“A farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer!” – Will Rodgers.
Organising the farming year
On Saturday the Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge from partner GC and me was The Watcher – this is my second response to our challenge, a third, possibly an Epic that is my favourite of the trio will follow tomorrow. Today’s post is also linked to FOWC EPIC
Ah… that’s a relief!
Taking in the view from my windows, as shown in PART ONE is always a pleasure. Today in Part Two, watching from my computer desk continues – even in the rain.
Whether someone farms thousands of acres or runs a small-holding with less than twenty, it’s all about organisation. Fortunately, I no longer need concern myself with being organised for DEFRA and completing paperwork each year, I leave all that to Richard, the farmer friend who rents my land.
Until last year lambing took place on Richard’s farm in late March and April, and each year I would have the pleasure of keeping some of his flock up here.
In 2018 Richard gained a new farm manager, Liam, who began to organise the farming year a little differently. Liam ran the tups (rams) with the sheep earlier than usual, and lambing took place late January/February 2019.
This method means that female lambs born earlier in the year can meet the tups in September of the same year instead of October/November of the following year.
Breeding earlier from the young females means that most are unlikely to produce twins in the first year, but it’s more efficient than feeding them for a whole year with nothing to show for it, and equally, not knowing whether or not any of them are barren.
The sheep up here with me at the moment are some forty-plus female lambs (Gimmers) that were born in January/February this year.
Having been fenced off from the front fields for hay-making, the livestock showed delight in being allowed through an open gate!
The cattle with me at the moment are store cattle that are destined for the market. I’m trying not to become attached to them, therefore, the number of photographs I take are fewer than usual.
For obvious reasons, I’d rather have cows with calves.
Grass Feeding is supplemented throughout the year with dried pellets that have been properly balanced for energy, protein, minerals – even the ducks come up from the ponds to join in.
Part Three Hay-Making will be published tomorrow.
© SueW-nansfarm.net 2020 Weekend Challenge The Watcher from Weekly Prompts and Loosly linked to Fandango’s FOWC EPIC.
Editorial Comment: All photographs are my own. Ewes and lambs and cow with calves have been shown previously here.
- DEFRA the Government Department For Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
- Gimmers – Female sheep in their first year.
- Lambing – When sheep give birth
- Lambs – are born around 145 days (or about 4.5 months) after the ewe becomes pregnant.
- TUP – A male sheep, a ram.