Farmer Focus: Yet another mouth to feed

I’ve said it before, lambing is like banging your head against a brick wall, but it feels great when you stop. I must not complain though, the weather has been kind and the bulk of the flock lambed in 18 days. Overall, lambing has gone extremely smoothly. I am still suffering from sleep deprivation as just as we got baby Tom sleeping through the night, lambing started and now we have finished, he’s waking up again teething.

This is where I must thank the two young lads that work for me, especially Rob. With the spring drilling all done he was able to switch over to nights to help me out – thank you Rob. Luke, the new apprentice, has also worked very hard, but cost me a fortune in iodine as he seems to get more on himself than the lamb’s navels.

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We have had a good fall of lambs close to what we scanned out at. It was panic stations when all the triplets started to come at once, as we could not get a milk feeder hired so I had to bite the bullet and buy one. Luckily we got one the next day, thanks to Tim Farrow at TMF Milk Feeders – it’s a fantastic piece of kit.

As every farmer knows the problems start when you get the ewes and lambs out in the field. A few cases of mastitis have occurred along with a bit of orf, and although we’re not normally short of a***holes in Lincolnshire, we have had a couple of lambs born without them, which I have never seen before. Talking to other farmers, it can occur and the vet can often make a passage through.

Just to make my life a little more hectic with lambs, a baby and two young pups, I thought it would be a good idea to get another pup. This one is the same way bred as my young dog Tom (sire is Aled Owen’s Mac). He is not my normal cup of tea, being smooth-coated, black and tan, and looks more like a dachshund pup.

James Read farms in partnership with his father, in Louth, Lincolnshire. They farm 400ha of mainly arable land, run 200 breeding sheep and a pack of working/trialling sheepdogs