Farmer Focus Livestock: Charlie Armstrong doses sheep against fluke

At last the nights are getting lighter which gives us more time to look at sodden water logged fields. The only positive thing is they can only get dryer, lets hope it’s soon. The past six weeks of snow and rain has taken its toll on livestock outside even though they are being fed as hard as possible.

Scanning has begun and so far results show Mules at 199%, Beulah ewes 150% and some Beulah gimmers 110%. Fluke is once again visible in a proportion of ewes so these will all have to be dosed. The organic withdrawal period is 112 days on wormer so they are dosed straight after scanning.

Hoggs are being fed inside and out on silage, barley and oats. These are going away regularly at prices many young farmers today have never even heard or dreamt of before.

Builders are currently erecting a new shed which should be up by lambing time, whether it’s filled with lambing ewes or fattening cattle remains to be seen. The shed itself isn’t expensive but to have it all singing and dancing you could spend as much again on fixtures and fittings.

Spreading muck, carting muck, winter ploughing and fencing are all things we should also be doing, but weather conditions don’t allow, so shortly we’re going to be busy. Fortunately staff are back to work from illnesses, holidays, paternity leave etc.

With only a few gutters ripped off sheds we came off a lot better than some people in our area during the winter storms. I do question how some farmers run out of hay and silage after only a few days of winter weather as opposed to running out after two to three months which is acceptable in my view.

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