Update w/e 16th AugustRSS feed

Posted: Sunday 16 August, 2009

by Rosemary at 4:23pm in Anything goes 1 comment Comments closed

Well, we've seen the end of an era here this week. Our old Rhode Island Red hen finally fell off the perch, literally. We bought her as part of a batch of eight point of lay pullets in 2003 and she was the only one left. She did look old, but she was fine right up until the end, except she couldn't manage to get up on the roosting perches the night she died. Dan found her in the morning, stiff as a board. We'll miss her - although she wasn't really tame, she knew that hanging round the kitchen door was good way to get any treats going. She was also Hector's "enforcer" and could put all the younger hens in their place.

RIP old rhodie.jpg

Dickie seems to be fine after his operation. We checked him again this week and he seems to have healed completely. Juno needed dagging - removing soiled wool from around her back end to prevent fly strike - so that was a rare treat for us all. We'll check her again later in the week. I'll do a worm egg count and review our worming strategy.

We've weaned the two male lambs. Naturally, it wasn't without incident. We decided to put the ewes in the rented field across the road and leave the lambs on new grass in the top half of the orchard, where there are no fruit trees for them to eat, using the electric fence. The moves went smoothly but when I went out about 15 minutes later, Dickie and Jura were back in the orchard. Dickie was munching on plums, not having any of his own anymore (!)

Dickie, ryeland ram lamb

So, we put them all back in the river field and started again, after adding a strand to the electric fence. If they can clear that, they're going to the Hickstead! The lambs and ewes can see each other and there was some nose touching through the fence yesterday but, to be honest, the lambs don't care - it's the ewes doing the bleating. I thought they would be glad to see the back of them, but apparently not.

We've left Lyra, Jura's ewe lamb, with the ewes - she's the youngest and Jura the most troublesome, so we'll let the boys and their mothers settle, then move Lyra. She needs to get her second dose of Heptavac P Plus this week anyway.

I've bought two more ewe lambs and will pick them up next weekend. They are half sisters to Lyra, which will make finding an unrelated tup easier, when the time comes. Both are registered -but we'll have to choose names for them, starting with the letter "L".

I am taking up post next month as Project Co-ordinator for Forth Valley Countryside Initiative, Working for the Royal Highland Education Trust, I will be working with schools and farmers to improve links to the countryside including organizing school visits to farms and farmer visits to schools. It's initially for one year and I'm really looking forward to it.

BottomatoIt was the Central Scotland Smallholders' Association annual barbeque on Saturday. Our Secretary and her husband hosted the event at their smallholding in Fife. It stayed dry but was very windy, especially on their hilltop site. A good afternoon was enjoyed by everyone - Graham had organized a "Show what you grow" event, including classes for best nettle, best dock and best thistle, so we all had a chance to compete, regardless of our gardening skill. Dan won the "Best Rude Vegetable" with his "bottom". I don't know if he'll be able to repeat that success next year!



Wednesday 19 August, 2009 at 10:42pm

congratulations on the new job!!

that was a short retirement then!!

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