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October farming news

The farmer's view on this is that if you leave it long enough, most of the contents of the in tray can head straight into the recycling bin - and that is indeed where a large heap of papers have landed. The weather is decidedly Autumnal up at Broom House. Mist, showers and a cooler northerly wind have blown across the hills for the last few days, leaves and conkers are scattered over the lane where the dogs and I walk, and the hedges and trees are starting to look bare, but the grass in the fields is still fairly lush and green which is good as the sheep will be outside for a few months yet. The 18+ month fattening cattle have been housed before they start to lose condition. It won't be long before the young calves are weaned and housed as well. Our ex opencast land is very exposed and also turns into a bog in the winter months. Cows damage the pasture with their great big hooves. We have a few areas where the land is suitable for wintering cows outside and have been getting these ready with repairs to the lanes and feeding areas. The cows have been scanned to see how many are pregnant, the main herd scanned really well, with just 1% not in calf. The heifers did not scan as well as usual, possibly due to the slow Spring. Decisions are being made about machinery in particular - whether or not to replace the feeder-bedder machine. This piece of kit is key to cattle feeding during the winter months, when it breaks down it's a real pain. But such machines are not cheap and of course the old machine is not valued very highly for part exchange.
One of the new Lleyn tups bought from Duncan Nelles
The ewes are now all tailed, have had a run through the footbath and are in their family groups around the farm. The teasers (vasectomised rams) are out in the fields, getting the ewes' hormones cycling; they are with the ewes for 2 weeks before being replaced with the tups (rams). In fact the tups are now out with the early lambing flock - the plan is to lamb the early ewes on the 18th March and then the main flock 2 weeks later. The ewe lambs will then lamb 2 weeks after this on the 15th April...obviously lambing sheep isn't an exact science and the 3 lambing periods will overlap.

27 October, 2013 at 13:05

Tags: Farm News October


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