That’s Farming weekly contributor, Clodagh Hughes, runs a sheep enterprise on the Monaghan/Louth border near Inniskeen.
After a busy week on my small farm, I have already started into another one with this week’s jobs including; ear tagging the remainder of my lambs and I need to do some paperwork in order to keep my farm files in order.
My lambs are on a ration of high-quality meal twice-a-day now and although it adds to my workload, it is a great excuse to see the animals on a regular basis and, therefore, less chance of missing an issue.
With regards to the adults, as I have said previously, I do not interfere too much at this stage, bar a lameness issue and recording which ewes have been mated for lambing dates 2021.
Woody has been going full throttle since being introduced to the ewes last week and will be due a marking crayon change in 8/9 days’ time.
I have already taken note of 6 ewes he has covered, and this is where the breeding harness really comes into its own.
Out of the six ewes that have yellow crayon markings, I am suspicious about two of them so, when I change the colour next week to red, I will be able to tell if he tupps them again or not and adjust my dates accordingly until I am happy all have been covered.
My first mart of the season went well. I have to admit I was quite anxious, as I am every mart day. You put so much of yourself into the rearing of your animals that you can be quite disheartened if the price on the day does not reflect the quality of your animals.
Unfortunately, this is too often the case. For example, I sold similar lambs 12 months ago at the same mart, same weights for over €10 less a lamb! Now that hurts more than your pocket.
And as if my stress levels were not high enough, I was on my own. Now, guys, I do not mind new challenges, in fact, I get a buzz out of them but, reversing a very small trailer in front of strangers (all men) was a challenge, I just scraped through. The lads were very supportive though!
My first proper day at college also went very well. I was absolutely wrecked afterwards from meeting so many new people and trying to process all this new information in a very short space of time.
My tractor and trailer reversing went ok considering I had never sat in a modern tractor before plus, you have got 10 pairs of eyes on you!
From farmer girl to biker girl…the last bike outing of 2020 yesterday and it was a blast. I feel my pace on track has improved and I am gaining confidence every time I get out on it.
It is an amazing feeling riding a motorbike and it is a form of therapy too, one I’m going to really miss over the winter. There are a lot of small issues I need to sort out before we hit the tarmac next year.