James Read is kept busy with sheep dog training

The ewe lambs have gone up on to the Wolds for winter. I decided to fluke worm them this year for obvious reasons, and I am just about fed up with cutting infected ear tags out of them. Great idea this double tagging. The mule ewes tupped really quickly; we will be scanning at the end of the month and hopefully they will scan out well according to the numbers our scanning man has seen already.

My young apprentice, Rob, and I have been spending our winter days contract dagging for other farmers. It is not the best of jobs but it keeps you warm even if you do ache a little more in the mornings.

Jim, my young dog, has managed to get himself off the transfer list with a couple of thirds and a second in Nursery Trials (Stepping stone to Open Trials) in the last few weeks.

The Christmas holidays saw me take on my first ever dog for training for a fellow farmer. Jet, a 10-month-old bitch, certainly lives up to her name. On the second lesson she went to gather her sheep, she catapulted them straight at me taking me off my feet and knocking me out cold. I woke up to Jet licking my face and the sound of one man and his dog theme on the ringtone of my phone.

Speaking of which, the well-known phone company I use sent me a white iPhone for Christmas, great colour for a farmer. They are an amazing piece of kit and do exactly what you tell them to. We may well be driving our tractors with our iPhones from the comfort of our office but I don’t think they will ever develop an app to gather sheep off a fell with your sheep dog.

Happy New Year everyone.

Farmer Focus: James Read

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