David Hodges

2nd December 2020

Update - December 2020

Life has very much changed for me this year. Social life and work away from the farm as an instructor in agriculture at a school has been very different.
I have taken on board a lot of the advice that we were given on our first ambassador weekend with our flock this year and as a result my ewes are in as good a condition as they have ever been pre tupping, I was more thorough with my culling and I am hopeful of a successful lambing in March. The tups are now on their second cycle and most of the ewes are marked, with mainly just ewe lambs left to cover.


Covid has really affected school life with all sport etc being stopped, classes in bubbles and classrooms all sanitized between each class. I have seen first-hand how the lack of social interaction can affect pupils mentally and I am just glad that the farm provides a form of normality for me during this surreal time.

It’s been surprising that there has been such little talk of Brexit in the news due to Covid, so it has sort of slipped under the radar. Being from Northern Ireland, Brexit could have a massive impact on the sheep industry here. Most of our fat Lamb is exported to Southern Ireland, so depending on the outcome of the current talks a hard border or lack of trade deal could have a negative impact. In spite of this we are feeling optimistic and hoping that the new opportunities it brings outweighs the negatives!

Update - April 2021

All of our lambs have now received their Heptavac-P vaccine and are all eating creep in some capacity. We have finally seen an improvement in the weather this past week, with some much needed heat bringing about some much more needed grass growth!

I hope to cut our first cut of grass this week, which should take some pressure off other pasture, with limited grass growth (only an inch of rain in nine weeks) it has left pasture relatively well grazed, especially for this time of year.

Once silage is lifted and in the clamp, shearing will start, I have been reluctant to do any clipping yet, as I felt it just was not warm enough and was scared of ‘black bag’ etc in our ewes. We have just completed some renovations to our indoor clamps, which should give us an extra bay of clamp space, before filling it with ewes in January again.

The first batch of ewes and lambs will soon be getting weaned, which is hard to believe, so it will be interesting to see how our lambs have done.