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'Walking round the fields this spring has been a joy - especially after this year'

I think spring has finally sprung here and the Easter weekend has been fabulous for everyone, farmers and tourists alike, writes Christine Ryder.

It was a great feeling last week when the last few lambing sheep were turned out and there were no more late night rounds of the shed.

 

The sheep have lambed well and we were fortunate to miss the snowy weather a couple of weeks ago. Walking round the fields this spring has been a joy, especially after last year’s lambing weather.

 

While lambing time is busy, there is twice as much work when it is over. Constant checking of stock takes up quite a lot of time with ours being spread over three separate holdings now.

 

You always set off round the field hoping everything is standing up and it is very disappointing when you find a dead ewe.

 

We have lost a couple to black bag and we have probably had to treat half-a-dozen with antibiotics and they seem to have recovered but lost part of their udder.

 

Then there is the job of catching the lambs, which seem to run like the wind, and if she has no milk at all the lambs are at a difficult stage because they are stubborn and will not take milk from the machine.


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We try to get them on to hay and lamb pellets as soon as possible, but they do lose condition.

 

The lambs are all being vaccinated now to prevent orf, which involves scratching a live vaccine on bare skin on the inner back thigh.

 

It is quite a workout catching the lambs to do this. I tell myself it is good for me.

 

We recently took up a stretch of fencing which our landlord said had been put in 40 years ago.

 

Amazingly, most of the posts were still sound, but another stretch of fence which was 10 years old had all rotten posts.

 

Nothing seems to last any more. This week I went into the front porch, which we use for storage, only to find there was water coming through the ceiling. It has been slowly leaking from the toilet cistern in the bathroom above.

 

Therefore, my live-in handyman has done a repair job and, hopefully, it is sorted.

 

This is just off our guests’ lounge and hopefully will not affect them, but it looks as though the ceiling will have to come down, which means more mess, hassle and, inevitably, decorating.

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