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Kay Adam, Newhouse of Glamis, Angus
by Kay Adam, Newhouse of Glamis, Angus
As I write this the Strathmore Valley is filling up with various lakes and new wetland areas, the bulls aren’t enjoying the daily mud bath but they haven’t quite developed webbed feet just yet! We have been very lucky here at Glamis and most of the water has found a way out, probably landing up in the underwater lake, which will keep Strathmore Springs bottling plant going for a while longer!
Bob’s heading out to Regina in Canada next week to look at some black and red polled Limousin cattle, and I’m getting left at home to deal with the Blackie lambs who are managing to walk through every fence they come across!
Harvest went well, if only the combine autopilot could have steered around the wet holes we would have got on quicker. All the barley and wheat has now moved off the farm, and the feed barley was all prop corned and bruised straight off the combine so no dusty work this winter! The malting barley was all on contract, which was moved off very quickly and the last of the wheat has also gone allowing room for us to get the cattle inside. No wheat has been sown this year as we’re going to try some oats instead,
Black Limousins and Charolais dominate the bull pens this backend and we have the first crop from our homozygous black and polled bull. These bulls will head to the Stirling sale in February, and managing to compete for weight with the Charolais these black bulls should do the commercial man a good turn.
Eldest son Andrew was ‘weaned’ in September and headed off to boarding school. I now know how all the ewes and cows feel at spaining time! I did ‘roar’ for a few days but Andrew only seemed to miss the dog and sheep so that was a good sign and he has settled in well. Rugby now rules the day!
The tup sales went well with all the Blue faced Leicester’s lambs finding homes. James managed to sell one to his god parents Tom and Alison Cockburn at Kingside, Peeblesshire and I know with all this bad weather Alison has told me she is considering knitting the lamb a woolly jumper!
We got a tremendous top trade for a Blackface shearling at £11,000 but sadly the commercial trade was poor with buyers being scarce on the ground.
We went down to Kelso and purchased some more cross tups the Charolais x Beltex has been our favorite so far, but we are trying out a Texel x Beltex also this year. Bob refuses to let a Blue Faced Leicester loose on the hill (one day!!) The boys had a reduction of the Blue flock and we’re back down to 10 ewes to the tup – it doesn’t take long for Blues to multiply up quickly, but with these years’ high prices we were quite happy to sell away!
We have a new Limousin stock bull Rosecroft Duke; he has at last made it onto the farm. Bob saw him as he judged the Royal Welsh Show this past summer and managed to purchase him on farm. He had to have a pre movement TB test and then on arrival to Angus he spent 60 days at a friend’s pony paddock in isolation surrounded by barley fields. After the 60 days passed he then had the dreaded TB test and the results showed all clear, allowing him to make his way to Newhouse and he’s now happily running with the cows.
This TB situation does put added hassle into purchasing stock bulls – there is no way anyone wishes to put their own or anybody else’s herd at risk.
The hens are still with us although now rather scabby – James did think a fox had paid them a visit and not taken any!!! But on consultation with the hen manual we have come to the conclusion that the hens are now in the moult. They have been very loyal and laid well all year with the boys managing to bank some profit from this enterprise.
As for the latest livestock… I can not find any love for the ferrets – Ewan and Stuart named after a pair of cousins of mine! I would definitely call myself an animal lover but ferrets just don’t appeal to me and my nose is obviously over sensitive to their odour! But James adores them and any money he makes from the hens is blown on the ferrets, much fun has been had and a few dig outs have also occurred.
As you read this we will be into the last month of 2009, Bob will hopefully have returned from Canada with some new genetics and hopefully the lamb trade will be looking strong.
I would like to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2010 and remember if you need a black, red or a white bull look us up at Stirling in February……