Workshop / Pullets / ZephyrRSS feed

Posted: Monday 6 May, 2019

by Rosemary at 10:34am in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 29th April

Cool and grey in the morning but getting sunny and warm. It was Bryn’s 4th birthday today – where does the time go?  He had tuna for dinner as a treat.

Vet came out to give Leo his second tetanus, so that’s him up to date and he doesn’t need another one for 13 months.

Tuesday 30th April

Delivered a talk at a local primary school on farming. One cheeky wee B, but he wasn’t for long.  Caught up with some paperwork. Wrote a shopping list, which lead into a good tidy up of the pantry and a defrost of the kitchen freezer.

Dagged the rest of the sheep; found the hose for the pigs trough. Result! Brought all the sheep troughs in – no more hard feed as there’s plenty of grass, but they do still have a rack of hay and a molassed mineral lick, "just in case".

Washed all the hats and gloves as spring is here.

First pullet egg!

eggFirst pullet egg.

Wednesday 1st May

Mild and cloudy with some sunshine – so I was right to wash the hats and gloves. Put Spot-on on the cows, bull, calf and ponies because I noticed the cows being pestered with flies yesterday.

Phoned the shearer; he’s good to go and will get back with dates towards the end of the month. Wormer and flea treated the dogs and cats; Bertie and Pen are so easy; Pen didn’t even get out his bed. Diesel and Thomas are less so and required a large blanket (separately).

Did some therapeutic weeding after the worming trauma.

Smallholding Scotland Board meeting this evening.

Thursday 2nd May

Wow! Lots of rain overnight!

Cleaned out the three hen houses and filled the grit hoppers. Hens all to fresh paddocks yesterday.

Lucy came by and we tagged the pet lambs. Had call from APHA saying we’d won the Brucellosis test lottery, but it was for Astwood, so we were disqualified. Hey ho.

Dan and I did some prep for the Intro to Smallholding course on Saturday – rewrote our PowerPoint presentation.

Zephyr was munching hay today, while I was milking her mum. Big girl now!

calfZephyr, munching.

Friday 3rd May

Had a visit from the Head of the Scottish Poultry Unit; had a good chat about poultry matters. He thought our poultry set up was pretty good, which was nice.

Did some weeding in the polytunnel, sowed courgettes and squashes and weeded and swept the patio.

Been showery all day.

Saturday 4th May

Had a great Intro to Smallholding course – great group of folk, all keen as mustard!

It was lovely in the steading but bitterly cold out in the fields in the biting wind. Still, if you wanna be a smallholder…

Sunday 5th May

Changeable today – wee showers, sun and cloud, and still that cold easterly wind. Had smallholders lie-in – fed lambs, pigs and let the hens out then took a cup of tea and a scone back to bed for a wee doze. Lovely!

Dan and Andy set about mulching the apple trees.

Laing’s Field was topped – it doesn’t  look too bad and now the big clumps of rushes are down, we should be able to keep in top of it with our wee topper. Planning to put the cows out after Annie calves and the calf is up and running; also planning to strip graze it with the electric fence.

fieldTopped field.

Also been thinking about the cows and bull and next year’s calves. I don’t want them to calve before 5th May, so a service date of 26th July or later is required. As Rosie has already calved and Annie is due this week coming, it’s unlikely that Ace is going to abstain until then so the plan is to contain him in the field shelter for 14 days and have Annie and Rosie jagged with Prosolvin after 12 days, then let him out. Hopefully they will come into season and he’ll get them in calf then. Not ideal but the life of a smallholder is all about compromise.

Decided that the pet lambs can stay out tonight so Dan started mucking out the byre. The byre now seems to be the prime candidate for a new workshop. The plan for a new workshop arose out of Dan's reluctance to spend £300 on new bee boxes and he and Andy deciding they could make them cheaper - IF they had somewhere to do it and the right equipment. You know that feeling when you know that saving £300 is going to cost 10 times that?

All we use the byre for is lambing and as accommodation for hens in the event of avian flu (and it's not ideal because the ventilation isn't great), but we could use the barn for both of these things, if space was cleared - ie equipment into the new workshop. A new workshop would also be an incentive to sort through all the tools and move them from the loosebox to the workshop. That would allow us to turn the current feed store into a wee farm shop. Still, better get on with the CURRENT To Do list!!!

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