The first real frosts we have had for 2 years are now gone as has the stormy wind and we have some beautiful calm weather.
Ardnacross is enjoying the snowdrops and hazel catkins which herald spring.
Valentine’s day, when the birds start to mate, is when the curlews start to call and if we are lucky we get yellow hammers coming to the bird table.
The spring calvers in our Aberdeen Angus herd will start calving soon and will be brought down to the barn for calving. They will need careful feeding and looking after to make sure they are in good condition. It is important not to over feed or there can be problems calving. The cows that calve in the autumn are kept up in the forest for shelter and are fed with our own silage, a special blend of feeding nuts, draft from the distillery and extra minerals.
Jamie is going to collect a new bull this week. It is a Simmental that we are going to use to bring extra strength to the Heifers, which we will keep for breeding. They will then be mated with an Angus bull
The ewes will be scanned shortly. Daniel comes from New Zealand and goes round most of the Mull farms with his scanner. It takes about 20 seconds a ewe and he will tell us whether the ewe is having twins, a single or is empty. This is very helpful to us as it means that those with twins will be separated and given extra feeding.
Our farm cat has been enjoying the warmer weather too.
Last summer we installed a hydro-electric plant and it has been operating well this winter. It has been wonderful to see how the natural energy of the rainfall and the burn can be harnessed and converted into electricity. Spring is usually a dry time for us so we would expect a lower out put for the next few months
Work is just beginning to replace some of the old windows in the Stables, which will help to keep the heat in, meaning that we can reduce the amount of energy required to heat the house. This will be finished in time for the Easter school holidays.