Farmer Focus Livestock: William Slinger doesn’t want to curse the weather

The spring has been kind to us and we have enjoyed a good lambing with plenty of lambs to show for it.

The weather has been as good as we might have hoped for and most of all it has been dry. We did have a difficult day or two in the middle of April when the wind blew cold, which took temperatures down and several lambs with it.

Once again the key to a successful lambing has been keeping sheep in good condition throughout winter and particularly in the month or so before lambing.

We did manage to get our first application of fertiliser on a little earlier this year, owing to the better spring, and this looks like having been a good move as we have seen no rain since. No one wants to tempt fate, but for the past two years we have seen a bright few weeks in late spring, which has drawn remarks to the effect that “this might be summer” and it was. It rained all summer long. No one has been tempted to make the same remarks this year.

Cattle may be turned out a little earlier this season, if the weather holds up, which will be a great help to us. I am sure cattle derive much more from being outside in the sunshine than just a warm back.

Our calves in particular have done better in recent years over the winter, particularly since we revamped our calf cubicle building and improved ventilation, a new roof on it has helped, too. We have also been kept busy with bluetongue vaccinations for both cattle and sheep.

See more