JANUARY 2008
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Well here goes it’s 23.14  and I’ve just come in from checking a calving cow looks like another hour or two to go yet. So I’ll introduce myself if you happen to have come accross this through wordpress. This blog is an extension ( I hope) of our monthly journals as posted on the greenheyes.com I’m hoping to post regularly and to bring a more day by day account of our progress. Please feel free to comment either here or through my webmaster at greenheyes.

Cow has calved a live Abredeen Angus I canít tell you itís†gender yet as I havenít been close enough to look. Power lines inspected this morning power cut off this afternoon. This generally happens as the state of the poles means they usually find something incredibly dangerous that needs an instant repair. Last such was a 14 hour interruption and they were only supposed to be fitting a transformer ( that job was left). Temperature has fallen today current 2.9c.

It’s a bull calf therefore worth something in another 3 weeks at the market.  Temperature still falling now at 1.6c with a 25mph wind. Not nice moving water/ice  filled tyres on the silage clamp as I pulled the sheet back anyone with expirience will know just what I mean.

Temperature on the rise now 6.5c and raining apart from general Winter work spent the afternoon making some replacement/extra bird boxes. The aim is to encourage our Tree Sparrow population these birds have been  recorded during our RSPB survey in 2003 so we will be fitting them before spring nesting season. As a thought aside for our regulars from the www.greenheyes.com site I’m very glad Simon visited Kenya last year. What is happening in that beautiful country is such a tragedy.

Couldn’t post yesterday time spent welding a trailer to collect some ibc containers today and then Daughter hogging computer with facebook. Interesting to see yesterdays   papers on the battery cage debate I’m no more for them than anyone else however unless we merely want to “export” battery farming abroard the only solution is a global ban implemented at exactly the same time. We saw what “leading the way” on welfare has done to the UK pig industry over the sow stalls debate. Sorry to rant but well intentioned naievity sometimes does gripe.

Just going off milking nothing too exciting today other than the parts for the scraper tractor a project that should have been finished two months ago have finally arrived. Also on the mechanical side I have purchased a “root pulper” for restoration and addition to my vintage collection. Gale force winds last night but everything seems intact.

Works expirience started back after Christmas break today ( he just does Tuesdays)  Seemed distent from the job so we went forking muck out of a loosebox ( I work on the principal he can’t hurt himself when wheeling a barrow and I handle the fork.  A sobering thought is that there were 53 deaths in the industry in 2007 due to accidents.  We certainly don’t want the first for 2008. Has anybody seen the second series of kill it cook it eat it ???

Back to the box muck today and the first one is now clear. One more to go and I’d better get a move on as there are 3 currently looking as they will calve soon. Andy the joiner has been today repairing the wooden top on the vintage oat grinder and also making a sloped  edge for our dance floor (and some of you thought all we did was farming).

Moving calves today to make room for soon to be calving cows and have de-horned our Jersey cross pre move. The dance floor is now finished and we also now have our Universal tractor in two halves while the clutch unit is fixed ( fingers and a thrust bearing for you mechanics out there).

Collected Pulper today nothing on the damaged leg that a Mig canít fix.† Moved two idiot heifers to live with the cows today so tonightís milking should be fun !!!!

Wet but warmer today 10.2c max. Decorators in the house but given that they are both band members a deal has been done for a charity even in the shed next May.    

Approx 32mm rain since my last post river Dane has flooded the meadows. Another Angus bull calf yesterday.  Did the sheet in the wind and rain  (works experience missing ill)  Andy here with his hedgecutter but only able to cut roadside and cattle drive hedges if he went on the fields he would sink out of sight More to come later later.     Another calf and run the flag up it’s a black and white female also Daisy our fold up cow has returned from loan to a fellow farmer who was staging a school visit. However she is now off on her travels down to Bristol with the Dairy farmers of Britain (our milk buyers) see more of them at www.DFOB.com.

Putting up some more bird boxes today. Quite a sweat lugging a ladder around over this wet land. We  should be finished tomorrow.  Dorothy has had a trip for the parts for the Universal tractor so we should soon her back up and running. However nearby is this place so Dorothy and her Mum always make a day out  www.boundarymill.co.uk 

Rain and more rain we are now at around 90mm so far this month.  Visited today by Steve and Helen from DEFERA they came to look at our stewardship and checking we are doing everything right and offering help and support where needed. Tonight is the first NFU branch meeting of the year so I’d better get off and get milked in order to attend .

We have decided at the NFU branch meeting to go for it with a RABI barbeque here on 31/05/08 featuring my friends Paul and Steve with their band Electric Rose playing 60s and 70s  more datails to follow Learn about RABI at www.rabi.org.uk . Today was the annual NFU luncheon and things were going quite smoothly here at Greenheyes until the cow which had calved last Saturday and remained incumbent in the loosebox (while I waited on her hand and foot) decided to lie flat out. Not good so we decided to move her outside onto the field with the aid of the tractor. We got her on the field sat her up and within 1′2 an hour she had got to her feet and was taking a drink at the water trough. 3 days I’ve been carrying buckets of water to her and corn and hay. By my return she was lying down again chewing her cud about 100 yds away from her start point. All said and done nice to win one for once so often the inactivity can lead to them giving up and dying. Next thing will be chasing her around to get her back in but if tomorrows sleet and rain forcast is right I don’t thinki she will argue much.

The rain didn’t put our cow off yesterday and she can now be seen in the distance over the other side of the field. This afternoon being investigated by our neighbours dog. I supose tomorrow we had better go and retrieve her. Also over the last two days David and Patrick from the estate maintenasnce have been replacing our only ASBESTOS guttering. This was in a poor state and some had already fallen down. Their next job will be it’s safe disposal. The Universal tractor now has it’s loader refitted and if it carrys on drying up like this we will be muckspreading again soon. On the email front it’s nice to hear from watchers of our site and we have had an enquiry about cattle de- horning all the way from South Africa. Interesting whon out there reads this stuff. Keep those comments and emails comming.

Plenty of muckspreading today (and here I am after a face full) now that the land has dried up. Spent yesterday taking a broken wheel of the Universal tractor and only to find the spare was punctured. In our Shed Paul and son Dean have finished tiling the kitchen area. A far better job than I was making.

Mark our works expirience has been today and we have been moving muck. He is also now learning how to drive our straw chopper tractor around the yard that is not bedding the cows. More muckspreading this afternoon and Andy has been back trimming the cow drive hedges. Simon and Joe have  joined the young farmers debate team. So they should be inprooving their public speaking skills. Or that’s what I keep telling them.

Lost an old cow today she did the splits badly in the milking parlour and had to be put down. Getting her out of the parlour prooved difficult as my now aching back will tell. We have finally moved the rear half of the tractor ( IH 454) ready for re-assembly folowing it’s engine rebuild. That should be the easy bit. I hope.

Andy has finished the cow drive hedge and given the pour down this morning that will be all I think. Unfotrunstly he picked up a puncture so it screwed up his afternoon .  The big chase was on for me as it is end of the financial year so I spent most of my time chained to the office today.  However this afternoon Simon and I have been able to sort out a hydraulics problem on the universal tractor. This was my first months posting and to those of you reading this I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings.  Tomorrow sees a new month and the start of my second attempt. Thanks for reading this and to those people who have commented.  

Finally Don't forget to vist our Nature Page

That's it for this month regards Phil


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