In this week’s Sheep Farmer’s Diary, Clodagh Hughes discusses selling lamb rams at her local mart, under-dosing lambs and CAP measures to support women in farming.
Another week another diary entry, and what a busy and varied one it was!
I started my week off with a bang after a great result at the mart with some ram lambs.
The prices of late have been terrific, and long may they hold.
If I had a bigger trailer, I would have been away with more. But there is always next week.
It is such a great feeling coming away from mart knowing that all the late nights and hard work do pay off sometimes.
Sheep farmer diary
As I have written about in previous articles, I have had spells of bad luck on and off over the last few months.
However, I think I have finally gotten on top of any issues I faced through these frustrating, and at times, very disheartening periods.
Now, this is not to say that something else completely different will not be waiting on me around the corner, because as we all know, at this stage, there is a litany of ailments that sheep can suffer from.
But, if I look at the more positive side of matters, I have learned so much this year.
Furthermore, I have gained the experience to deal with several different sheep-related issues that, if and when they arise in the future, I will be ready and able to manage much better.
Although I had carried out faecal egg count testing twice this year and had de-wormed all my lambs in September, I felt like they needed another dose.
But, as I am very conscious not to overuse veterinary worming treatments, I did not go ahead.
I happened to be in paying my vet’s bill on Tuesday last, and I nabbed one of the vets for their advice.
After a quick chat, I realised that I have been under-dosing my lamb flock this year.
Because of this, along with some other issues I have had since addressed, was why my ram lambs were not thriving.
In just three days from I dosed them, there was a noticeable improvement in their poops and appetite, which, when rearing livestock, are two of the main indicators of poor health to watch out for.
In other news, I have been chipping away at my Green Cert behind the scenes, and we are gradually getting through the course.
We have been back on-site the last few college days and were able to get out for our farm walks.
Each group gets a lovely host farmer with the same farming enterprise background as them. We visit their farm to discuss and learn how to improve or change how we do things on our own farms.
I am very happy I pursued this course through Teagasc, and I know it will stand to me as I continue on my farming foray.
Women in farming
Finally, I would like to give a shout out to the Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group on their sterling work and achievements on recently securing much-needed updates and inclusions for the farming women of Ireland through consultations with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.
Go on the women!
Read more of Clodagh’s sheep farmer diary entries.