Trial by fencing

Well my beloved steers (insert sarcasm), you may think you got the upper hand undoing my last two days of hard slog in a nanosecond. But, come this autumn I will be personally driving you to the slaughter house!
Many thanks to the neighbours for looking after Mini Crofter this morning.
And sheep: we need to come up with a plan B, any ideas that don’t involve the deer rifle as much as I know you think that that would instantly solve one of your problems?

Two for one ideas

NHS wants to save money? Mini crofter is getting weighted at home fairly frequently at the moment. Rather than sending a NHS employee out from Inverness, why not contribute towards a sheep weighting scale and I’ll do it for them. They can then use the time elsewhere, carbon emissions are reduced, and I get to monitor the sheep and mini crofter. Happy all round. Think the NHS Highland Board would accept my idea?

Questions for the Health Visitor this week:

1. What do other mums do with their wee ones when they need to feed hay to both lots of cows on the same day?
2. How do you keep a baby occupied while moving sheep pens?

3. What baby monitors work outside and have a longer range than just a couple of metres?

4. At what age can mini crofter go in the tractor with me?

Dear All Terrain Buggy Makers,

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Dear All Terrain Buggy Makers,
I wish to take this opportunity to add some more ideas to my previous letter. Having now used the buggy for 8 weeks, I feel that you could create an all new buggy suited for those in agriculture, game keeping, crofting and landscaping, etc.

1. Due to a mini crofter who doesn’t like being stationary, why not add a self generated energy system. We have enough wind turbines in our country, let’s look at new ways.

2. I have noticed that baby chairs often have a button for vibration. Why not add the option of a sheep shearing machine attachable to the side to lull the baby to sleep and give the sheep their annual haircut.

3. Addition bottle holder storage to hold iodine required for lambing and calving as well as a few slots for the ear tag device, my multi purpose screw driver and other essentials would be very handy.

4. The two back wheels are removable, can you make it interchangeable with a lawn mover blades and a scarifying device. If I’m going to push, let’s make it multi tasking. It then means promoting quality time with the mini crofter and getting the grass cut.

5. The handle bar is adjustable, great. Can you place a locking tripod between it and the canopy to mount a .22 when I go out hunting/gathering.

6. Once I have got my deer, I would like a way to fasten two chains to pull it along behind me while I push the buggy. I’m not sure what weight limit the buggy has but it would be worth increasing it in case the deer is bigger than I thought.
Yours sincerely,
The Crofting Wifie

Dear ‘All terrain’ buggy manufacturer,

IMG_1015Dear ‘All terrain’ buggy manufacturer,
When you sell a product as ‘all terrain’, I am intrigued to know what image you have in your heads. I would be more than happy to have any manufacturer of all terrain buggies come spend a day with me or any woman in agriculture.

However, as it may be a bit more muddy than you might expect and I might be chasing pregnant cows, here are some tweaks that would be useful.

These include:
Two hooks on the handle bar to hang buckets or shepherd’s crook.

Space between hand bar and canopy to place one small bale of hay.

Slightly bigger wheels: mole hills, tractor ruts, and rocks are all bigger in the field than they look from the fence.

Mud guards on back wheels. Obvious reason – we live in Scotland and when it rains, fields don’t work the same way drains on pavements work.

Waterproof exterior so you can wipe it down after the sheep have had a good scratch on it and you don’t have to turn up in town with a buggy smelling of sheep.

Raise the shopping bag off the ground to be higher than the average cow pat. Why would I need to skirt a field looking like I’m blindfolded?

Ring loops on the sides so you can easily rachet strap it if it’s a wee bit windy but you need it to stay put while you wrestle the sheep.
Yours faithfully,
The Crofting Wifie

Crofting Wifie’s guide to pregnant poaching (points 6-10).

6. Labour has several meanings: such as when you ask your Mother-in-law to come and stay for labour…in reality the byre is a working progress and the Crofter really needs another pair of hands.
7. The brush cutter is not an easy implement to use once you start feeling the effects of all those bacon rolls for 6 months.
8. ‘Nesting’ is for the chickens. During the latter stages, when you are not in your ‘paid work’, you are able to complete jobs that have been on your to-do list since the house was built 3 years ago. You are not nesting, your dealing with procrastination.
9. Levering and lifting are two different words. Big stones are useful, just not where a gate post needs to be fixed.
10. There is a difference in scalpings and concrete mix, do not let the quarry man away with it. Tell him you’ll be back in the morning to get the right stuff for the labourers unless the other labour has started. Then you’ll have to pop by a bit later.

Crofting Wifie’s 5 point guide to being a pregnant poacher:

1. Eat bacon rolls, no one bats an eyelid when you put a bit of flab on.
2. Don’t tell anyone until after you have sheared the sheep and baled the hay field. People like to stop you having fun.
3. The advise of no ‘heavy’ lifting is subjective. Reasoning goes: 20kg chicken food bags on the shoulder was the norm, therefore reduce this to just transferring the sacks rather than carrying.
3. A 6.5×55 (aka the deer rifle) is not heavy – you just have to remember what weight you are shooting if successful and the length of your rachet straps. None of the NHS info said just to stick to the .22
4. Take your trailer test late on – your examiner is likely to keep the exam short and sweet when he seemed to go into a bit of shock when you a) told him how far along you are, and b) you need to pass it to go pick up a bull in two weeks because the Crofter is at work.
5. A MF565 (without four wheel drive) is very nerve-racking – get some help to feed the cows. The Dexta on the other hand can be used all the way up to week 41+2 when harrowing. Third gear isn’t such a good idea although at least I can say I tried the bumpy road theory to prompt mini-crofter to make an entrance.