In this week’s Farm Diary, sheep farmer, Clodagh Hughes, discusses Christmas, scanning ewes and Green Cert exams.
Can you believe it is Christmas week, folks? Because I sure can’t! And yet, here we are. Another year is almost over, and boy, how fast did that year fly by!
Each year, no matter how many times I tell myself, I’ll have this job done before Christmas, and I’ll get that organised before everywhere closes.
Not a chance do I get half of these tasks started, never mind completed! Please tell me I’m not alone, guys.
On the flip side of the coin, I did achieve several goals this year. There is always next year to get stuck into the rest.
It’s a bad habit of mine, and I know I’m not alone, only seeing the negative side of life at times.
If we were to focus more on the positives and actually realise what we do accomplish, we’d all feel a whole lot better.
Farm Diary: Scanning ewes
That’s my festive sermon over; back to sheep farming.
I’m happy to inform you that my scanner-man is coming on Tuesday to scan all my (hopefully) in-lamb ewes.
Over the last four years, this has been my Christmas present; I kid you not.
We get very excited about the scanner coming and seeing the results, hopefully reflecting a very successful tupping season by Mr Woody the ram.
It’s very similar to when you were younger and were impatiently awaiting the arrival of Santy.
I shall go through all the normal festive expectations: I’ll find it hard to sleep Monday night,
I’ll be watching the clock for his arrival, and I’ll be all organised and ready for action.
I’ll have mixed feelings of excitement for the potential lamb count, but equally, you’re anxious in case some of the ewes are empty as this is both an economic and emotional loss.
I’ve been very lucky with my flock up to now, with every ewe going full term and rearing at least one lamb.
However, as my numbers increase, the risks of a barren ewe also increase, as do all the other health and welfare issues associated with sheep farming.
This is why it is of the utmost importance that I learn all I can about correct flock-health protocols and implement them on my wee farm as I go forward.
I shall also tell anyone who is willing (or not!) how the scanning went and all the lovely lambs I’m expecting from February through March 2022.
Green Cert exams
In other news, I’ve finished all my written exams for the Green Cert. I am not sure if we have any more next year…ok!
I just checked my timetable, and we have more exams in Feb and March! Arrrgggh!
I’ll be just starting lambing for one and just finishing for the other.
I’ll be on top of my head feeding and rearing surplus lambs.
Also, we still have some practical skills that you must attend, and these are in February too! Oh well, nearly over; we will finish in April 2022.
Happy Christmas, folks!
- See more of Clodagh’s sheep farming diary entries.