Shortly after our New Year blog the snow arrived, just in time for our January lambing! Our barns were bursting as the lambs were popping out at speed but we couldn’t put any outside in the arctic conditions.
We then had a rare, red Met Office snow warning for our first lambing course of the year. The course was re-arranged for 23rd February and was a great success with ewes delivering lambs on cue! We are lambing now until April with more lambing courses in March.
The other challenge we had was the Schmallenberg virus. Compared with most farms we have been lucky with only 3% of our January lambs being affected and no signs so far in our current lambs. If the ewes are infected whilst in the early stages of pregnancy, deformities in lambs can be severe. Not as bad if infected later on in their pregnancy.
It then began to rain and this added to melting snow resulted in flooding. I have never seen our fields so waterlogged and would appreciate you all partaking in a sun-dance to last us through the next few weeks :)Currently the weather is a bit kinder and we’re managing to put ewes and lambs outside.
On a positive note, we are happy to announce that we had a clear TB test earlier this month, always a relief. We’ve also had four healthy calves born over the last month.
Another new addition on our farm is our ottercam! An inspired birthday present from Jim following this photograph I took when out checking stock in January.
We are currently working with the Wye and Usk Foundation to improve the capacity of our river to support our brown trout and other wildlife. Fences and watergates allow protection whilst still providing watering holes for our stock. Coppicing will result in increased biodiversity with an added benefit of a good supply of firewood!
On a final note, many people have been asking our views on the current horsemeat saga and I think the answer is simple; Buy British, buy local and lets start cooking proper meals again. You can make tasty, nutritious meals with simple ingredients and it’s cheaper than you think!
For any information on courses or if you just want a chat! Feel free to e-mail me direct via our website.