OCTOBER 2008
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Another wet morning continuing with this weeks trend and September now finished it gave us 103mm of rain the last 20mm falling on the 30th. Silaging is currently curtailed so I'm starting to prepare for winter only another 3 or 4 weeks and the cows will be inside the shed so I'd better get on with those jobs. The NSPCC night has raised over 400 and they are talking of returning in 2009 so if you are looking for a charity event venue drop us a line. Nantwich food festival was well attended and the trailer is now packed away until next year. We still have about 4 swallows around the yard, these are a late brood hatched in the 10 shippon I hope they start south soon if they are to stand a chance of survival looking at the outside temperature it's only 7.4 c at present.

Our 4 swallows are still here and each day this week shows groups of about 30 migrating birds passing over yet they still stay at present. The next few days are supposed to be  dry and given we have had 45mm of rain so far this month I hope so as we can finally get the last bit of silaging done. Today is the second day for Jack our latest works experience victim so the aim is welding a chassis crack in one of the silage trailers and sorting out a fuel problem caused by dirty diesel on the IH 784.  The cake breaker now has a base coat of red oxide applied so if we do get rained off  I can see Jacks painting skills being tested.

The Swallows disappeared over the weekend however it is still quite warm 15.3c as I write this. The IH 784 fuel injection pump will have to be fixed as it is stuck at about 1500 rpm on the engine so tomorrow Peter and Simon will take it off for repairs. Last night my latest Ebay purchase is a vintage sheep shearing device made by a company called Burman and sons of Birmingham  if anyone out there knows anything about the history of the company please get in touch.

The IH 784 pump has a broken internal shaft according to the repairers so I'm waiting for parts in the meantime we have collected the Burman sheep shearing machine the drive lead is seized  solid but patience and WD40 should free it off. This week Thursday sees us hosting a farm walk for the ADAS farm advisory company highlighting the benefits of our involvement in the countryside stewardship scheme and in typical form the 10 heifers from the paddock at the top of the Key field have broken out twice onto the bird seed strip reducing it to a few stalks. Silaging this week ( I keep saying this don't I) weather permitting but also final repairs to the cubical shed as the cows will soon need it. Several broken divisions to fix and some muck to shift.

31mm of rain last night so the cows are on the bottom paddock of the key field to allow the potential flood waters to pass downstream. Peter has refitted the IH784 fuel pump and things are now fully working as time is getting against I'm now wondering whether to chop or big bale our 3rd cut. Thursday saw us host a conservation demonstration on behalf of the ADAS advisory service in association with DEFRA the aim being to demonstrate our stewardship scheme to any farmers wishing to sign up. Although a wet day we did have 10 people in attendance two seeming particularly keen. Thanks to neighbors Don and Adrian and Alison for coming along. The lead on our shearer in nearly freed off and Phil my friend added to the collection with a "Winnowing" machine. This will be about 100 years old and would be used to separate grain from chaff after it had been threshed by hand. It seems in perfect order apart from a few wood worm. This week sees finishing touches to the cubical shed as the cows will soon be in at night.

After I posted yesterday's comment I went to collect the cows and we had about 2 ha of water on the left hand meadow. I think topping a patch of thistles down there will now be shelved for the time being. It's currently 5.1c and showery better finish the cubical shed today.

Last week I was walking around in just a tee shirt this week we have had snow and -3.5c so winter has arrived suddenly. The cows were horridly  put in at night but given we have still plenty of grass they should be out in the daytime for a while yet. Cubical shed needs some re-wiring  job for today but otherwise we are ready for the winter.  The heifers outside have moved themselves on to the milestone field and now have settled. Last week they let the cows out on to the wild bird seed patch and between them it is now grazed flat. 

See you soon, Phil


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