Sunday, 19 July 2009

We Planted some trees today

The calves look good. They are eating a lot of pellets. We planted some trees on Thamies Plot.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Bad News

Skipper - (our Rhodesian Ridgeback) killed the last reamaining chick. It got out of the chicken run and Skipper wanted too play with it. But we have learned a lot about rearing chicks from this excercise.

Lesson no 1 - prompt hen into broodiness by filling the nest with pre-collected eggs.
lesson no 2 - keep the chicks with their mother in a cat and rooster proof cage until the chicks are big enough to defend themselves.
lesson no 3. make sure the chicken run is fenced such that the chicks cannot get out (once they are out of the cat and rooster proof cage)

We continue.

We will see the calves again tomorrow.

We will drive down to Tsitiskama tomorrow. Nguni has been in PE this week to bury his brother and we will take him back.

We are feeding the calves with "calf grow" pellets still. We are a little having our first child. We are not sure what to do, so we are probably doing too much! I want to get them onto eating grass only - as soon as possible, but am afraid that they are still used to the pellets that they were put onto by Gerhard.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Report from Tsitiskama

Nomathemba tells us over the phone that the calves have arived and are looking good. Hlubi and i are very excited. We will go down on Friday to see how they are

Monday, 6 July 2009

Big,Big Step!

We went down to Tsitsikama on Saturday. We went to check on the progress with the fence around Thamie's plot. There is almost no progress since last time. They have added on or two extra poles, but that's it. They have begun to secure one of the corners. The weather has been bad. they say there was snow on the ground, and the wind has been strong.

But here's the exciting part about the weekend.

I called Gerrie. I told him I was looking for 4 or 5 hefers - older than three months - preferably about 100kg. He said he did not have - but that I could meet him at his farm at three, so that we could talk. He called back 15 minutes later - and explained that a friend of his had calves - and that we should meet at his farm, off the old Cape road back toward Humansdorp.

Hlubi and I met him there, The farmer's name is Gerhard, early thirties - red head - kind of shy. He buys young calves in at abouth R200.00 - bottle fees them, weans them and gets them eating grass.

He had 8 calves - 7 heifers, one bull calf - a mix of Nguni, Boran cross with a bit of Friesan in there as well. About three months old - feeding on grass and pellets. We bought them all. R9300.00. Gerrit agreed - deliver them by Wednesday! Its a big step a lot can go wrong - we are very excited.

We have agreed with Rasi - that we can use the "bull camp" until the calves are ready to roam in the larger camps. We will drive down on Friday - check if everything has gone according to plan.