The Tups are out!

It’s that time of year again. The tups (rams) are out doing their thing, hopefully producing lots of lambs for next March. We have 3 rams – Rocky, Fergus and Squire and they each have about 50 ewes to ‘serve’. We leave them in for 5 weeks which is 2 full cycles and most are served in the first cycle and lamb within 3 weeks.
Each ram has a crayon on his chest which marks the ewe’s bottom when she’s mated and we use different colours for each ram so we know at a glance which ewe had mated with which ram. All very complicated but well worth it. The next scary time is the week before Christmas when we scan them to see if it’s all worked out! Watch this space….

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Dodging the showers

Got about half the ewes and lambs home for shearing this morning. It’s always a bit of a gamble as we don’t want them home too soon or for too long but we must have them dry for shearing on Tuesday. Wet sheep are difficult to shear and the wool goes mouldy.

The rest are coming home by lorry tomorrow. Charlie can move most of them in his lorry in a couple of trips so it saves us hours of time and fuel.

If you saw Charlie’s lorry you’d think he was called ‘Charles’ but its written like that because he couldn’t find an ‘i’ in his lettering set!

We’ll also sort some lambs from this lot tomorrow and maybe wean the oldest group. We always try to do as many jobs as we can while they’re at home as its so much easier and in the dry!

Had a great market in Tenbury Wells yesterday – it’s a new one which looks very promising. Useful takings despite appalling weather and a lot of support from the public. Only problem was the wind which has wrecked our gazebo so Whyle House Lamb will need a new one which wasn’t in the budget!

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A Busy week and not done yet!

Made our first cut silage this week – a fairly light cut but some good stuff which the sheep will enjoy.

Baling silage

We’ve also been busy with farmers’ markets this week – the regular one in Hereford on Thursday and the monthly Leominster one today. These markets are a lot of work to prepare for but I love doing them and getting the direct feedback from our customers. In Leominster today we also had some of our sheep! It’s the Leominster Festival and the theme this year is sheep so who better to ask…. I did wonder last night if this was such a great idea – trying to find a presentable ewe with a couple of decent lambs to put on show but it’s been a great day with lots of interest and fantastic weather.

Leominster festival 2013

We’ll take a bit of a breather this evening with supper with some friends and then a BBQ at a local farm but tomorrow, I need to get some fertiliser on the silage ground for the next cut and patch up a bit of thin reseeded grass. Guess who won’t be getting Sunday off!

Our new blog

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I’m told we need a blog. Apparently anyone who is anyone on the web has a blog so I guess we’d better have one. We’re farmers really (I always add the ‘really’ to re-assure myself since we do lots of other things these days) – we farm sheep and sell our lamb direct to the public via farmers’ markets and direct from the farm.

Last week I spent a great deal of time decorating – in advance of opening our doors as a Bed and Breakfast establishment. We have two lovely rooms – one en suite and one with its own bathroom and visitors have the use of the old part of the house with a cosy sitting room and dining area in what was the local shop.

We spent our weekend treating lambs for worms and injecting them against the many diseases they seem to get these days and today we’ve been getting ready for shearing tomorrow.

Life is rarely dull here.