Mathew Cole sees green shoots arising

Winter seems to be loosening its grip on Dartmoor. With the evenings noticeably pulling out and the temperature starting to ease the grass is just starting to move. The trouble is the place will be swamped with lambing sheep soon and they will eat the lot in a shot – and there is still a good few months until spring arrives properly.

We scanned the ewes at the prison last week with good results of 158% from Scotch ewes and 171% from the Swales, all carrying Mule lambs. The ewes are looking well considering the bad weather. Let’s hope we can hold that condition without having to buy too much cake.

Neil’s Blueface ewes scanned at 215% and he was pleased with most being doubles and only one barren. He has already got pound notes in his eyes when he was adding up the number of ram lambs these ewes should yield. He also visited a breeders sale in the north recently where they were making big money. But as anyone who keeps Blueface Leicester’s knows, “you need a short memory and a sharp shovel” to keep them and he needs to get them out and on their feet before he can even consider what will make it to the autumn, let alone the sale ring.

TB is in our minds as always with many of our friends and neighbours being tied down by restrictions. We have just read a clear test at Greenwell and we test the herd at the Prison Farm this coming week. Fingers crossed this disease will leave us alone for another year.

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