dwarf French beans to go in now.

The pigs are fair growing.

pigsOur pigs (Oxford Sandy and Blacks).

Sunday 16th May

First job this morning was dosing the new steer with Closamectin. He’s a bit poor looking compared to ours, so he may have worms and possibly fluke. He had a flukicide before he came down but if he’s had fluke over the winter, his liver will be damaged and he’ll take some time to come back from it. I took a faecal sample, which I’ll take to the vet tomorrow, and then I’ll take another in two weeks, to check efficacy. He does look better and he has grown a bit, but he’s much smaller than Albie, who’s younger than him.

The steers were pretty co-operative and it took less time than I anticipated, so we’ll see what comes back from the sample.

We had a friend coming for dinner this evening, so today’s priority was the house (for me) and the garden (for Dan). Not that she would have checked for dust, but you know it’s nice to make an effort. And I won’t have to do housework tomorrow. Dan cut the front grass (first time this year) and the back – it just makes the place so much tidier. And pretty.

Dan found silverside joint in the freezer so he pot-roasted it with carrot, turnip and onions, and we had it with cabbage and mashed potato. I baked a mocha roulade. Delicious.

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