Trailer / Blizzard / PumpRSS feed

Posted: Monday 27 January, 2020

by Rosemary at 11:17am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 20th January

Lovely day and I had a lovely drive up to Brechin to drop the livestock trailer in for a service and to have the electrics repaired after a pig ate them last year. What a beautiful country Scotland is.

The day started with Zenith the calf getting loose – my fault for not securing the gate. She was very excited and freaked Euro out with her carrying on. I had to take Gwenna back to the vet – she is better but not sound yet. Couldn’t find my credit card so called the helpline to suspend it – operator asked, “When did you last use it?” “Asda petrol on Friday,” I said. “Oh,” she said,” there’s a VetNow charge!” Aha, it was on the floor of John and Linda’s car, from yesterday. 

So, Gwenna’s got Metacam for five days, but we’ve to stop once she’s sound. It’s a pulled muscle rather than tendons, so that’s the best news.

Niamh’s looking much better – I’ve been giving her a scoop of nuts every morning for the last couple of weeks and she’s looking in better condition. I’ll be reconfiguring the sheep groups shortly – in lamb ewes are going with the tup and wether lambs – a bit of feed will finish them - and the ewe lambs can go with the empty ewes and Kit, who’s carrying a single. It’s a pretty even split of groups, numerically – so who gets the Haybell?

Ace was bothering Blizzard tonight – this is not good. I saw her served on 3rd October and nothing since. The foot trimmer was here 22nd November, 7 weeks later and just over 8 weeks ago. Don’t know what’s happened. She wouldn’t stand for him but I was worried about her slipping on the mats, so we tied them all up and built a pen round Ace. Tomorrow, we’ll put both of them out.

AceA hastily built bull pen.

Tuesday 21st January

Another lovely day – mild and sunny. Turned Ace and Blizzard out. He’s courting her but she’s not standing yet.

bulAce and Blizzard.

She and Zenith are bawling. It’s time Zen was weaned anyway, so I’ve put her in the “bull pen”. It was time she started her halter training too.

zenZenith, starting her halter training.

Gwenna is sound today, so she was allowed a decent walk on the lead but got her Metacam.

I’ve been preparing to go to London tomorrow – packing my jammies. Train’s at 9.30am, and I’m getting the Caledonian Sleeper back. I’m far more worried about the travelling than the talk.

Wednesday 22nd January

Off to London. Train should have got into Kings Cross at 3.50pm, so plenty of time to get to the venue, which is on Grays Inn Road, for 5.30pm. Train 85 minutes late, arriving 5.15pm; yomped up the road, arriving 10 minutes late. Just as well I wore comfy boots. All went fine; had dinner then back to Euston for the Sleeper departure at 9.15pm. New coaches, so rather nice.

Thursday 23rd January

Arrived in Carnoustie at 6.22am. I did sleep but not as well as at home, so pretty tired. Another lovely day – and not too tired to go for a wee hack with Tara (Ave) and Angela (Euro). Smokey led all the way to the level crossing, when he got feart and Ave had to go in front, but he did go in front all the way home.

Back to Brechin to pick up the newly serviced trailer. And the sludge pump for the septic tank installation was delivered – it’s a beast of a thing. Hope it works.

pumpSludge pump.

Brought Blizzard back into the barn, since Ace has lost interest. She’s also very lame in her off hind. I’ve shut him in the field shelter. I didn’t see her stand for him but it’s dark a long time. Time will tell.

Friday 24th January

More nice weather – I’d really like the rushes topped, while it’s nice and dry and before the grass grows, but the tractor needs serviced first.

Called the vet for Blizzard – the tender bit is right up between the cleats at the heel, not the front; it’s warm and a wee bit puffy. She let me have a good look when she was lying down, but was less cooperative for the vet. Her temperature was fine, so she’s had a long acting antibiotic and and Metacam (I wish I had shares in Metacam). I’ll bring Ace back down to the barn once she’s sound.

Zenith is progressing with her halter training – easy in a wee pen, although she tramped on my feet twice. Hard.

Lots of activity at the septic tank – the plan is to put it in on Monday, at low tide. This big sludge pump emptied the hole off water in 40 minutes. Right kit wins again.

Down to East PItkerro with hay for the steers. They'll need hay and straw next Friday.

Made Curried Sweet Potato Soup and Mushroom, Garlic and Parsley Soup for the course tomorrow and baked Ginger Sponges and Coffee and Walnut mini-loaves. Dan started dough for bread and set up the room. What a team!

Saturday 25th January

Overcast and windy but still mild. Up early to make scones before starting the chores; Dan baked two lovely white loaves and made delicious Leek and Potato Soup. Great weaving course today with Carole Storm.

Ewes No5 and No6 went off to their new home on the Black Isle. As usual, they were fine to catch and load – Dan just walked them on and they started eating the hay bed. They’re twins themselves and both due twins on 4th April. I hope their new owners will enjoy them.

Dan pruned half the gooseberries, bless ‘im. He says he’ll do the rest tomorrow. He was going out tonight so before he went for a shower, we caught, leg ringed and moved the caravan hens into the green hen house. Normally we’d cull these old hens, but I didn’t want to. Must be getting soft. I’ll get the caravan cleaned out tomorrow.

Sunday 26th January

Overcast and breezy at dawn, light showers, wind dropping and sun out this afternoon. Blizzard is a bit easier on the foot and her milk has dried up – hopefully, she’ll stop groaning now. I gave all the cows and the calf a brush this morning after feeding. They do enjoy it. Zenith is coming on fine. Much calmer.

Dan and Andy burned the huge pile of brash in the pig pen, assisted by two hens that should have been elsewhere, so Dan carried out about twenty repairs to “Gwenna-made” holes in the deer netting. Should be hen and fox proof now. The eleven “Caravan hens” have meanwhile distributed themselves between both the green henhouse and the brown. I cleaned out the caravan – I’ll take the pressure washer down in the week and do the perches and the outside, before giving the inside a good douse in Diatom.

Rebecca (Ave), Mike (Rebecca’s partner, on Euro) and I managed an hour’s hack along the cycle track towards Monifieth – one of our planned outings is to get to Monifieth, eat fish and chips and come home. Smokey was very good – he’s enjoying this and so am I.

Big week planned for the garden – so early night tonight. Fingers crossed for no trips to, or visits from, the vet next week. Dan, Gwenna and Bertie had a nice relax together.

petsDan, Bertie and Gwenna, just chillin'.




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