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Broom House Farming News December


The ewes are all tupped now, so we'll be concentrating on feeding them properly through the remaining 4-5 months of pregnancy.  Cull ewes/cows are animals that are not going to lamb/calf again. Young, fit cull ewes will be marked for mutton and head for the Farm Shop. The rest are being sold along with some cull cows (these have been scanned and are not in calf) in an attempt to reduce stock numbers to a minimum during these expensive winter months.

sorting fat lambs using the shedding race

 (fat ones straight on, thin ones turn in right!)

Fat stock is the term used for lambs, pigs and beef that are ready for the main butchery market, and fat stock prices are holding up well. A few beast were sent off farm last week and we are weighing the lambs every week to try and get them off the farm as soon as they are ready.  We still have nearly a third of the fat lambs to sell, this is far more than usual due to the wet summer which has slowed down growth. Because of the muddy conditions the fat lambs also all need their belly wool clipping just before leaving the farm - extra work not needed in a dry year.  The dreaded snow is on the forecast, so extra feeding will be needed, everything just takes longer in the winter weather.
We're extending the shed in the Broom House farmyard, to give us some more storage and to house the cattle better during these Durham winters, so  the men have been getting the yard ready for this and now the steelwork is going in. The big yellow cattle feeder/bedder has already had its first major breakdown of the winter.  It took a day and a half of head scratching,tinkering and practical engineering before the men got it back together; its amazing how many different skills farmers have.   
We've had an email from the Ministry of Agriculture letting us know that we've been randomly selected for a compulsory sheep census survey this December.  Interestingly we've been randomly selected for the last 10 years. 

17 December, 2012 at 17:21

Tags: rain, mutton


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