Lambing preparations begin (and we find ourselves under siege from chickens!)

After a grey rather cheerless start to the week this week, the weather forecast looks good. Good that is so long as you are happy to look forward to dryish, coolish weather – which we are for the obvious reason if needing dryer pastures especially since lambing is only five weeks ahead and we will hope to get the cattle out of the barn before then!
Last week, following the advice of our vet Anne, all our ewes were brought into the barn, weighed and condition scored in order that we could determine which we should feed. Historically our approach to feeding the ewes before lambing has been based on the number of lambs being carried. This year we are basing our feeding regime on the combination of condition and number of lambs carried. We have also decided to use a higher protein feed for those needing to be fed. The good news is that only 39 out of 241 had to be separated out for feeding.

Sheep

We very much enjoyed having a visitor and appreciated his appreciation of our efforts and of course his photographs – never before has Tim looked so good.

On the domestic front our chickens are, in there own way, becoming a bit of a nightmare. Nowhere is safe from them! Chris set up their Eglu in the adjacent field but within minutes they were back in the gardens round the house and even sitting on the kitchen window ledges! At least, so far,  despite the best efforts of “Boots” we have kept them out of the house! Talking of the young man half term, perhaps inevitably, was accompanied with a foul cold which has prevented his return to school today.

photo 3

 

The pasture-fed website has carried much correspondence this last week on the value, or otherwise, of grass harrowing – a change from the arguments for and against mob-grazing. All rather reassuring reminding me, as an ex economics student, that when you have 12 experts together you will get at least 13 views on the same question! Nothing changes.

Our land rover is back in service thanks to the ministrations of a local, rather old-fashioned, small garage which is manned by real engineers! Old technology needs that kind of support.

 

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We are looking forward to having a second visit from Graham Harvey – long time agricultural adviser to the Archers – we last met him when looking at mob-grazing on a neighbouring farm. A wise man and one to be listened to.

– Farmer Adrian

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