Part Two – The Twitcher

“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

Having a PeeAh… that’s a relief! 

At My DeskTaking 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.

SONY DSCUntil 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. 

Set FreeHaving 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.

Feeding an extra calf

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.

© 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
  • GimmersFemale 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.
  • TUPA male sheep, a ram.

17 thoughts on “Part Two – The Twitcher

  1. Wow… the rain’s pelting down Sue…. I love all the farm sheep pic’s Sue… It’s been a long since I used to holiday out at my Aunties farm, when I was just 15…. hmmm ..54years ago… !!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting, Sue and I look forward to the next instalment. I know what you mean about the Cows. Same here, the one field is used for the Cows from Spring until around now, when they move on. We know the farmer and every year he gets upset, it must be so difficult to make his living this way. 😔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it bothers me more because some of the cattle are female and I just want them to have the chance of rearing calves of their own! I had to stop myself from looking at their markings to make sure they weren’t the calves that were up here last year! Thank you, Trev 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a bit like you. One of my friends is the wife of a farmer who breeds Aberdeen Angus cattle in the fields around the village. I don’t say anything but actually, it is not something I particularly approve of. On the one hand, I am predominantly veggie and avoid beef in particular. On the other I am laissez-faire. I have at least learned a bit about farming and cattle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see both sides of the coin, and I understand what you are saying, some things are indeed best left alone.
      Thank you for your comments, they are appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Murphy's Law

    What a wonderful way to start Monday off by looking at all your great photographs! The first photo is a riot. Can’t even get a minute of privacy!

    Thank you for the really interesting history about these farm animals. I’m afraid if I were there, I’d be attempting to brush the sheep and play with the calves! I’d be in love with every one of them and would have given them names. 🤗🤗 I especially love that shot of mama and her calves.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and I’m delighted to have brightened your Monday Morning. Haha… Only one of those calves belonged to the cow the second calf was pinching a drink while its own mother was grazing over the field!
      Thank you very much, Ginger 🙂


    1. Interesting!
      When I’ve got a minute I’ll try and work it out, but if we go by puberty, we might say more like twelve-thirteen! Thank you for the ‘food’ for thought! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Fortunately, the animals frequently graze in fields away from the house out of sight and that’s when I catch up on everything.
      Thank you, Lois, I’m glad you enjoyed this just as much as I did creating it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Part Three – The Twitcher | Nan's Farm

  6. Beautiful, Sue!
    I could watch those precious babies for hours!!! 🙂
    Your views as The Twitcher bring joy and smiles! Thank you for being a twitcher AND a photographer! 🙂
    My paternal grandfather and my dad were farmers. 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too, Carolyn. I love watching them grow and playing around. I miss seeing the lambs up here, and the calves are always a joy.
      You will know all about the love of farm life.
      I finished by trio and published today.

      Thank you, Carolyn 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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