November

01 November 2018

North Baldutho Farmhouse was completed on 26th October enabling Ally, Netty, Arran and Leona to move in to their new house. The additional space will be welcome as will the spectacular views across the Forth and beyond. We look forward to seeing how this modern house compares with our more traditional builds in terms of running costs and maintenance. Working with Fleming Homes in Duns, who provided and erected the kit and Algo (Blairgowrie) who provided all of the other trades, we are delighted with the finished product and wish Ally and his family many happy years in their new house.
Whilst not moving home, Ally and the team have been busy bringing cattle in for the winter. Unusually for this time of year, we have plenty of grass still and ground conditions are still dry, enabling cows to be turned back out after their calves have been weaned.
Producing the best quality meat requires a steady growth rate of cattle and sheep with no checks in their progress due to dietary change or stress. So that we avoid these checks, when calves are due to be weaned, we house the cows and calves together for two weeks, introducing calves to the winter diet of silage, before quietly weaning calves and allowing the cows to rest before next year’s calving.
Reducing stress is essential, as young cattle can easily become prone to pneumonia when housed in sheds following weaning. Our sheds are designed to maximise clean airflow – orientated East-West and with high, open ridges to expel stale air. Straw bedding is refreshed daily to reduce moisture in the atmosphere, and the stock men take additional care during this period to keep young stock calm.
Fattening cattle return to the winter housing as grass quality begins to reduce. These cattle will spend the winter until ready for sale, eating a diet of home grown grass silage, straw and a small amount of barley.
A summer of sun and lack of rain has clearly been beneficial to the livestock as much as it has been appreciated by us. They look to have gained plenty of weight, condition and shining coats – a sure sign of health. We will shortly be weighing them and checking growth rates to see if there are any underlying issues which are not visible, checking dung for Faecal Egg Counts – to identify any which need to be wormed and clipping the hair on their backs to prevent sweating during warm still days.
On the estate, we are once again visiting all properties to make sure gutters and down-pipes are clear as winter frosts can easily split cast iron when it is full of water due to blockages.
Fencing will feature heavily again this year as a winter job. Increasing our organic area with the addition of a further 40 Ha which will be grazed in rotation, we will need to fence and provide water troughs before spring.
This month marks the centenary of the end of 1st World War and services will be held across the country in memory of those lost from their communities. St Monans Community Council have organised to take part in The Royal British Legion’s Beacon Lighting Ceremony which commemorates the silencing of war 100 years ago. The beacon will be lit behind St Monans Church and lone Bugler will play the Last Post on Sunday 11th November at 7.00pm.

Share this