Here is this week’s farm update from sheep farmer, Clodagh Hughes, who is preparing for lambing 2021.
With just over five weeks until my first lambs arrive, I’m starting to become a bit overwhelmed by the amount of preparation I have yet to do.
I’m sure I’m not the only one. Although I know I’ve plenty of time to get all done beforehand, it’s the bloody thinking about it that’s the killer… right?!
In no particular order, I’ve some dosing to do and vaccinations to administer and pens to get set up. Furthermore, a lot of general ‘stuff’ that isn’t needed for the lambing period has to be tidied away. I’m short on storage space this year as well as having more animals on-farm.
Also, I have to get in another load of hay and straw very soon. This will mean moving my ewes out of the shed to reverse the trailer in to unload the hay and straw up to the loft.
It’s a totally backwards way of operating and not a good reflection on my management skills! But unfortunately, I had no other choice this year.
I’m also lucky my husband is a great help when he’s free, to assist me on some of the bigger jobs. There are a few issues, such as storage, that I need to address over the coming months.
Sheep farming from scratch
It’s inevitable that any start-up business will come up against unpredicted problems and pitfalls; it’s how you deal with and resolve these issues that will determine how much of a success you can make of your business.
I keep forgetting that I did only start my wee farm in 2017 and that I was basically starting from scratch. I didn’t have an existing farm to build upon so, in that respect things aren’t going too bad.
Believe it or not guys, I have a pretty clear idea of what I want to achieve on my farm and how to go about it.
Now, winning the lotto would speed a lot of these plans up but, failing this outrageous event actually happening, I’ll just have to plod along as best I can, building on what I have when I can and making do with what I have. And I am very grateful for what I have; I’m just very, very impatient!
Well, folks, I can’t go without mentioning the arctic style weather we had in some parts of the country this past week. I love a bit of snow, but it does bring with it a variety of challenges.
My water pipe for the shed is not buried yet so it froze solid meaning I was carrying water all week and breaking ice in drinkers. The ground was treacherous to traverse and extra tricky to navigate when you are carrying bales to animals in fields. But, oh what fun I had too, my pups loved this new white, wet play-stuff and it did my heart good to go for walks with them.
Farm life has so many positives that they make all the tough things more bearable.