Here’s the latest update from Farmer Adrian here at Rush Farm:
It’s been a week of highs and lows on the farm; to deal with the bad news first we have unfortunately lost another 2 ewes. Given we are unable to see any obvious cause for the death of the animals I think we will have to bow to the inevitable and vaccinate the flock against clostridial diseases. We were told from the start there was no other option but wanted to avoid it if at all possible, however losses over the last two years are unacceptable.
There is much brighter news however; we have also completed the shearing process, earlier than usual and so hopefully reducing the risk of fly strike. Perhaps for the first time we had no complaints from the shearers and the cut has given us nearly nine ‘lights’ (the technical name for the huge sacks in which the wool is packed before being sent off to the Wool Marketing Board) which is about the same as last year – good news –it may be that this year the cost of shearing is actually less than the money we receive for the wool!
For the first time we have taken a baled silage crop and 3 fields have given us 100 bales. With the additional 3 fields marked for haylage we should end up with plenty for the coming winter season. Moreover having 3 fields cut early makes stock movements that much easier especially when it is time for weaning of both the lambs and the calves. This will take place towards the end of June and soon thereafter Jupiter will re-join his ladies.
Our first eight organic pullets have not yet arrived which is rather a blessing as we have still to decide on a house for them! First thoughts are that they will be placed in the Triangle field.
In other news, this weekend has seen the main car park for the business park expanded by over 120 square metres – all done by Chris and Paul as a voluntary contribution. Incidentally the terrible weather failed to materialise other than for a strong wind which brought down a branch of the sweet chestnut tree outside the SCBS office trapping people inside for a period – one individual who shall be unnamed climbed out through the window to his considerable discomfort!
So what lies ahead of us in the coming week? Depending on the weather the lambs will be weighed again to check their growth rate is being maintained, all the sheep will be treated for foot rot and there will be a lot of topping in the hope of stopping thistles encroaching on the pastures. If we are very lucky we might even be able to fit in some fencing!