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Christine Ryder: 'The cows and calves have gone up to the moor and the sheep to the lowland'

livestockWeather

When storm Angus blew through with great pace and filled the fields with water it was time to bring in the bullocks and we now have them on a straw yard and eating silage.

 

The cows and calves have gone up to the moor and they will stay there for the winter; we are in the second year of an experiment with Natural England to see how they thrive.

 

Meanwhile, the sheep have all been taken to lower land. It will be interesting to see how the moor reacts to another cattle only winter. The calves will be weaned in January and will then come inside.

 

We still have 200 fat lambs to go. There is always a dilemma about whether they should just go as store lambs and be done with them or whether we should start to feed them and get a better finish price. It is always a risk either way because it is difficult to know, especially the way the pound is changing.

 

The sheep are all tupped now and we will take them away this week. The next job is to split the ewes into groups for scanning. Chris has given the ewes a fluke drench and a Copper bolus, so they should be okay until January when they will be fluked again.

 

I recently travelled to Warwickshire for my first board meeting as a trustee for the Addington Fund. The journey home was hideous and I felt like I was in a queue from Coventry to Harrogate.

 

This was followed a few days later when we travelled back from the Farm Stay AGM, near Chester, and a two-hour journey took five-and-a-half hours. I have never been so fed up in my life and seeing the next car to us full of men getting out for a pee, it certainly made me appreciate my daily commute of one flight of stairs.

 

This week, our Harrogate Farm Stay group went to visit Nidderdale Llamas. I did wonder why anyone would pay to walk a llama on a lead, but having seen such a fabulous business and walked an alpaca called Gary Barlow, I think it is something I could definitely recommend to my guests.

 

Last Friday we went to the showmans’ dinner and it was great to meet with all the local show committees and catch up. And yes, George Hamilton, it was a great speech.

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