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Tupping / Smoking / Steers housed / Cattle in for winterRSS feed

Tuesday 28 November, 2017

by Rosemary at 2:16pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 13th November

Grey and wet here but none of the snow other places have had.

Niamh has a very yellow bum; she’s seven past in April and didn’t lamb last year, so I wasn’t sure if she’d be OK this year. But hopefully she will be.

Tuesday 14th November

Damp and cold again. Up early this morning and made egg custard tarts.

Egg custard tartsEgg custard tarts, yum.

Paul Hollywood, eat your heart out – no soggy bottom!

Spent much of the day at Forfar Market helping out at a RHET Food and Farming day – 180 P6 kids! I was doing the talk on wool, which is good fun.

Checked the sheep on the way home and No.14 has a yellow bum. Only two to go.

Wednesday 15th November

No.7 has a yellow bum; one (and No.1) to go.

Was in Edinburgh today for the Cross Party Working Group on Crofting; this was a special meeting in the last few days before the consultation on the reform of crofting legislation closes.

Thursday 16th November

And No.1 has a yellow bum. All 15 done in 11 days – although there’s a question mark over the two he “surprised” the day we put him out. Fingers crossed for no green bums starting next week.

Popped down to the butcher to pick up our bacon.

Paul made a start on the last (I promise) phase of the barn alterations – it’s wee extension, finishing off one corner.

Barn cornerThe last corner of the barn started.

Tasted some of the cider made a couple of weeks ago – it’s not bad at all, good apple flavour, very slightly sparkling and quite alcoholic!

Dalmore ciderCider.

Friday 17th November

Feels really cold today, maybe because I’ve got a rotten sore throat. On the honey and lemon and paracetamol.

Managed to bake some ginger nuts and coconut cookies so the biscuit tins are full again.

Dan started to move the breeze blocks from the demolished wall in the barn, out.

The forecast for next week is heavy rain so I’m hoping to get the cattle in on Sunday.

Saturday 18th November

Lovely day – dry and sunny.

Dan and I loaded the two 2016 steers and took them to their winter housing. They loaded really easily – bribed by some sugar beet.

Steers pennedSteers penned waiting for loading.

They seem quite content in their new home.

Steers housed at East PitkerroSteers delivered to their winter quarters.

Dan continued to move breeze blocks but was interrupted to take our neighbours’ sick donkey to the vet’s in Kirrie. Hopefully, the donkey will make a good recovery.

Paul cracked on with the work on the barn. I cleaned out the hens.

Sunday 19th November

Another lovely day – we’ve had very little rain for weeks, but the forecast is for pretty persistent rain from tonight until Wednesday.

Dan and I took the trailer to Astwood, checked the sheep, loaded up the cattle gates, brought them home and constructed the new cattle housing.

Cattle shed readyCattle housing ready.

We put a bale of straw in the ring feeder and a bale down for bedding; licks, water trough and then we shouted the cattle in.

Cattle in for winterCattle in for winter.

They seem to be quite settled; when I went out late in the evening, they were all lying down.

Smallholding Scotland Board meeting today; progress is being made, even if sometimes it feels like two steps forward and one step back.

Dan fired up the smoker and smoked beef links, some of the Cheddar cheese he made in the summer, garlic and gammon. We had the smoked sausages for dinner and they were delicious.

Smoker ready to goSmoker wardrobe loaded ready to start smoking.

My throat’s still sore. :-(

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