Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Love it when a plan comes together

Excitement here at Maes-y-Delyn, over the past few days. Some things may seem more trivial than others, but after a long few weekends of hard work, it’s exciting to see the end of a project, and it all coming together!

Whilst it was another full on weekend, and there are always the general jobs to do. This weekend we finished (well it could do with another coat of paint, but still) our mini cattle yard! So our poddies moved out into the paddock- although protected for the moment. And reinforced with mesh, since Ruby decided to show her ingenuity and wandered out to Betty (our heifer) all on her own. We think it may have been a fluke, but the fact is she managed it.

The move itself went better than we could have expected. We cut the barb wire in the fence, ready. And lead them down the garden with the lure of a bottle. At 3 months, they are still being bottle fed; though now we are trying to wean them. So exposing them to the paddock, with access to fresh grass (and an older cow to show them what to do) will hopefully assist; since I have cut their bottle feeds to once a day. For the time being they will remain in the yard, unless supervised. But as they get bigger they will eventually integrate.  As we have had them we have witnessed them grow, dramatically… but in the big wide world, they look so small.

As I mentioned we cut the fence to move the cows, and this was part of another job that has been lingering on the ‘to do list’ for a while… our own gate to the paddock. Now this may not seem like such an exciting thing, but it is!

For the last year our only means of accessing our paddock has been through the neighbour’s field; which he has been very kind in letting us do or involved climbing through the lines on barbed wire… which was not always straightforward. As when we bought the place there was already a gate into the field, via the rear garden or shed. Problem with this is, as it turned out when we had the alignments surveyed (long story) most of the gateway and ½ the ground our tanks sat on, belonged to next door.  So between moving the tanks and the temporary fencing this access has not been practical to say the least. So especially as we will be going into the field daily to feed the calves, having a gate is wonderful.

Another bit of anticipated excitement is the imminent arrival of more piglets; Sage and (fingers crossed) for our first pure Berkshire litter.  Having handed over the final pair of sow from Christmas Hams litter on Sunday; much to her relief- she’s been running around like a lunatic ever since and took no time in re-establishing her place in the hierarchy.  So I promptly cleaned and re-stocked the pen for the next farrowing sow. SO Sage is happily settling in, though she is looking big (not huge, as its her first litter) she doesn’t look ‘low’ or ‘full’ yet. So hopefully be the end of the week.



In other new arrivals, our geese proudly and noisily announce their new arrivals Monday morning! To be honest I thought there must have been some unexpected or unwelcome visitor… as they make rather good guard dogs as well as snake catchers. But I opened the curtains to all 3 geese and their 3 goslings!  I did get a closer look this morning; however they have 3 very closely doting parents; so not that close.

So with the major constructions and animal excitement we have not done a great deal in terms of the garden. I did plant out a few more Rosella bushes along the fence; following the success of the rosella jam… so fingers crossed for a good yummy crop next year. Given the chickens leave them alone long enough.  But otherwise we have been mostly reaping the benefits of our previous efforts- We do need to get a few new seeds in ASAP to make the most of spring.

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