Former professional chef, Clodagh Hughes, runs a sheep enterprise on the Monaghan/Louth border near Inniskeen.
And so, another week begins. Well, honestly, when it comes to farming, a week has no defined beginning or end such is the nature of the job.
Where animals and nature are involved, you do not get to pick your days off and that is fine with me, I have never been part of the 9-5, Mon-Fri show.
Before I started sheep farming a few years back, I worked as a professional chef for almost 15 years. As you all know by now, thanks to the explosion of cookery shows on television, working as a chef is a tough career both physically and mentally.
Personally speaking, I find I thrive in what some might consider a slightly alternative lifestyle.
With all this talk of work, ‘what did I actually do this past week?’ I hear you ask!
Well, I am going to the mart again this evening with some more lambs, so I tidied up some woolly rears and tagged a few lamb’s ears.
Due to the latest Covid-19 restrictions, only buyers are allowed into the ring so, I will be unsure how my lambs do until after they are actually sold.
This does not help my nerves, adding to the fact that I will have to reverse my delightful wee trailer… again.
I have also been trying to tidy around the yard and shed before the weather really turns nasty.
I know it is only October, but this season is flying in and it is inevitable I will get caught out with something if I do not try and stay someway organised.
Although we have had some beautiful autumn sunshine of late, the temperatures have dropped significantly, and I am glad of the lovely woolly hats by Novavet.ie I received from Eamonn Mc Grath of Agristore.ie as modelled by my lamb above.
There has been a lot of rain with us recently and some of the ground I farm is very heavy and gets waterlogged quite quickly.
This leads to issues underfoot for my sheep, so I will be on the lookout for any lameness issues due to scald.
The mucky state of the ground also makes my life that little bit harder at this time of year as I am out in the fields feeding animals and it can be tricky when trying to negotiate laneways and paddocks.
Lucky, I have a reliable 4X4 to help with these jobs because this sheep farmer has ended up on her butt more than I would like to admit…at least muck is soft though!
A new arrival
In other news, there was a fluffy new arrival on the farm in the form of a wee chick last week. It was a welcome addition to my little feathery flock as I lost an old hen recently and I really do love my hens.
They are constantly chatting and keep me amused on a daily basis; I have even got a hen that comes into the house regularly to sit on the couch at my feet!
I fully believe hens are totally underrated and you cannot beat free-range eggs.