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By the barn february

Posted: 2nd Feb 2017

As we throw another log on the open fire- maybe an ash or an elm or even a hawthorn- we look forward to February!

A short month, which brings spring ever nearer and known as “February fill-dyke”, tends to be wet. Although, how true that is in these times of changing weather patterns, I’m not so sure.

How nice not to be lambing this year- no cold and wet lambs to be warmed up in the kitchen, no checking them in the middle of the night and braving the gale force, ice cold wind that blows through our archway, no matter what the weather is elsewhere and, hopefully, no visits to pick up any required medicines from the vets. That’s all to come next month!

The vet is a feature of farming life- we couldn’t do without them, as, like people, animals get sick at times, no matter how well they’re looked after.

In these days of farm assurance the farmer is also expected to have ongoing herd and flock health plans, to maintain good health status and try and prevent disease occurring. A bit like us and our new year resolutions of trying to lose weight and get fitter and eat healthily, we try to do the same for our animals and this is also where the vet comes in- as science is not a fixed ideology and new ideas /theories/treatments are introduced over the years.

We go to seminars put on by the vets where new routines are explained and then we can make changes back on farm. One such change is the treatment of lame sheep- previously foot rot was treated by cutting the foot horn right back- now it is better to leave the horn, spray and give an antibiotic injection. Any recurring cases should mean getting rid of the animal. But, of course, this is a cost to the business, which as to be factored in.

We have been planting up gaps in some of our hedges, which haven’t been part of our environmental schemes over the past years. Some of these have become weak as a stock proof boundary and also will now form a link in our wildlife corridors- from wood to wood and field to field.

Our young sheep dog, Ted, is once again back in business after being very ill and having to be treated in hospital. Again, the vet was an intrinsic part of his recovery. But, whereas, if it was one of us who’d been ill, we’d know to take it slowly getting back into work- not him- take him logging or planting with us and he’s off rounding up sheep in the nearest field, call him back and he comes and sits and then as soon as your eyes are off him, he’s gone again!

Posted by: Angela
Categories: Farming

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