I would like to start with a heartfelt apology to the people of Scotland. Last month I mentioned that an Englishman, an Irishman and a Welshman travelled to Scotland and achieved their 400-a-day shearing goals.
A phone call followed, albeit tongue in cheek, from the Scottish shearer as he did not get a mention, so I would like to take this opportunity to rectify the omission.
Huge thanks to Wilson (a 500-a-day shearer) and Robert for giving Sam this amazing opportunity and a special shoutout to Lauren and Lucy, the two Rouseys, who work extremely hard in a job which is often overlooked.
I do hope this helps to keep the peace between our two Celtic nations.
We have had a busy few weeks sorting sheep. Our yearlings have been drenched for multivitamins, worms and fluke, vaccinated for enzootic abortion and are now grazing lush grass until tupping. A mixture of Mules and Halfbreds, Bluefaced Leicester and Border Leicester tups on Epynt Speckled ewes, they are lovely sheep.
Following a long dry spell, the recent rain has been welcome both for grass growth and replenishing our depleted water supplies. Having no mains water here, we rely on the springs.
Swedes are looking well and have shut drill. Green crop is a bit patchy where the ground was dry, but should be a decent crop, fingers crossed.
Five hundred lambs have been sold so far on a solid trade, with the remaining lambs now weaned. We are keeping 150 ewe lambs for breeding and the tup lambs have been turned out on the clover. Ewes have been health checked and sorted into bunches ready for tupping.
We have decided not to use a specific progesterone device for January lambing as it was not fully effective for us this year. Although 98 per cent of ewes were covered in day one, only 50 per cent held and lambed during that cycle. Next year’s lambing will revert to a February start.
It has been a strange summer with no real break from college as the university exam boards were prolonged due to Covid-19 and resits are currently underway.
We are now officially back, but at the time of writing, there are still questions over how classroom teaching is going to take place. We have been preparing lectures which can be accessed remotely and have put in place stringent plans for practical activities, but it is going to be a challenge.
These are strange times indeed, but it has brought out the best in community spirit and support of local businesses.
We had a rare family evening out last week at the local pub, sitting outside eating delicious steak and drinking real ale. One of the many simple things in life we have taken for granted in the past but appreciate more now.