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William and Andrew Cowx: Looking forward to the spring and better weather

Insights

Each time I sit down to write this article I try to refrain from writing about the weather but it is such an important part of our livelihood and determines what we do on a daily basis.

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We have not been flooded out like some parts of the country but the land is still so wet we are unable to do the most basic of jobs. We are feeding all the sheep with hay which is done with the ATV and trailer.

 

This is my job every morning and today it was so windy and wet with hail I wore goggles to protect my face, the wind blew the hay out of the trailer and when I got to the sheep racks they had been blown over.

 

I wondered who in their right mind would do this job and get so little for doing it? But what keeps us going is the hope the sun will shine, we will have lots of lambs and calves, spring will come early, the grass will grow and all will be well.

 

On a more positive note we scanned the sheep a week ago. The ewes scanned at 220 per cent and the ewe lambs 116 per cent which was rather disappointing. Still, we will rescan the ones we thought were not in lamb - because the tups had not been out long enough - just to be sure.

 

Next week we will put all the triplet-bearing ewes inside and start and feed all the sheep silage and a little concentrate building up to lambing time.

 

Silage is not too plentiful but the sheep seem to like it and do better on it than hay. We bought a load of hay last week which is something I cannot remember doing for many years - if and when it will be wanted all depends on when spring arrives.

 

Beef trade seems to have slipped lately and our cast cows are not coming to as much as before Christmas.

 

It seems the trade will not allow prices to get too high before beef is brought in from various countries and ‘Buy British’ ideals all fall by the wayside.

 

Five local marts organised a charity auction last Friday which was very well attended with all sorts of livestock, goods and services to sell.

 

Bidding was brisk and while we have not yet heard what was raised, at a guess it must have been in the region of £30,000 to £40,000. A pleasant reminder that people are very generous at these events.

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