Sunday, 27 April 2008

What a difference

What a difference the long days make.
We have been basking in sunshine for the past three weeks, and it has been great for the soul.
We have had a new calf born since my last visit she is a pure white Charolais cross, her mother diamond is doing well, we called her new baby Trudy, her father is Thrumpton Unstopable.
We are waiting for Annie to calve any day now.
The cattle are starting to stay out over night on the odd occasion but still coming in on a morning for breakfast.
The rain has done so must damage this year and the grass is slow to grow.
We are not the only people suffering from grass shortage it is happening all over the country, farmers and crofters alike are feeling the pinch of the purse strings with the amount of feed we are still having to buy in to keep the animals going until the grass takes off.
We are doing our best to help the grass on a little, last weekend we spent two days spreading manure out one one of the six acre fields, by hand, the ground is still pretty soft so Tractors are no good as it will make a mess of the ground.
We have a small quad which we attached the harrows to, this spreads the manure more evenly, I must admit what a difference it made to the ground just with the harrows.
(Harrows for those of you who do not know are like a bed of steel pieces linked to one another that have spikes sticking out underneath, when you drag them along behind you they deep rack the ground helping the manure/fertiliser to impregnate the ground)
Anyway we spread the manure, Harrowed the field now we have to keep the cattle off which proves difficult sometimes, if you leave a gate open they are in he park, how they know the gate is open him upstairs only knows as they seem to have a built in radar attached that says go home and cause chaos.
Well if we keep them out we have done our part and all we have to do is sit back and watch the grass grow fingers crossed.
We decided to use the manure on the fields this year as like many others artificial fertiliser has become far to expensive to use, some farmer on the East coast are using straw on the fields instead.
So for the past couple of weeks while the weather has been with us we have been working like beavers to get as much manure out as possible, it's a pity we cannot get the roller out yet but the ground will not take it.
Oh while I remember we decided to call Myran's little lamb Chirsty, she is such a little bundle of joy as they all are, Wee Rabbie and Katie come to me when I shout their names, they love to get a tickle under the chin be fussed over on a night before they settle down for the night.
Unlike Craigy, who has decided that I am to get a butt up the bottom when he cannot get his own way, unfortunately he will have to go to a new home after the shows are finished this year, or else he may get amongst the young hog lambs (his sisters) and breed with them.
He is up to mischief all of the time, if the garden gate is left open he is in and starts feasting on my flower beds.
Yesterday we hand clipped the three mother sheep, this was a military exercises on it's own, Myran is not to hard to clip as she will stand on the head halter she is to big anyway to get a good grip of, Claire was easier to do as the fleece was coming to the rise as they say which means she was ready to shear, Sharon as usual had to be awkward, fighting every move, and flinching and jumping at the sound of the shears clicking, I might add that not a drop of blood was drawn or skin caught in the shears, so what she was flinching for was beyond me, because every time she did flinch I jumped too because I thought I caught her skin.
Not only a trauma for her but for me also.
Anyway I am suffering from a stiff hand today after all that fighting, pulling, pushing and clipping, I am glad I only have a hand full of sheep, next year we will have to invest in an electric clipper, then what will Sharon do?
Next weekend we plan to shear the hoggs and Craigy, that will be fun and games, they will all need their hoofs trimming as well.
So lets hope it goes with out to much of a drama.
Below are pictures of Diamonds calf Trudy, also Boris Diamond's calf from Last year.

Big Brother Boris & Trudy & Diamond

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