Farmer Focus: Considering a breed to complement Blackface

How are we in May already? Despite days feeling long on occasion, the weeks are flying and, thankfully,  so is the grass at last.

The recent mild weather and rain showers have been the perfect combination.

We have planted a crop of maize this season for the first time. We are a little sceptical as to whether we may be a little high above sea level for it to establish soundly so have selected the most sheltered and level field on the farm.

See also: Sheep farmer sees four clear benefits of plunge-dipping

Fingers crossed we will have a good yield for the pit later this year.

Lambing has pretty much finished apart from the last handful of hoggs. The first drench and vaccinations have been conducted at home and also on the nearby farm we contract manage.

We are really impressed with how the Blackies have lambed and their maternal qualities. They have thrown some cracking lambs.

We have a slightly different approach to managing these in the race. It’s a pretty wild affair with a few curse words when one catches you as she jumps by.

It has given us some food for thought in terms of phasing out the Romneys at home next season, as they do not suit our home ground, and what to replace them with.

An Aberfield over the Blackie is our favoured option at the moment and I’m sure Josh’s Scottish roots might also play a role.

Most of the Luings have calved and have moved onto the neighbouring pasture with the Blues currently calving at home.

A new batch of piglets arrived last week. I cannot quite believe we are on our third crop already.

It does make me a little sad when you really think about the rate of turnover of each crop, but the population has got to be fed and we are just playing our part in that.

We have made a couple of alterations to the main shed this time, adding a second partition in each cubicle to hopefully help prevent the pigs from mucking behind the feeders.

Potty training our two-year-old is a darn sight easier than training 900-odd piglets, that’s for sure.


Read more about Monmouthshire livestock farmer Livy Braid

FEBRUARY
16

Ask the Breeder... maize

Register now