By the barn January 2019
Posted: 1st Jan 2019
Happy new 2019, potentially a momentous year for all, not just for farming!
Brexit is on the horizon and, whatever happens, it will have a huge impact on agriculture and that means on us, on our neighbours farm, on our Derbyshire countryside!
This month we’re busy as all our cattle are inside. We had to bring them in last month ready for our second follow up tb test and decided they’d better stay in.
We were already taking out silage for them and spreading it in the field for them ( a different part each day so nowhere got especially trodden up) and it is easier to have them all in one place. It also means no fodder is wasted and we can feed some corn if we think they need it.
Our grass hasn’t grown particularly lately and we didn’t want them to lose condition.
The ewes are all, hopefully, in lamb now and, unless the weather takes a turn for the worst, will be able to manage on what they can find. This also means we must be careful when using Ted to move them- we don’t want him to scare or hurry them too much.
We brought some of our ewes back recently from where they had been grazing and he worked especially well when on other farmland.
Recently there has been a case of sheep worrying locally. The national figures for this have risen drastically over the last few years and it is so cruel and unnecessary.
The days are short and we are rejuvenating a short piece of hedge near one of the footpaths. It has been quite weak for a few years and , over time, has been mangled by escaping sheep and cattle.
First we sided the hawthorns and pulled out any rotten fencing and long brambles, rusted wire and hurdles used for blocking gaps and now we are laying the remaining branches to make a more solid obstacle to contain our livestock. Weak spots will be fenced and the whole length of hedge will be fenced off with sheep netting and posts to make it stock proof. Any reasonable branches which have been removed will be cut up and used on the house fires – warming us twice- once when cutting them and again when we burn them!
While we are out working late afternoons, we sometimes hear Ravens passing overhead and maybe a buzzard or two will come and sit watching incase we disturb a vole or mouse and provide their dinner.
Ted and Pip love to accompany us and have great fun sniffing round and rooting under the hedge , until Ted gets bored and goes to sit watching the sheep.
The leaves have gone and few berries remain on the hedges for the birds and if we are working as the light begins to go, we can hear owls hooting in the woods. It can be quite eerie at times.
Posted by: Angela