Sunday, 23 May 2010

Warming up!

Whilst we were out checking the sheep this weekend, we could hardly believe that a few months ago we were crunching through snow and breaking ice in water troughs! Today we were in shorts and sun hats! All the sheep were sheltering in the shade out of the sun and didn't appreciate seeing Meg and Bel appearing to round them up for us to check and count. They are all looking well and we feel very proud!

At the moment the grass is ok but we do need some rain soon to encourage fresh growth. We are starting to think about cutting some of the grass for winter feed but we will talk about that more when the time comes.

We had the ewe lambs (born last year who we will breed from this year) shorn last week and they look so much happier without their thick coats. The boys (rams) also had a haircut. Brian was amazing with them as always, so gentle.

We had Richard over to clear the sheds out of all the straw that built up over the winter, it was amazing to watch, it didn't take long at all! (see photo). It is all now piled up in the yard ready to be spread on the arable fields belonging to the Northmoor Trust later in the year as part of their fertiliser plan. Nice to think all resources which we produce are being recycled and everything has a value.

Our philosophy with our sheep is taking the greatest care of them and working with our environment. Nationally there is a problem with resistance to treatments available for sheep with worms, so we are keen to only treat them when we know there is a problem. We have been successful in a grant application to buy a 'Fecpak' which is a tool to help us count worm eggs and then decide whether the sheep need treatment or not. If the egg count is sufficiently low then there is no need but above a certain threshold it is best to treat to make sure our sheep don't suffer. The other photo above shows Adelle our vet running a course which we hosted in our lambing sheds, to teach us and 3 other farmers how to use the Fecpak kit. We're looking forward to using the Fecpak to help us manage our flock better.

Our next event is Open Farm Sunday on the 13th June which we are hosting with the Northmoor Trust, highlights will include tractor and trailer rides, sheep racing and sheep dog demos by Meg and Bel. Open Farm Sunday is organised nationally by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) where lots of farms all open up on the same day to welcome visitors onto their farms.

Did we mention we have now called 'little Meg' Bel? She seems to be happy with her new name, and is settling in well. It is funny having a young dog around, she is very enthusiastic but we are all still getting used to one another. We will post a photo of her soon, she is very pretty!

Farmers markets are all going well and we are busy selling our lamb burgers which everyone says are really tasty. Please come along and see us and taste one for yourself!

Roly, Camilla, Boris, Bel and Meg

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