Thefts cause extra work for Charlie Armstrong

We had a visit from thieves in the middle of the night who stole five motorbikes and our Land Rover. They also stole our neighbour’s wagon and other neighbour’s bikes on the same evening. This was two weeks ago and the thieves are still at large.

With only Kubotas left, sheep work continues but it is hard work on dogs. So hard in fact my collie dog Dick climbed aboard a wagon full of fat lambs bound for Welsh Country foods, Angelsey. After a good run down on the third deck he was collected from Penrith the following day quite happy with himself.

On returning from a hot, dry holiday in Portugal, the rain has not stopped at home and grass is in abundance. However, once again tags are a huge problem. The men have been cutting them on piece and treating damaged ears as the flies are causing loads of problems – how this can be rectified I don’t know. We had to tag them to move them as young lambs, but damaged and infected ears on this scale can’t continue. I’m sure we are not the only farmers with this animal welfare problem. Castration rings are treated and don’t give us any bother. Maybe ear tags should be, too, or better still done away with.

Interestingly, in Portugal the sheep had belts around their necks – maybe this would be possible instead of tags. After seeing their dry, hot conditions I won’t complain ever again about not having grass etc. The only crops that looked great were few and far between, and they were being irrigated. How lucky we are to farm in Northumberland.

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