A very mixed week both in terms of action, weather and news.
The positives first. On Tuesday Chris and I collected our six new heifers, it took two journeys but the weather held fine and the autumn colours along the route to Much Markle were as good as I can remember. The heifers, all old enough to go to the bull are made up of three Plums, one Amorous and one Laura so we now have representatives of nine out of the existing twenty families. They travelled well and seem to have settled down very quickly and obviously are accustomed to humans! They will have a few days in the barn before joining the main herd.
As always there are some negatives. We have been slightly concerned about our lambs appearing lethargic and not putting on weight. The worm burden having been eliminated we struggled to think what might be causing the problem. Reviewing the work done in 2008(!) reminded us that cobalt could be the problem. Anne Gibbs, out vet came out and took sample from eight of the animals; without prejudging the laboratory findings she inclined to the view that it is a cobalt deficiency causing the problem. Whatever it has confirmed the view we had already taken that this autumn we must have our silage analysed because we know from soil samples that potentially various deficiencies could show them selves.
The weather has been extraordinary from grey, cold driving rain to sunny and almost summer like temperatures and in between our first hard ground frost of the year. We took this glorious photo of the sheep lining up for morning roll call in the fields.
Tim having had a break from the farm it is now the turn of Chris. He will of course still be ridiculously busy but at least he can, hopefully, have a little more time for his own affairs.
We have had a couple of useful meetings. One with the Chairman of the Benefit Society and one with a young enthusiast who is volunteering to work with Becky with a view to developing with a colleague a biodynamic box scheme and also a presence at a number of South Birmingham street markets.