Farming News – March 2024

This has been the wettest winter of the 50 that I have been farming. It is mostly dry in the lambing sheds where I have buckets to catch rain which drips through holes in the roof and can be used to water the sheep in their pens. It feels like I’m spinning plates, as Thom Yorke of Radiohead sings, trying to keep every-thing alive in lambing time. Ewes like to deliver their lambs during bad weather and so they tend to lamb in batches and then claim each other’s lambs. It takes the judgement of Solomon to work out which lamb belongs to which ewe, to avoid later rejection. Getting colostrum into each new-born is the next essential and the sheep are put into individual pens with their (hopefully) correct lambs. Wet weather has caused a lot of lameness in the flock, and I have lost several new-born lambs because their mother has laid on them and could not be bothered to get up when she had foot rot in one hoof. It only takes a minute, and the lamb is lost, so I cannot rest.

We managed to pick some potatoes recently, but as the losses are now about 70%-80% I may just plough the rest out for the frost and geese to get rid of them.