Winter 2010

One of the chooks enjoying the sunshine

December was relatively quiet as months go. Very cold, mostly white all over all month and occasionally above 0 degress! We were able to muck out when the tractors would start and kept water flowing to most of the troughs albeit with a little encouragement from the kettle on occasion.

The chickens seemed to love it and didn’t stop laying once unlike some others locally and so we became a regular supplier of eggs for a few weeks. Very odd, but pleasantly so.

For Christmas, Max bought me a beautiful 3 year old Beltie we have named Norma. She is the daughter of Norah the second cow we purchased and she is just as gorgeous as her mum. Her breeder, Max’s good friend Peter Streit, was rather reluctant to part with her but Max explained that she was the only thing the wife wanted for Christmas and so it just had to be. We are very lucky to have her and hopefully she will serve us well over the coming years.

Since starting with 1 cow back in 2007 we felt a bit like we hadn’t made much progress until we sat down over Christmas and had a weigh up. Going into 2011 we will have at least 8 cows in calf with another 2 we need to scan and 4 heifers which will be ready to go to the bull in the spring. All of a sudden the herd is expanding. Once we get more established we will be able to concentrate fully on the pedigree side but for now we are happy to be growing.

In January we asked Angus Dawson over to scan 4 of our cows to double check them. I don’t think I have seen a windier day. Perfect for herding beasts into the pens and crush!  Two are empty. In Norah’s case this is probably a good thing. Her hip is worsening and so it is likely that we will have to retire her shortly which is terribly sad.  Being the 2nd cow we started with and having already lost the 1st to a similar fate it will be a sad day to see her go. We have become very attached to her and she has a wonderful character so will be sorely missed. But that’s farming, as they say. As for the other reprobate Treasure, for various reasons she has not been with the bull for a good length of time so we are assuming that this is why she has yet to catch. We will scan her again in a few months to see and then make a decision.

February we went to two sales, first up was the Galloway Sale in Castle Douglas. We were in need of a new bull for the Heritage Black Galloway

A snowy scene from Bewcastle

herd we manage. After much deliberation we bought Royal of Kilnstown from Andrew Waugh. He wasn’t the top prized bull of the day, that was his brothers honour but he came very close. Apparently when they were calves the family thought that Royal would actually make the better bull. Well he is nearly 12 months old so still has plenty of time to catch his brother up. We believe he will make a superb addition to the Heritage Herd and we can’t wait to try him out in the summer.