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Broom House Farm News

We had our first lying snow on the last Saturday in October, this got us into winter mode - the gritter has now been serviced and the salt bags have been moved up the yard.  The day feels so much shorter as the nights have started closing in - the hens have to be shut in at 4.30pm now; in the summer they stay out until 10pm.  This year's poults have started laying; small eggs at first - surprisingly many of them with double yolks - does anyone know why this is? 
Most of the young cattle are now in their winter accommodation, having been weaned at the start of the month.  The wet weather has meant that the fields are in quite a state - waterlogged, muddy and rutted; so the sooner we house the cattle the better. Martin is back in the swing of winter feeding, his big yellow cattle feeder/bedder will be travelling to and fro from Broom House to the steading down on the A691 every day now. This machine chops and throws out bales of straw or bucketfulls of clamp silage and is our main piece of winter machinery.  School groups always enjoy watching the cattle being bedded and fed in this way. 
The main flock ewes are now being tupped in their 5 family groups, with their lambs due from the start of April.  The ewes will stay outside until January, or later, depending on the weather; but we will be lambing them inside again this year, the snowy weather in April 2012 was not good for lambing sheep.
A Natural England Inspector turned up out of the blue on Wednesday.  He has to check every hedge, tree and field boundary that we have marked on our Higher Level Stewardship & Organic maps as well as check our stocking rates etc.  He'll be here for a week, let's hope he has some decent wellies. 
The vet has been here this week, TB testing the cattle.  In this part of the UK we have to have the cattle tested every 4 years - it seems to come around so quickly though.  In TB hot spots farmers will have their herds tested annually. The animals have to be brought in twice - they get a jab and then a few days later the vet returns to see if any have reacted.  Our test was all clear. 

11 November, 2012 at 13:49

Tags: Sheep, cattle, hens, vet, poults


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