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Farmer’s Diary: He will not be breaking any records at the ram sale

In this week’s Farmer’s Diary, Clodagh Hughes discusses the nature of farming, her sheep farm’s role in adapting to Covid-19 restrictive measures during the pandemic, shearing and flystrike and she provides an update on her injured ram lamb.     

My goodness, but how the weeks, nay months are flying by!

I know I have said before how farming makes you all the more aware of the changing seasons as you are always looking ahead and preparing for the next stage on the farming calendar.

Perhaps, because I have been more confined to the farm throughout the last year due to the pandemic, I am feeling even more tuned into nature than ever before.

This is by no means a complaint; if anything, it is an acknowledgement of how lucky I am to have had my wee farm to keep me sane and occupied throughout Covid.

Farming entails a lot of planning ahead and moving forward. Therefore, I know that it suits me as an individual because even when things go wrong, and I mean really wrong!

You get very little time to dwell on the negatives because there will always be something just around the corner that needs your attention. This is what helps to keep me focussed and passionate about what I do.

And as I know you are all aware of now, sheep, more than most farm animals, are very hands-on and can be a bit all-consuming at times. But equally, they are such fantastic animals to have.

Update on ram lamb

My ram lamb with the joint injury is still holding his own. I did attempt to bandage up the leg, but it is sometimes hard to apply certain practices to farm animals that would normally work on your dog or cat.

I do not want to have to confine him to the shed, so he is in a small pen by the house and is hopping along okay for the moment.

I will administer pain relief intermittently, and I am hopeful he can thrive well enough.

Needless to say, he will not be breaking any records at the ram sale. In fact, he may be my chef’s choice for this year…if you catch my drift!

Shearing

Shearing season is just around the corner. In fact, this time last year, my sheep had all been de-fleeced.

Unfortunately, however, the weather has been so changeable this year that shearing has been delayed.

Nevertheless, I have a feeling there is going to be some positive changes regarding the non-existent wool industry in Ireland; I will keep you in the loop.

sheep, sheep farming, sheep farmers, farming news

Flystrike

Laura and I gathered the ewes in yesterday to tidy up a few ‘dirty bums’.

As the weather warms up and fly season approaches, these dirty fleeces are the danger zones for flystrike to occur. 

These areas harbour the perfect conditions for flies to lay their eggs and hatch out. If a ‘struck’ sheep should go unnoticed, serious welfare issues can arise. You can have a very nasty situation on your hands.

Even after shearing, most sheep farmers will apply a pour-on product that will help prevent this condition from occurring throughout the summer months.

By now, we have had a fine amount of rain and what we need is a rise in temperatures to really push that grass on…that is all I will say on the matter.

Further reading 

You can find more updates from Clodagh here.

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