Diary

Solstice / Deer / Byre / Hay / Sick sheepRSS feed

Monday 25 December, 2017

by Rosemary at 2:04pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 18th December

A bit milder today but the ground (and the water) is still frozen.

Got a message to say that one of our ewes had got her head stuck in the licky bucket – the handle over the back of her head. But just as we arrived, we got another message to say she was fine. Still, gave me the chance to check the licks – one was almost finished so I opened up the new one – and cut the handle to prevent a repeat.

Tom’s more relaxed today – happy to have lots of strokes, with lots of purring. He’s eating well and using his litter tray.

Cleaned out the three henhouses.

Tuesday 19th December

A real thaw on now, thank goodness. Getting on with the barn mucking out.

MuckMuck from the cattle barn, heading for the orchard.

Paul’s working on the alterations to the byre:

New byre doorNew byre door.

As well as replacing the door and windows, using weldmesh to improve ventilation, it's getting new removable perches. Hopefully we won’t need the facility for the hens (either weather of avian flu related) but if we do, it will be much improved on last year.

There’s a lovely warm southerly wind tonight that should dry things up.

Gwenna and Bryn were officially freaked by the Christmas tree.

Wednesday 20th December

Our neighbour brought us a deer – he does some deer management for some local farmers.

Deer hangingDeer hanging.

I forgot to tell Tara it was hanging in the feed store. You may have heard her scream.

Thursday 21st December

Solstice So here we are at the shortest day – I can understand why ancient folks binge ate and drank. We have less of an excuse but hey ho.

Dan and his dad skinned and butchered the deer. Dan’s dad also tried to butcher himself, resulting in a trip to the local health centre.

John skinning the deerJohn skinning the deer (and himself).

Thankfully, the damage was fairly easily repairable, if somewhat bloody. We did consider tanning the skin, but ran out of time - definitely something for the future.

Dan made a good job of the butchering. Well, him and YouTube.

Dan butchering deerDan butchering the deer under YouTube instruction.

Butchered deerA good yield for us and the dogs.

Friday 22nd December

We celebrated the Solstice and the return of the light with some friends tonight.

The gale force winds prevented us lighting the bonfire, but we’ll get to it soon.

Saturday 23rd December

Still windy today, but sunny. We picked up four bales of hay; took one to East Pitkerro (the steers have settled fine). They still had plenty hay left – that’s a week.

We put one out for the sheep, in the hay bell.

Hay bellHay bell for the sheep.

They’re not really interested yet, but they will be. We put the bale on a pallet to help keep the base dry. The sheep aren’t taking much of the lick either.

The other two bales are for the cattle here – they’re eating a bale every four days, between six of them.

Cattle feedingCattle content at the ring feeder.

Winter was a wee bit lame, so we caught her, trimmed the foot and applied blue spray. The rest are looking good.

We were at a friend’s tonight so let Tom out of the guest room, with the cat flap locked and the dogs shut in the dining room. When we got home, he and Diesel were curled up on one of the sofas – and the flap on the cat flap was off completely. How did that happen?

Anyway, put Tom back in his room and locked the cat flap. The plan is to keep him in for two weeks.

Sunday 24th December

Sick sheep today. On her own, elevated breathing. I spoke too soon yesterday.

Brought her home and got the vet out, who diagnosed pneumonia and injected an antibiotic and painkiller. It’s not looking good. How could she go downhill so quickly?

And the cat escaped. This was not the plan.

Merry Christmas.

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