John Bainbridge has his hands full in the calving pen

I open this month’s article by thanking many people for their concern over our 54 Swaledale gimmer hoggs that went missing. They eventually turned up about five miles away, which was a huge relief.

I like to keep Sunday a day of rest but with livestock around it’s usually the day when it all kicks off. This last one was no exception as I had two mule ewes prolapse, a Leicester scanned for four had two dead lambs and a not-too-friendly cow decided to calve. After I was chased out of her calving pen, I commented it was time she was down the road, only to be reminded I said the same thing last year. Nevertheless, it’s a good reminder to always be on your guard around cattle.

March has brought settled weather. Feed stocks are not depleting just as quickly and the ewes look bloomy. Pure Swaledale ewes scanned slightly down on the year, probably due to the snow, with a few more geld than needed to be.

Recently I attended a meeting discussing EID. The speaker gave a sense that the government was not up to speed with regards to implementing a database, and with a deadline looming, could face another penalty to be paid to the EU.

Without a fully functional database and with not all abattoirs using electronic systems to produce individual feedback to farmers, it seems EID is falling short of its full potential.

The mule ewes are due to lamb on tomorrow (19 March) and I am now monitoring them closely after losing one stuck on its back. I am always reluctant to phone the knacker man because the day after he calls something else usually decides to give up the ghost.