Farmer Focus: Pleased with ewe condition at tupping

I would like to start by congratulating Gordon and Glenys Wyeth and family on being crowned Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year

It was well deserved as they are a hard working family. Also congratulations to all finalists in all categories and especially to the ones who won their category. 

See also: More from all the Livestock Farmer Focus writers

Jenna, my Huntaway bitch, had 11 healthy pups, which was awesome. She is looking after them well, but she is happy to come out and about with me to have a break from parenting duties.

She has been helping out to bring in the ewes in preparation for tupping time.  

We have bolused all the ewes and given them their annual once-over fluke and worm drench.

We are pretty happy with how the ewes are looking and their condition. The teasers have gone in; this year we are letting them run for two cycles before we put the stock rams in.

The plan is to try to condense the bulk of lambing as much as possible to cut labour costs.

We have been busy doing lots of digger work. We have built about 1,600m of earth hedges and a pond. We built the hedges to hopefully improve our outdoor lambing system, as the farm is very exposed to the elements.

As for the pond, that just happened by default as we needed more earth to finish a hedge, so the hole got bigger. 

We were exceptionally lucky with the weather and will be glad when the grass and wildflower seeds we sowed on the finished hedges and around the pond start to grow to make it look established.

Now we plan to get fencing and plant some trees for shelter.

The first of our deer have arrived. With every new venture there is an element of excitement and nervousness.

However, during misty mornings they look so graceful and they certainly add another interest to Jimmy and Sheila’s holidaymakers.

Matt and Pip Smith run 1,000 breeding Romneys and Romney cross Lleyn ewes across 121ha, as well as farming red deer. Matt is also a shearing contractor and trains sheepdogs.