Changing Colours

05 November 2020

As the clocks change, so to does the growth of grass and crops. Although we are planning to keep or cows out for the winter, November is a time when all cattle come in for routine health testing, pregnancy scanning, foot trimming and this year – our 4 year TB test is also due.

The logistics of moving stock around and making sure they are in the right place on testing days is a feat in itself. We are grateful for the guidance of Eden Vets who not only are on hand if we have a problem throughout the year, but also when routine testing is needed.

Calves which have been with their mothers all year are now being weaned and providing the cows with a well-deserved rest. Cows have fed them exceptionally well this year with some great looking young calves coming into the sheds.

There is still plenty of colour about in the fields, with the breeding ewes having been marked by the coloured wax crayons which the tups wear at mating. This allows us to know within 2 weeks, when a ewe will lamb. Tailoring feeding and pre-natal care accordingly. Changing the crayon colour every 2 weeks, we have a flock of multi-coloured sheep now – so fingers crossed, they are in lamb.

Our hired boar Jasper, has completed his holiday in Fife and will be sadly missed by his girlfriends, but his work is done and he must head back to the Borders for a rest and meet up with his next “harem”.

Field work has been non-existent over the last month, with land saturated. With only a small area of land still to plant with inter cereals, fingers are crossed that we get a window to finish off the season.

Preparations are underway to install some second-hand grain cleaning equipment on the farm to enable us to clean polish and bag grain seeds for Scotland the Bread and others. Although modern combines do a good job of cleaning grain, the milling equipment requires a higher level of purity and so with this equipment, we will be able to supply milling wheat directly to the mills without needing to send it away for cleaning.

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