Farmer Focus Livestock: Lambing going well for Alistair Mackintosh

Lambing has gone well, the weather has been kind and lamb numbers are similar to last year, but we still have a few ewe hoggs to lamb.

Most lambs have been vaccinated against pasteurella infections. Ewes have had a worm dose and have also been vaccinated against bluetongue. The lambs will be done later when they receive their booster pasteurella injection in four weeks’ time.

Although we vaccinated against bluetongue last year, when the vaccine became available, I am taking the opportunity to fit a routine bluetongue injection into my farming calendar. It seems many of my neighbours are doing the same. It makes sense to me – the prospect of losing stock without compensation when we have a vaccine available is a no-brainer.

We are only a third of the way through calving, but once the calves have suckled, cow and calf are put outside onto grass, where they are bouncing.

Spring barley has been top-dressed with fertiliser and is looking well – as are the weeds. I could do with a break in the rain to allow the contractor to do some spraying. The weather has also delayed the sowing of some grass seed. I bought an old second-hand set of discs in an attempt to prepare the seed-bed for the grass seed. In the past, it was always difficult to use a power harrow to establish a firm seed-bed. Once the weather allows, we will find out if it works.

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