What a spring! Like the stock, we have sought shade on a bank holiday afternoon. I can’t remember when it last rained and am wondering will it ever do so again.
The unusual weather pattern beginning with snow in November, followed by a dry winter and spring has really suited our farm. Pastures both young and old (including docks) look terrific and with the second dressing of fertiliser still in the barn we have been able to close up several fields for silage.
Twenty acres of new seeds are just showing, but desperately need a soak. A ley established last year has mysteriously sprouted a prize-winning crop of spear thistles. Hopefully these will die when topped.
Our policy of not allowing ewes to rear triplets, nor hoggs twins, has lead to 110 tame lambs guzzling their way through 25kg of milk powder a day. They will be weaned at five weeks of age thus ending the last winter chore.
Sheep have been grouped into flocks of about 135 couples – the optimum size for my two dogs and assorted yards and pens. Most flocks will be alternated between two fields, allowing us to tackle scald in lambs by arranging a 3ft wide footbath with a few hurdles in the gateway. Lambs cannot be forced to go through and the first attempt may only achieve 50% success, but after perhaps three runs all will happily co-operate.
The 250 lambs born the first week of March have received a worm drench together with a dose against coccidiosis. They are on ad-lib finisher pellets and we are looking forward to the first sales, as the four empty ewes sold at the end of lambing did little to check the decidedly one-way cashflow of recent months.