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Will Case: Ewes scanned, a new arrival, hens doing well, and Happy new Year wishes

When you read this, I should be suffering from the usual festive indigestion, but I would not have it any other way. I hope you all had a good Christmas and Santa gave you exactly what you asked for.

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Our house is a buzz of excitement this time of year as our three little boys are running up the walls. Christmas day is always special and, having a young family, I like to get up early and have everything fed and checked by 7:30am so as not to miss any presents being opened.

 

We take it in turns to have a couple of days off during the festive period as it is important to recharge the batteries and spend time with family and friends. It is not always easy to get the work-life balance right in farming, so we grab these opportunities when we can.

 

December started well as our Single Farm Payment arrived. Although smaller than last year, its arrival gave us some breathing space in our overdraft. We spent much of last month plotting ways to invest in our business.

 

Simon and I went to AgriScot to investigate EID readers and software, returning home with a wealth of information which we are still trying to digest.

 

We scanned our early commercial ewes and Texels this month. The commercial ewes scanned at 202 per cent and, unusually, the Texels scanned at 204 per cent, with triplets in 28 of our 89 ewes. Lambing time will be interesting.

 

Dad and I went to the Carlisle Twilight Texel sale and bought a gimmer shearling from Procters Farm. I am happy with her and we are looking forward to seeing her lambs next year, although she’s a triplet too; I must be mad.

 

Our hens are performing nicely, with the older birds laying well and our pullets coming in above target weight. They will be laying plenty of eggs soon.

 

As the year ends, it is natural to reflect on the 12 months before. For me, this year was great to farm, with the weather being mostly in our favour, but this feeling is tempered by the poor prices for our produce.

 

As ever in farming, you deal with the highs and lows while trying to remain level - volatility is nothing new. As we approach the start of 2015, I look forward to the challenges ahead and I wish you all a happy new year.

 

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