The first of our calves arrived on Saturday 16 February and we are expecting many more. Visit her in the small byre up at the farmyard.
As part of our Future Farms event at the beginning of the month, our Tamworth pigs had a great time playing with some toys that were specially made for them.
They demonstrated great enthusiasm with investigative play with pig Kerplunk, a game developed by the research project Carnevale which explores how pigs like to play.
Find out more about our resident Tamworth pigs https://www.nms.ac.uk/tamworthpig
We will be scanning our sheep to find out how many are pregnant and if they are carrying singles, twins or even triplets. This will happen up at the farm on Tuesday 15 January, from 10:00.
As its November our ewes are on the lookout for a for a handsome tup (ram). Our four tups are currently in the fields to mate with our 100+ ewes.
After the first week, the tups wear a keel marker on their chest which leaves a mark on the ewe when mated. The colour in the keel is different each week, the first week no colour, blue the second and third red and so on. This way we know which ewes have been mated and can be fairly accurate when are lambs are due.
The tups are in with the ewes for about four weeks, but with that many ewes thereʼs not much romance involved - itʼs hard work for them! The tups are then taken out to have a well-earned rest for eleven months.
A ewe's gestation period is five months so the tupping is carefully planned for the new lambs to be born in the spring. In January we scan the pregnant ewes to see how many we can expect and alter feed requirements for those expecting multiple lambs to make sure they receive supplementary nutrition.
According to Chambers dictionary, silage is defined as:
Animal fodder made from forage crops such as grass, maize, etc which are compressed and then preserved by controlled fermentation, eg in a silo.
We’ve been busy cutting grass recently on the Wester Kittochside farm ahead of the coming season to feed our livestock. The grass is the cheapest source of food for livestock and is the best way to offer them the base of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals they require throughout the winter months.
*** Prize Draw now closed ***
Thank you for all the name suggestions in our #NameOurCoo prize draw.
The top two names were voted for in poll by our social media followers and the winner is Myrtle.
Myrtle has been painted in the characteristic red and white markings of our award-winning Ayrshire herd. Originating in south-west Scotland, the Ayrshire breed was first recorded on an official basis in the 1870s by the Ayrshire Cattle Society.
Ayrshire cattle fact file
Try out milking on our model Ayrshire cow next time you visit the National Museum of Rural Life and join us for our afternoon milking session at 3 pm from the viewing platform in the milking byre.
Header image: Fading autumn colours on the Wester Kittochside farm at the National Museum of Rural Life, November 2018.
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Family £19 (2 adults and 2 children)
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Find out how to National Museum of Rural Life here.
National Museum of Rural Life