Saturday, 29 March 2008

Some pictures as previously promised

Creag Mhor

Our finished shed
Bella Stealing Hay

Cullan and Whiskey enjoying the viewfrom Creag Mhor Hill
View of our Croft
Babs Poppit

Skye Effie the rowan cow's calf
Pal, Prince & Rump Ramp Romp

Pal & Rump Ram Romp

Easter Twins & Twins again

Well it's great news from Creag Mhor last weekend, we had four new additions to our small flock. Sharon and Claire two of our Cheviot's decided to have their babies through the night last Saturday.
We were not expecting them for another week or so but they decided that nature was going to step in and send our little packages early.
Well all three sheep including Myran were in the lambing shed, all settled in for the night, no sign of anything unusual so away to bed we went.
Early Sunday morning last years lambs were making such a commotion we thought something had got into the main shed with them.
So we rushed over to the sheds to find out what all of the noise was about, I was still putting on my waterproofs when my husband shouted over to come quick, I rushed over to the shed and poked my head in thinking all sorts of things, what did I see four new baby lambs running about in the shed.
Everything was so exiting in the shed last years lambs were calling out noisily, the babies were calling out, mums were calling out, we were calling out, you can imagine the racket in there.
We had stalls ready for the new mums to settle with their own lambs so that they bonded.
The only problem was who had had who and which mother's had had them?
Well we finally decided or thought we had which lamb belonged to which mother, Myran was eliminated right away as she was not dirty in the rear end, so she was put out with the hogs (last years lambs).
We watched for a while to see which lamb went to which mother, and put them in their separate pens as I said to bond.
Well we thought we got it correct but we did not, we got there in the end and managed to sort them out.
Sharon and Claire had both given birth to a girl and a boy each.
Sharon's little girl was really small and Claire's little girl was the opposite, the boys were the opposite way round Sharon's was Large and Claire's was small.
Anyway we let them settle down for an hour or so just to make sure they were alright with the lambs they had with them.
Sharon's little girl was so small and weak we ha to intervene, so out came the milking jug and bottle.
I milked Sharon to take some of her colostrum from her to give to the newly named Nelly the lamb.
Nelly took all of the milk, the others managed fine after a little tickle on the bum, we tickle the bum under the tail to make them move towards the teat, it is like their mother nudging them to encourage them to suck, it is far easier than trying to hold them on to a teat with them fighting against you and getting themselves all stressed out.
Well they have come on in leaps and bounds (no pun intended) so I have put a few pictures up for you to see.
Myran last years Champion at the Arisaig Agricultural show is still hanging on to her lambs, as usual she has to be last.
Raff the ram has done a great job, we are so proud of him, needless to say he is proud too....

Well here they are...

Sharon with Nelly & Raff


Claire with Katie & Rabie

Nosey Katie


Raff & Sharon in Luv....

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

A day at the sales wahay!!

We had a day away on Saturday 15th March, we traveled up to Dingwall for one of the implement sales that is held at the Auction Mart every so often.
It was a beautiful day and has been since Saturday.
It was good to get away just for a day, we have not had a day away from the croft since Christmas other than collecting Animal feed, this was a day away just to enjoy.
I have never seen so many people at one of these events, it was impossible to park in the car park, people were just abandoning their cars at the side of the road because they could not get in, we were one of those people also, typical farmer mentality abandon your car anywhere and don't bother if it causes a nightmare for anyone else ;-) well we managed to get up onto a grass verge near the entrance so it was not to bad.
The sale started at 10am there was everything there that you could ever wish for if you had silly money to spend on some of the things on offer, a two year old Valtar tractor worth about £22,000 went for £12,100 bargain if you had that kind of money.
We were on the look out for a couple of items, my husband got his calf feeders and I wanted a lawn mower as my old one had decided it could not cope anymore, well I got a bargain, petrol lawnmower all singing and dancing, I am not proud as long as it does what it is designed for I will not complain.
These sales are great for catching up with old friends and meeting new people, the crack as they say was great.
The Auction mart has a well maintained cafe and was busy all day, even though we had to queue it was well worth the wait.
We left about 4.30 and got home about 7.30 it was close to a 200 mile round trip which I can say I truly enjoyed, just to get away for the day and have a sunshiny day too what more could I ask for.
A few pictures of the trip up to Dingwall and the venue:

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

On a High Horse day!!

Well it has been absolutely unbelievable this terrible weather we have had has been none stop, it can be so depressing waking up every morning and seeing nothing but rain bouncing off the ground and the wind blowing the trees about as if in a bad mood.
The fields are flooded and bare looking, here we are having torrential rain and places like Australia have had nothing but droughts for the past year.
We have been told on the news lately that we have enough grain in the United Kingdom to last 40 days? grain is at an all time low because agriculture is no longer as the boffins say "in fashion". Some experts are calling for a better investment in to agricultural activities, to reinvest in our future, this is highly impossible now, land is being sold at a great rate of knots for building offices and so called affordable housing, if land is not being sold it is slapped with a compulsory purchase order to put a road through or build another airport runway, so I am afraid that agriculture like everything else will fall by the way side and everything will come from one of our European counterparts, like Steel, Coal, Electrical, Electronics, Beef and Fishing has already been gradually coming in from anywhere except the UK over the past few years.
I do hope that someone in the powers that be corridors, will stand up and fight for our corner and way of life, all they have to do is reach out and speak to the people on the ground instead of the I know nothing about anything but I can talk a lot of rubbish brigade.
These kind of people do more damage than good and have not got a clue what it is like to be you or me or your neighbour who toil away each day doing what we do for this industry, Okay we might be small fry in the grand scheme of things but we all contribute something to the agricultural sector, we contribute to our economy, we provide a service for our nation with very little thanks or gain.
This weather is making life very difficult for all, we are still feeding our cattle and will be for the next month at least, we had a delivery of hay on Saturday, I took a days holiday on Friday from work to help clear the byre for the hay coming in.
We have both been working none stop lately and have not had a lot of time to do anything else, the hay man dropped our hay at the end of the track which is about a mile away from where we live, the road to our house and beyond is so badly pot holed that a wagon full of hay cannot get down safely.
So we spent most of Saturday taking bales down to the byre in between rain showers, we used a quad and trailer as it was faster than the old jeep, our tractor has decided to give up the ghost so we will have to spend more money getting that sorted out.

We managed to get a few bales down before the heavens opened up again, so Sunday was also taken up with fetching and carrying bales to the byre.

Some people do not know how fortunate they are living right next to the main road, anything we have to get delivered if it is in a wagon forget it, the item has to be man handled on the back of a trailer and taken down by us, this is all time consuming when we could be doing something else as equally important.
Nevertheless we do what we do with out complaint and managed to get the bails down to the byre, the cows came in when they saw all the activity they are so curious when they see something strange they have to go over and have a look to see what is going on.

Some pictures our Hay at the end of the road and a couple of pictures to show just what we have to contend with every day.
A car is no good here only an old work horse 4 x 4 can cope with this road, fun for the tourist once in a while but not for the people who live on it