A Break In The Wet Winter

09 February 2023

Finally we have a break in the wet winter and this has enabled us to get onto land to spread Farmyard Manure, begin ploughing for cereals and cultivate fallow land. Its not just animal excrement we have been able to get on with – the estates septic tanks have had their annual “vacuum tanker attention” and you will be glad to know, the contents are carted away for processing off farm.

Calving started in earnest at the beginning of February with our 100 or so heifers calving at North Buldutho in the maternity wing. Monitored by cameras and Cameron, the heifers are left to get on with it as much as possible – but knowing when to intervene is the skill. Sometimes animals may struggle on their own, but still manage to give birth naturally. The more natural the birth the better for the heifer. But occasionally, the newborn animal will get stuck, or be born in the amniotic sack and may suffocate – so our surveillance system is critical.

The sheep have all now been for their pre-natal scan, where we see how many lambs they are carrying. The results this year are very encouraging and we are looking forward to the first lambs being born in a matter of weeks. This month is all about preparing the sheds and equipment, sterilisation of pens and making sure the ward is “battle ready”.

Euan ran the first of the Butchery courses in early February enabling people to book up and learn fist hand how to cut up a lamb. We will be running more of these hands on courses over the coming months. Some of them will also include the chance to get out onto the farm and estate and see first hand the ‘Birth to Block’ process.

We are delighted to be hosting the 50th Anniversary conference of the Rare Breed Survival Trust at Bowhouse in March. With panel discussion and participation from some inspiring guests, the chance to host this event is a great opportunity for us to learn more.

Hedge and tree planting this year were given a real boost with the help of the Kalashnikov family who have come to Fife as refugees from Ukraine. We were delighted to have their enthusiasm and interest and hope we have been able to provide some respite for them from the daily worry they have.

Now all of the trees and hedges have been planted, attention has turned again to hedge laying – the contracting team have moved into restoration of old and bare hedges which provide little shelter for stock or biodiversity. When they have finished, it looks pretty sparse, but experience has shown us that within the first season following laying a hedge, the recovery is phenomenal.

Share this