31st March 2022
January kicked off with the first lot of Beltex lambing at home, this was the first year that I had AI’d the ewes and I have been really pleased with the results and the lambs are looking great! I also had the exciting news that I had been accepted onto this year's NSA Next Generation group, already this has given me some great opportunities including an interview with British Wool for International Women’s Day and giving a talk to the Bristol University 1st and 2nd year vet students before they head off to their first lambing placements next month.
I managed to escape the lambing shed for a few days for our first Next Generation session back in February. It was great to meet the rest of the group and talk about all the different sheep systems we run and get to know each other. We had a talk from Phillipa Page and a farm walk around Cotswold Farm Park with Adam Henson. It was a jam packed few days, but I feel like even after that first session everyone learnt something and we were all able to take something from it for own flocks.
I have just come back from the second contract lambing of the season. I have been down in the Quantocks where they lamb a mixture of 1700 Welsh, Scottish and North Country mules tupped mainly to Suffolk rams but also a few Texels. The ewes are on outdoor straw yards and then, once they have lambed, they go into individual mothering pens in polytunnels and are out in the field within 24-48 hours. The system worked really well and it was great to be working with such an efficient and motivated team. Farms like this one are the ones that make me realise just how much I love my job and why I do what I do.
Lambing season is still in full swing with some farms only just starting. My ewes that went to the tup naturally have started lambing and show prep has begun ready for the first show in May.
The first lot of show catalogues have come out and so far, I have entered North Somerset, RWAS Spring Festival and Royal Welsh with Beltex and the Badger Mountains.
I will be going to my last lambing job of the season next week where I will be lambing around 400 North Country Mule 2t. They have a purpose built lambing shed with a fitted water system through the pens and aim to get ewes and lambs out within 48 hours. I will be covering the night shifts, 8am – 8pm.