We heard our first cuckoo of the year this morning. Ironically, the arrival of this ‘spring bird’ coincided with the end of a period of warm weather, a dusting of snow on the hills and some very cold winds. So spring may have arrived, but winter hasn’t quite finished yet.
Meanwhile the pigs are now out and about and seemingly growing before our eyes. Their food ration seems to increase daily and always gets demolished. And they have calmed down now enough to welcome a good scratch from us as they eat their breakfast.
Calving is also continuing, albeit slowly with every calf arriving well after they were expected but, thus far, all well and without any human intervention. This little heifer arrived yesterday and will join the other calves in the strath soon, probably later today unless the weather is particularly bad.
We have also taken delivery of another eight heifers who will be bulled this summer, with the possibility of more to come. We are still struggling to understand exactly what we need to do to comply with the new CAP arrangements and will have to adjust stock numbers accordingly over the course of the year. The new heifers came up from the excellent TD Wight and Co at St Boswells in the Borders, where all our stock has come from, and seem to have settled in well. They are mixed in with the cows who have already calved and is peaceful. Long may that continue.
Lambing is also continuing with the normal mix of successes and failures. The lamb below is one of the successes. She outlined her mother and has been fed from a bottle for a few days but has now been successfully put to another mother.
With each day the numbers remaining in the lambing shed gradually reduce and we shall be soon be done to the hard core of late lambers who always drag on for days when all the others have completed.