Tupping underway / Bug improving / Florentines / Forfar FMRSS feed

Posted: Tuesday 28 November, 2017

by Rosemary at 1:56pm in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own

Monday 6th November

Frosty start – really enjoying this good, dry spell though. Caught up with paperwork this morning then up to Astwood to check the sheep.

Found one ewe couped – could see the legs waving in the air when I arrived. She obviously hadn’t been over long and was fine once I turned her the right way up. 

Four yellow bums – including the two that he “surprised” yesterday, so I’m not sure if they are genuine yellow bums or pretendy ones.

Emptied and cleaned out the big freezer ready for the beef.

Spent the afternoon trying to print Christmas cards; in the end Dan took pity on me and did them. Ready to be finished now with stamp and glitter.

Tuesday 7th November

Damp and mizzley today; feels colder than yesterday, even though it isn’t.

Took the flat trailer to have a new floor put in and the jockey wheel repaired.

Two more yellow bums this morning.

Made Florentines. They are really very nice indeed. Thank you, Mary Berry.

Gwenna splootGwenna, just because x

Wednesday 8th November

Frosty first thing, then clouded up. No new yellow bums today.

Moved the spare fence posts out of the fruit garden. Not really sure what we’ll do with the space cleared. 

Slow puncture in a car tyre, so dropped it off at the garage to be repaired.

Made more Florentines and some mini Christmas cakes.

Thursday 9th November

No fresh yellow bums today.

Vet out to Bug today taking a blood test to see how his Cushing’s medication is working.

Sawdusty BugsyBug after a roll in his shavings.

He’s pleased with how the pony is looking – especially when Bug went cantering and bucking across the field.

Friday 10th November

Beautiful day here – dry and sunny.

Pruned the blackcurrants and the gooseberries; pulled out the sweetcorn (lots of cobs but most didn’t ripen so might try it in the polytunnel next year); weeded the plum and gage trees and planted some crocus bulbs in the fruit garden.

I’m going to plant more, as early food for the bees. In fact, the area there might become a pollinators’ garden.

Cleaned out the pig ark – we’ve had this ark since 2003 and it’s in remarkably good condition and is as dry as a bone.

Pig ark damage14 years of pigs scratching has taken its toll!

It’s going to need a wee bit of repair work for next year though.

Set off to check sheep, go to Harbro in Forfar then on to Brechin to pick up the now-repaired trailer – got as far as the sheep, and Urquhart was hopping lame in his near foreleg. He’d managed to cover another two ewes, but this wasn’t a good look so I phoned the vet, whizzed to Forfar and back to meet him at the gates.

Walking across the field, the vet’s telling me that the problem with infections was that the increased body temperature could damage the sperm and it takes six weeks for new sperm to be manufactured. So I’m thinking where I’m going to get another tup, if we get a rash of green bums in a couple of weeks.

However, Urquhart’s temperature was normal and the vet reassured me that his testicles also felt normal, so fingers crossed. Antibiotics and painkiller administered, so hopefully he’ll be sound in a few days.

Just glad it wasn’t a back foot.

Saturday 11th November

Another beautiful day. No change in Urquhart and no new yellow bums.

At Forfar Farmers’ Market today selling yarn and eggs. Wasn’t planning to take eggs but there were some in the boot room as we were leaving and Dan suggested we pack them. In fact, we sold more eggs than yarn.

Rosedean Ryelands at Forfar Farmers MarketRosedean Ryelands at Forfar Farmers Market.

It’s probably not the right market place for us but we’ll do the two December ones. It’s a great market though and a terrific atmosphere.

At a barbeque and bonfire at Dee and Arnot’s in the evening. Good end to the day.

Sunday 12th November

More sun – long may it last.

Dan finished the drainage in the barn – it’s looking good.

John started work on adapting the sheep hurdles to make a feeder for the steers. The plan is to house the steers next weekend then set up the barn for the cows, calves and bull but if the weather stays like this and there’s still forage for them, I’m in no rush to house them.

Four yellow bums today – that’s twelve out of fifteen, if the two on the first day were genuine. A two-week lambing period would be just fantastic.

Made up some fresh raddle in a freezer bag – however, the sheep were scared of the rustling bag and scarpered so it took longer than anticipated to get it on. But on it went, so we’ll see how he goes next week.


Helen Cameron

Tuesday 28 November, 2017 at 3:23pm

So happy about your plans for a pollinators' garden. Just plant the crocuses randomly and enjoy the effect. Hope the tup is OK and does his job well. All the best for early winter.

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