Simon Bainbridge with his ATV and sheepdog© Jim Varney

The tup sales are in full swing, both on farm and in the ring, and the required tups have been purchased to replace those that have done their duty. 

Our shepherd took some of his own tups to be sold at Kelso this year, with a good result and a third place in the show for their class. Not bad for a first time at Kelso.

Ewes are starting to be set-stocked in their tupping fields. Fat lambs are rotationally grazing red clover/grass aftermaths. 

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Faecal egg counts show the lambs now need to be wormed, so they will receive an orange drench, which we only use once at this time of year on the lambs.

The hens are doing well and egg size has now increased to a point where we need to change the ration. We are going to stagger this feed change to help the hens adjust. 

They look really good, but we are noticing a little aggression creeping in. To counter this we are increasing the enrichments available, keeping one eye on litter quality and the other eye on feather cover.

Wholecrop success

The wholecrop has been cut and is safely in the pit. After a big couple of days and with the weather on our side we managed to get the job done very efficiently.  

With a late evening finish and a very full pit, the final sheeting of the pit happened the next morning, which provided the perfect viewing platform for watching the Tour of Britain as it came hurtling past our farm. 

I had not appreciated the magnitude of the operation, the number of police bikes, forward team cars, spare bikes and so on. We watched the spectacle for more than an hour, with the bikes taking about 30 seconds of that. 

The children really enjoyed the show, but neither of them has said they want to be a cyclist when they grow up. The current trend is farmer and vet, which bodes well for the future.


Simon Bainbridge farm a 650ha upland organic farm with 160 suckler cows, 1,500 breeding ewes and 12,000 organic laying hens with his wife, Claire and his parents. Healthy, maternal livestock and quality feed is a priority.