July Newsletter

We have a shed and a business name!

July has been a good month. Cold mornings, warm days and lots of wind. It was a little quiet on the stock front but that gave us the opportunity to get busy on the maintenance. James was only home for ten days this month but we made full use of this on the farm. If you read further you will hear all about our new shed!

A cold and foggy start on the farm.

A cold and foggy start on the farm.

 

Cattle News:

No new calves on the farm this month. The three youngest are all doing well though and have ‘fluffed up’ with their calf coats. Ciad-Ghin and Gill-Eóin are growing quickly, Reithe is on the smaller size but has filled out more and is looking good. She is up and running around with the others.

The four other steer calves that were in the paddock have now been weaned at around six months old. They have joined Blackadder and the other steers so they can grow out to be big, tasty boys!

One of our four weaned steers.

One of our four weaned steers.

When James was back from work we gathered up the cattle to drench, vaccinate and separate stock. Once again we had a cow manage to get her head stuck in the bolt gates. She was a calm beast so with a bit of perseverance James and I were able to free her. We have put Hamish in with the girls for our second year of breeding and I have to say this last week he almost looks tired!

This year we have decided not to breed with Blackadder. He hasn’t been the same since contracting pinkeye in Summer and we believe he is almost blind in one of his eyes. This has given him a bad temperament and he has become increasingly difficult to handle in the yards. He has also remained a ‘skinny’ bull, not putting on much weight on. This is not a quality desirable when breeding. Sad to say but James and I have come to the conclusion that he will no longer remain with us.

James and I have set aside the front three paddocks, and half of the fourth to grow grass for hay cutting. Dividing the farm in half like this and running two herds does reduce the amount of feed the stock have. However with careful management, a few stock movements and last years hay we should be fine. We have also opened up areas such as the laneways and grassy parts of the dam for extra feed.

Blackadder and the steers are now in paddock 6, whilst Hamish and his ladies are in the 7th paddock, at the back of the property.

 

Weather:

This months weather has been a little warmer and dryer than the average for July, not dissimilar to last year. A few cold and foggy mornings, with the occasional frost, have soon warmed and daytime temperatures have been as high as 18 degrees. It has been very windy on occasion too, with the current front that is moving over us as I type bringing 78 Km/hr gusts.

The additional warmth has meant slightly better growing conditions, offset by the reduction in rainfall and increased evaporation. We hope to be able to cut hay early this year to take advantage of the additional growth seen.

There are many signs that we will have an early spring this year as Wattles are in full golden bloom and the birds have already begun nest building.

 

Farm Maintenance:

Did I mention we have a shed?!

We have been discussing sheds for a while as it becomes tedious loading tools into the Land Rover each morning and unloading them each night. Not to mention if something has been forgotten and we have to make the 40 minute trip back to the house to pick it up.. It also became apparent that no matter how many times I organized the orange tool box we keep on the back of the Land Rover, that after a few days it was back to being a mess and usually full. When James and I got married we received very generous amounts of Bunnings vouchers from friends and have finally put them to good use in purchasing a 3x3m build your own tool shed. A massive thanks to those people who gave them to us!

The project took us around 3 days to complete, if you include preparing the foundations. I took a few pictures of each stage of the build, which you can see below. Sadly it was just James and myself constructing it so there are no comical photos of us trying to tame 3m long bendy sheets of zinc, or the roof falling on my head, or the curses when the box says you need three tools and you open the instructions to find 12 more you needed (which were back at the house and 40 minutes drive away….)!

All parts accounted for (didn't have a pen so I improvised with poo).

All parts accounted for (didn’t have a pen so I improvised with poo).

All laid out, checked off and ready to build.

All laid out and ready to build.

Foundations laid down.

Foundations laid down.

Constructing the floor.

Constructing the floor.

A moment of reflection on why we started this.

A moment of reflection on why we ever started this.

Securing the roof.

Securing the roof.

Ta-Da! Here is the finished product, complete with shelves and tools inside!

IMG_3719

Our finished tool shed.

 

A sneaky peak inside.

A sneaky peak inside.

Whilst we had some gravel delivered for the shed foundations, we also had some offloaded around the water trough serving the 1st and 2nd paddocks. This will hopefully prevent some of the bog we get in winter, which can make it difficult for the cattle to drink.

A Dingo Digger was hired to make light work of the gravel and also to dig a trench for some plumbing. James and I have now installed a tap near the yards. This will be beneficial for the vets to have access to fresh water if needed, and also means we can attach a hose and clean the crush when needed.

Trench.

Trench.

New tap at the yards.

New tap at the yards.

Deva supervising my work.

Deva supervising my work.

 

Farm Dog:

At Mum’s request (and a good one I might add) I will now added in a little note about our farm Dog Deva to the blog. She is quite ridiculous but a part of the farm and definitely worth sharing.

Deva wanted to be in the driver's seat.

Deva wanted to be in the driver’s seat.

This month she was spey’d and has been out of action for nearly two weeks. A few days ago she was back to her usual self though, tearing around to place, terrorizing the Father-on-law’s dogs and stealing shoes. She also managed to ruin my nice pink jumper..! I am glad to have her back though and I can now take her out to the farm again.

 

Other News:

Early this month we received a letter saying our business name of ‘Scorrybreck Farm’ was now registered. We are just sorting out paperwork for the business bank account.

This month I also started a part time, external course to study for a Diploma of Agriculture through Tocal College in NSW. I am really excited to be doing this as it will help me understand how to manage the land more effectively and produce a farm management plan that James and I can use to work towards growing the business.

 

The Look Ahead for August:

  • Check the tool shed has not blown away in the wind.
  • Check fences and laneways for damage and fallen debris caused by the previously mentioned wind.
  • Move hay bales from paddock 3 to paddock 7 ready to feed out to the girls.
  • Weed removals.
  • Price up hay sheds.
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