Sunday, 1 March 2015

Spring update!

It's been too long since I last posted.
I am really busy with work and study at the moment. It will remain like this until May, when I have some leave to take.

I leave for work when it is dark and come home when it is dark, so hubby is dealing with the children and animals Monday to Friday by himself for the most part!
I try and help out as much as possible at the weekends but they don't last long enough :-(

Moo is due her calf on the 8th of March. We expect her to go before then. She is in calf to aa.
As the photos show, she is well bagged up. We are excited about having fresh raw milk again.
We intend to keep the calf with her part of the time, so we can milk once a day. This only works for some cows, as they will hold up the milk for the calf. Time will tell but it would leave us freer with regard milking routines and holidays. 
We are buying this week a new portable milk machine. The motor in our last one give up. So we decided to invest in a new machine with warranty. It is better economy in the end. 

I sent away our 3 yr old gelding to be broken back in January. I just don't have the time to work him until May. He is coming along well and I hope to start competing him next year.

The pigs are coming along well. The winter slows down their growth. A couple of months of jersey milk will finish them well. I will be pleased to see them in the freezer. We might sell the sow this year.
It is a lot of work and feed to over winter pigs. It would be more enjoyable for us to  buy in two Weaners in spring just as the cow freshens and send them to the freezer before the cow drys off in autumn. Without the milk, they are very expensive to feed and cleaning out a pigsty in winter is not much fun.

The fox got to our hens. We have two ladies left that are laying ten eggs a week for us. We plan to buy in another dozen in the next few weeks. We are annoyed to be buying in additional eggs at the moment.

We are about half way through our supply of turf. Ever reliable and cheap. It cost us €180 to get four hoppers of turf cut. We turned, footed and brought it home ourself. I love turf :-)

Our ferrets have kept us rodent free all winter! We have not seen any evidence of rodents in the sheds and surrounds. We keep two ferrets in a hutch in the shed and release them for a few days at a time. They return for feeding. We feed them raw organ meats and bones. They are not the most friendly so I handle them with gloves. They have the habit of mistaking my fingers for food. 


  1. Interesting update. The milking machine sounds a great idea, and I might treat Lester to one when both cows are giving milk later on in the year. I agree about over wintering pigs; We are doing just that at the moment and you are right about it being expensive. We shall have to review what we do next winter with the pigs as a result. Ours are on cow milk as well. Shame about your hens....I hate buying in eggs as well! Good luck with your studies. Vx

  2. welcome back, that sounds similar to my schedule, I'm working away from home all week and the weekends are TOO short to get everything done that I'd like :( Your cow looks lovely, wishing you a safe birth and a productive milking season from Australia!

  3. The new milking machine coming on Monday. I'm hand milking in the evenings at the moment. Can't wait for it to arrive.
    I can honesty say that I find working this is so stressful!


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