by Malcolm Barker

On the farm, May is a month to take things a little easier, catching up with jobs like planting swedes, doing accounts, tidying up after the winter and collecting/sawing timber to dry out before next winter.

I start June by shearing the sheep, as removing their wool should be done as soon as possible in the summer. Sheep are at risk of ‘rigging’ when they have a full fleece. That is when they lie down, roll onto their backs and cannot get up due to the weight of their wool.  After a few hours they would die unless I roll them back on to their feet. Once upright, they stagger around for a while before returning to the flock.

Green grass is harvested for silage in early June, and then for hay, later in the month, when it is dry and seeded.