Lambing kicked off with the first batch here on the farm early last week.
Thankfully, unlike last year, I am nowhere near the 70% that lambed by their due date as the weather has been far from ideal up to now.
All the heavy rain would have made it hard to get ewes and lambs out to the fields as normal, usually from 24-48 hours after lambing down.
It has been more straightforward in the last week, with ewes walking out to the fields with their lambs and the sun on their backs.
We might have had to tighten the ewes up a bit more than I would like
There is a negative to the slow start as the big batch of ewes are due to start lambing next week and space for additional penning is occupied by the first group which are still lambing.
We might have had to tighten the ewes up a bit more than I would like in some sheds to allow us to be prepared. With the weather starting to improve, I will be trying to get some fertiliser spread across the farm. Like last year, I have purchased protected urea.
As the workload increases, I am in need of extra labour to help the farm run more smoothly. I have a number of students and short-term staff in for this busy period. The increase in bodies has advantages – there are extra eyes and hands around the place that help keep things moving along, with everyone assigned their individual tasks to complete daily. It also allows for a structured rest period for everyone working on the farm, making it a safer place in which to work.
COVID-19 has also brought an additional risk and I have had to implement extra measures to keep everyone safe on the farm
We have a system in place in the shed. When a sheep is placed in a pen, we have a chart on the gate to record the time and any key details such as number of lambs, whether they are to be left indoors for extra observation or not. COVID-19 has also brought an additional risk and I have had to implement extra measures to keep everyone safe on the farm.
However, I am constantly aware of the other dangers during this busy period and the children know they are only allowed out with myself or Alison.
I fixed up an outbuilding next to the house especially for the pet lambs this year
Mia and Drew have been great help with the pet lambs this year. Not having to go into school has meant that once they get their home-schooling work done, they have been out feeding any lambs that look a little hungry.
I fixed up an outbuilding next to the house especially for the pet lambs this year which means the kids can go in when they want and they don’t have to leave their safe area. With things so busy and extra help around the farm it is hard to give them the freedom I remember having as a child on a farm and keep them safe at the same time.
Little things like the safe area and wearing of hi-vis vests when out around the farm as well as strict rules that they understand will help keep them safe during this busy time.