John Bainbridge gets tetchy about tags

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the first episode of Lambing Live as our good friends the Marstons provided a unique insight into lamb production.

Lambing time can be stressful enough without the thought of answering probing questions on live television, but they showed the adaptability hill farmers have.

It’s been good to experience a better spring compared to the past three years, with early grass growth making it easier, but certainly not easy. The usual saga of being harassed by hungry ewes is fortunately not the case this time round.

I haven’t decided yet whether my decision not to scan the 250 mule ewes was a good or bad one because if I’d known how many triplets there were I may have booked a holiday. Instead, I settled for hiring a milk machine to help reduce the workload of feeding pet lambs.

Just as we started lambing I got the dreaded phone call from the RPA. They wanted to check our sheep records and numbers, as well as the tags in our ewes and hoggs. Obviously they have no consideration for the fact this is our busiest time of the year.

Surprisingly, the inspector was amicable with a good attitude to the situation – being thorough but helpful over certain issues.

A sample of electronic tags had to be read in the hoggs but, much to my annoyance, one chip out of 10 did not give a reading. With no obvious damage to the tag it highlights the unreliability of the chip within these expensive tags.

Well I doubt I’ll find Kate Humble in my lambing shed, but I’ll go and check anyway before I take a much needed nap.

See more