Saturday, 6 April 2013

Extra feeding

The weather has continued to be glorious, but every sunny day makes us a little more anxious about the ewes about to start lambing and whether they will have enough milk to support their lambs.

Lovely to be on Calgary beach though. Coco had her (first) birthday walk there on Wednesday!

Farmer's day are getting longer as he starts to feed the sheep along the coast and the sheep on the Sitheans.

This afternoon I went with him to give the cows the silage.  I walked home having taken some photographs.  I wish I had stayed with him because he had an amazing Goldie sighting on his way back to the cattle shed.   It swooped down just beside the tractor and took a live rabbit from only a few feet away.  It lifted up over the fence with its prey and dropped down reasonably close to start eating.  After a few minutes it took off again - disturbed by my walking towards it, unknowingly, with the dog. I was slow on the uptake with the camera, as it was amazing just to see it fairly close with the rabbit in its talons.  Prasad rushed to the scene and got some great pictures of it.

I was standing above the feeding site before Farmer appeared on the tractor with a new tractor assistant (see close up of tractor below). The cows hear the tractor and slowly start to stir in anticipation of a refill for the feed trailer.   In the foreground below you can see the 'calf creep'.

Earlier in the day, the hoggs went back to the hill. They have been on the inbye all winter, and now they are fully fledged back to life with the flock!   You can see here they are on the move, heading along the inbye/hill boundary fence.  Their ears also pricked up at the sound of the tractor!

At the weekend Farmer assembled the calf creep in order to introduce the calves to feed.  Some of the bolder ones as soon as the tractor appeared went into the creep and hovered about waiting to see if Farmer was going to give them anything.  We have ordered in an extra lorry load of hay because of the dry weather, as well as more bags of short ration.

We cut silage in September in order to protect ground nesting birds and to allow the wild flowers to set seed.  This does mean that the silage is not as good quality as silage cut earlier in the year when the sugars are higher.  With the change in weather conditions too, it can mean the silage is wet, here you can see the juice dripping out of the bale which Farmer has just unwrapped.  (he invariably gets splashed at this point in the face too).

There can be few such picturesque feed sites, with Rum in the distance. I hate to go on about it but you can see how parched the ground is. 

Wending his way back to the farm building.

Out and about - Loch na Keal with the Ross of Mull in the distance.

The last couple of days have been warmer and in hidden corners the primroses have finally started to appear.

I have been watching out for the Aurora again. No luck this week, twice I was in the car driving home, looking at a green glow, and getting back to find it had gone.  These were taken last night, and if you get a magnifying glass you will see the blurry shapes almost side by side of the Andromeda galaxy and Comet Pan Starrs.

eXTReMe Tracker