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Farmer’s Diary: As the saying goes, no teeth no horse or is that no hoof, no horse?

That’s Farming’s weekly contributor, Clodagh Hughes, runs a sheep enterprise on the Monaghan/Louth border near Inniskeen.

Well as it goes, I managed to reach the ripe old age of forty-and-a-half with all my own teeth, until last Saturday that is…I’d put up with a toothache for months and used the recent pandemic as my ‘excuse’ for not visiting the dentist sooner. 

Long story short, I heroically went in, got the offending molar extricated, thank goodness for anaesthetic, and left. 

Unfortunately, I developed a condition called dry socket, which I can only explain as THE most excruciating pain, I’ve ever experienced and wouldn’t wish it on anyone, even if I didn’t like them that much!

The reason I’m telling you this is because it had a huge impact on my working week, or rather lack of working week, as I was laid up for almost 5 days unable to undertake anything too strenuous. 

I got one job done and that was gathering my lambs in for flystrike treatment etc. and I actually think this is what attributed to my problem. Now, the dentist said not take on with anything too heavy around the house for 24 hours.

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He said nothing about wrestling 4-month-old ram lambs for foot treatments and being bullied by my own hand-reared lambs around a pen on Sunday!

So as any dedicated (or is that stubborn?) farmer would do, I didn’t heed the advice and subsequently ended up losing nearly a week due to the pain.

Tidying farm and reading

In more positive news, I did use some of my less heavily medicated moments to tidy up my farm paperwork and did a bit of reading up on sheep breeding and vaccine protocols which I am going to upgrade within my flock from this year on. 

I’m beginning to appreciate the value of having a good flock health plan in place on the farm, covering important areas such as vaccinations and parasite control. 

Previously, I have made a few costly mistakes and I can only console myself by knowing that I have learned from them.

New additions to the farm

We had a couple of new additions to the farm this week in the form of 2 gorgeous fluffy wee chicks. 

I have a little broody hen that was determined to nest and although she hadn’t laid any of her own eggs. I put three from my Rhode Islands under her to see what would happen. 

I wasn’t even sure if they’d been fertilised but, knowing my very amorous rooster Buster, I was quietly confident that some feathery fowl-play had occurred.

Not only am I down a lovely pooch, I’m nursing a poorly puddy tat. Nothing serious thankfully just a dose of cat flu, and no he doesn’t have the Covid!

It’s very much like our own flu virus; runny eyes, sore throat and the cutest sneezes ever. 

His name is TomTom, so good we named him twice! He has totally converted me to cats and he’s brilliant with the sheep.

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