Edward Earle, Gorey, Co. Wexford, works as a quality engineer and farms over 300 ewes in partnership with his parents.
This has been a relatively quiet week on the farm. Changing the raddle colour last Thursday and rotating them onto new paddocks has been the most of it.
As we use raddle powder, we find it important to mix it into a workable paste. For this, we find that vegetable oil is the best to mix with the powder.
We freshen rams up with fresh raddle every 3 days to ensure ewes are clearly identified after mating. After 14 days of breeding, there has been plenty of ram activity and a good number of ewes are raddled marked. Overall, we are happy with the progress of this breeding season.
As October draws to a close, we have started to close up paddocks for the spring. This is to ensure we have enough grass availability for the ewes at lambing in March.
Closing paddocks for spring
On a heavy farm like ours, it works well to close up paddocks to give them a break over the winter.
We have closed just short of 20% of the farm. This will increase over the next 4 to 6 weeks, at which point, the sheep will be housed.
One job we did this week was to change a swinging door on one of the sheds to a sliding door.
I do not like large swinging doors as they are lethal in windy conditions. I believe making changes like this are important in improving safety around the farm for yourself and everyone else.
When changing the door, we took the opportunity to replace some of the side sheeting with ventilated sheeting to improve ventilation in the shed.