This Farming Life!

Date posted: Tuesday, 12th December 2017

Christmas is coming!


Christmas is fast approaching, in case you hadn't noticed!  Kirriemuir is looking so well in it's festive season attire. The recent snow and the seriously low temperatures of the past few days have made it feel a bit more as it should be at this time of year. It is a while since we have had sub zero temperatures for a few days in a row, but now risen with a slight thaw.

The ground is very hard with the deep frost, so advantage has been taken to muck out the cattle sheds and take the dung to the field it will be spread on eventually, once it has rotted and composted, puting goodness back into the ground.  Both sets of sheds have been cleared, over two days, with all cattle now enjoying a clean dry bed, especially important for the cows and heifers due to calve soon.  Calves born in dirty sheds and pens can pick up infections through their umbilical cord, leading to ill health. Hygeine is top of the list at calving time and newborns have their cord dipped in an iodine solution to help is dry off quickly and not pick up bugs. Hopefully there will be some calves about the end of the month, more news then.

Another job this week has been cutting down 'sookers' (self seeded sycamore trees), along the roadside. Long ago the 'road man' would be resposible for nipping these in the bud, so to speak, so were never a problem. If left to grow to their full size they encroach on both field and road causing problems to both. The field in question is in stubble so perfect for burning the hagg later. Taking advantage of the bare roadside, the next job will be erecting  a new stock proof fence, keeping cattle safe when the field is next in grass.

The vet came to semen test the 'ready for sale' bulls today - see photos below. It can help get sales if they are guaranteed fertile. Semen is drawn off and inspected under the microscope to ensure  fertility.

Another bonus of the cold frosty days has been the glorious sunsets recently. I know I mention them often, but they really have been something special lately. I have a lovely sunset photo below taken by Bill Nicoll, an excellent local  amateur photograpther. Thanks Bill.

Last Sunday was Messy church, modern Sunday School for those that don't know, this week complete with real live minature donkeys, the perfect size for little 'Mary' & 'Joseph'. Sunday afternoon was Clova Church carols with a great attendance and lots of fun, some of the nativity 'team' had to be adults!  More carol services to come, with Cortachy church this Sunday at 10am, Strathmore Singers in the Parish church in the evening and more to come on Christmas Eve!

Christmas lights 'farmer style' in our house, see below, John Deere tractors glowing in the dark!!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.