Clodagh Hughes runs a sheep enterprise on the Monaghan/Louth border near Inniskeen- here is this week’s update:
I hope you all survived our latest and most unwelcome visitor to our shores; Ellen was that her name?
I would rather forget her if it’s all the same to you. Sorry for talking about the ‘boring’ weather but it is so relevant to most us and more so when you work outside.
As I write this, the autumn sun is starting to warm the day up nicely and there is hardly a breeze, wee birds are singing and a few late buzzings can be heard in the hedges.
The rain is back tomorrow and I want to split a field in half so I can graze two batches of lambs on either side and I also need to move my ewes off the ground they are on as I need to rest it for a few weeks before I put the ram in to start my breeding season.
I have only a basic knowledge of grassland management, but I am looking forward to learning so much more about it when I start my agricultural course in September.
I love that there is so much science involved in all aspects of farming and I would consider myself a student of science, be it through life experience and academic learning.
Mr. Woody (the ram) has settled in really well, he was looking quite lost on his own in the field, so I moved over 9 larger ram lambs to keep him company and he’s now happy out.
When you think of it, most animals, especially prey animals like sheep, are used to being in groups and can feel very stressed if isolated for long.
There are lots of ways we, as farmers, can reduce these stressors and sometimes it’s as simple as an animal being able to see or smell another of its kind.
Even just having contact with another animal regardless of its species can be enough to placate them.
Another bad judgement call
I’m still waiting on my sheep vaccine I ordered last week. I made another bad judgement call this week. I had two lambs with a sniffle and bad cough and although I’ve vaccinated them all against the certain diseases, there is always a risk factor.
So…what did I do? I injected them both with an antibiotic. What did I not do? That’s right, check the damn withdrawal dates. The withdrawal on this medicine is 42 days, meaning I cannot sell these lambs until the product is fully out of their system.
I started my lambs on a small ration of meal/concentrates twice-a-day now as grass quality is diminishing a bit and they need a wee boost, I probably should’ve been giving it before now but they’ll catch up.
The push is on now to get some ready for sale as I need an injection of cash.