Farmer Focus: Romneys able to gain weight on dirt

I don’t know what to say about the weather. One minute we’re drowning, the next minute we are basking in the sun. Although I must admit, I am enjoying the nice, hot summer and I am sure even though it takes a different approach to manage, it has to be doing some good.

As the old saying goes: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”, so hopefully it will help relieve a few issues for most of us.

We weaned all our lambs early as they were starting to compete with the ewes a bit too much and the lambs didn’t look to be getting much from mum other than comfort.

Even that was debatable, as they didn’t seem to miss a beat when weaned, even though most of them were hardly three months old.

See also: Weaning lambs early could offer big benefits, trial shows

Weaning early during this weather allows us to tighten up the ewes and keep the lambs going forward as much as possible. It never ceases to amaze me how a Romney can put on weight grazing dirt through the summer months.

We weaned most of the lambs onto fresh growth from our recently cut silage fields and the rest went on to new grass seeds, which, despite the dry weather, are still growing very well.

I would have liked to have shorn them straight off their mums, but I was too busy shearing elsewhere, so I will try to get that done the next chance I get.

We will leave the ewes for a friend to shear towards the end of July as a bit of a lead-up towards a fundraiser he is looking to do on 5 August at Sidbury Manor, Sidbury, Sidmouth, Devon. If anyone is in the area, it’s for a good cause and should be a good day and evening for all.

Also towards the end of June I had the privilege of judging this year’s three finalists for the 2018  Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year award.

It was really refreshing to see what others are doing and especially how they are all looking to prepare themselves for the uncertain times ahead. I take my hat off to them for how hard they have all worked – they are deserving finalists.