Tool store / Tupping / CalvesRSS feed

Posted: Monday 23 November, 2020

by Rosemary at 10:29am in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 16th November

Touch of insomnia last night. Office today but slipped down to Eats Pitkerro to feed the steers.

steersArchie (LHS) and Charlie.

Aurora is getting to be a big girl – eats hay and everything.

hayBig girl Aurora eating hay.

Tuesday 17th November

Spent most of today preparing for the beef coming back tomorrow – getting the byre laid out and all the invoices done.

Graham the Joiner popped round for a look at the feed store. We’re so pleased with the byre, we’re going to tidy up the feed store too - walls, ceiling, new door and window – and a new concrete floor, the sink plumbed in and an outside tap. The luxury! Dan says this is the Ten Year Reboot.

Rat activity is very low – bait still being taken but no noises in the walls now, so we think they must be coming in from outside.

Wednesday 18th November

Today is BEEF DAY! First job this morning was to wash all the crates for the orders, then off to the butcher to collect the beef. OMG, you should have seen the amount of fat waste! Goes for biofuel, I think. Home then and Dan had the crates all wiped and laid out, so we started to make up the boxes – 17 full boxes and four mini boxes, but some folk had extras and some folk wanted eggs and honey too. One lady isn’t coming until tomorrow, so her’s was for the fridge but everyone else started arriving from 4pm and by 6pm all bar two had been picked up. Best arrangement so far.

Our butcher offered to buy our beef at a very fair price – I’m not sure if we make more money doing the boxes or not. We tend to be quite generous. But honestly, folk love it – and we have such a laugh with them, and we’re all excited. I mean folk are genuinely excited about coming to pick up their beef. Does anyone get excited buying beef in Tesco?

One lady, a new customer, thought it was a bit fat, and said so - and one of our regulars overheard and shouted across the room “It’ll be the best beef you’ve ever tasted”. Which was great. We’re having a steak for dinner – sirloin. (I actually emailedher to say if it wasn't to her taste, we'd take it back - she sent me a lovley reply saying she'd cooked with it that night and loved it. A convert to proper beef).

We haven’t got a huge amount left but it’s all in the freezer now.

Thursday 19th November

Lovely day – full sun, but cold (2C) first thing. A photo of the three calves, just because. The heifer, Afton, is bigger than the steer, Albie.

calvesL to R Aurora, Albie and Afton.

Dan went off for hay at 7am, then quick breakfast and off to pick up Murray, the BFL tup, who we are borrowing from Alistair. Just as we arrived HOME, I realised I had forgotten to let the hens out. They seemed none the worst for their lay-in (ha, ha – see what I did there?). Sorted out the ewes – Murray out with his three BFL gimmers; put Bambi in with the Shetland x Ryeland tup lamb (she’s never lambed in two years, so it was for company), put Kit and Scoot with the Ryeland tup lamb in Sheepfold, took Bambi out and put her back in with Kit and Scoot before she killed the tup lamb; moved the three Ryelands round to the caravan for the duration. OMG, the noise!!!

Anyway, I can’t have the Shetland tup on his own, so I’m going to put him in with Kit, Scoot and Bambi and the Ryeland tup lamb. I know Kit’s his dam and Scoot’s his sister but any lambs will just be for meat, so there we go.

Cattle foot trimmer coming Tuesday, so I’ll Bravoxin and tag Aurora and put pour-on on the others at the same time. Hopefully, get Ace’s funny foot sorted.

Cleaned out the green and brown henhouses and moved the eight old hens (seven black and one white) into the brown house. Now I only have two to clean over winter; the hens in the brown house were hatched spring 2019 ( and a few earlier than that) and will move into the caravan in the new year (or earlier in Avian Flu progresses). The eight I moved are in full moult and look awful but they’re actually quite heavy. Need to be up early – and remember to let them out – in the morning, so they don’t get too much of a hard time.

We’ve had our rent review and it’s staying the same; the landlord commented on the rushes, like it was our fault. I wish he’d seen it in the summer – I should try and get some photos. He wants to drain it, plough and reseed – and double the rent.

Friday 20th November

Ice on the water buckets this morning but it warmed up to overcast, raw and generally pretty horrible. The cattle brought themselves in at lunchtime.

Raddled the Shetland tup and put him out – at least it’s shut them up. Moved the BFLs into Near Top and the Shetlands into the Ditch paddocks. Sheepfold is bare – I took the electric fence down this morning; the ponies will go back in there with hay soon.

The white hen is  dead- she must have got over the fence - she was always flighty - and come a cropper. Lots of white feathers - some of which Gwenna brought home.

Did a whole list of wee chores and started soaking some fruit for mini Christmas cakes.

Saturday 21st November

Another nice day; managed to get out for a wee ride with Tara and Rebecca.

Dan and I finished cleaning out the left had loose box and Dan started to convert it into his tool store / workshop.

LHLBCleaning out the left hand loose box.

RHLBThe existing tool store.

Of course, you don’t make an omelette without cracking eggs, so we had to clear shelves to move them – and that meant clearing them onto the floor. It was so disorganised before we started but, wow, did we make it worse. Still, had to be done.

RHLB1Oh dear, it got worse.

Dan got the tool board up, with some help from me (holding things) and we got the workbench moved. There’s always tomorrow.

boardTool board.

Kit has a very green bum and is loved up with the Ryeland tup lamb. I’m pretty sure none of the BFL have been served.

I made some mini Christmas cakes as a trial run – nice but a bit small. Dan’s Dan said it was fine, he’d just eat two.

Sunday 22nd November

Another lovely day – the ground is drying up nicely; no standing water in the fields anymore.

I was going to ride, but I started to empty the feed store and became engrossed. Some stuff went in the barn, some in the looseboxes and some in the trailer for disposal. All that’s left is the saddles and bridles, the feed we use every day, the boiler the sink and the shelving. I even took down all the hooks – of which there were many.

feedstoreFeed store nearly empty.

As I worked away, I saw Annie go past the door, then three calves and then Rosie – I’d left a gate open. Thankfully, Ace and Blizzard hadn’t got that far and were still in the cowshed. After a bit of excitement, they headed back to the field and order was restored.

Dan went shopping – for food and to Screwfix for brackets, a couple of tape measures, drill bits and screwdriver bits. Bless him, he’s easy pleased. I might buy a few bits for the tack room / feed store when it’s done, so that it stays tidy!

LHLB1New tool store coming together.


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