Ali Hill

2nd December 2020

Update - December 2020

Since I became an ambassador I have increased the flock I work with from 450 ewes to 700  making it more of an equal part in the farm business. To make room for the new ewes we have reduced the sucker herd which also mean we now have the shed space to be able to finish our stock and not have to sell as stores.

We are trying to reduce our input cost on farm so we are robust when it comes to leaving Europe. We are trying to produce as much of the feed inputs as possible and also implementing rotational grazing for all stock to try and reduce the amount of wormer we have to use and hopefully try to get on top of the a wormer resistance that is starting to show it ugly head.

Outside of work we have had a busy few months. We had a baby girl in March called Flora, such a happy baby who already loves being outside looking at all the animals. We have then started our own flock as a family and have been able to sell our lambs direct to some local families. We hope to start producing some sheep skin rugs as well as other products from the skin and wool in the near future.

Update - April 2021

The past two months have been busy on the farm and with our own flock. February started with lambing an early flock of ewes. This is the first time I have lambed in February and it went really well. By doing this it highlighted a lot of benefits such as having more space in our barns to keep the ewes and lambs. Also by having more space it meant I could keep the newborn lambs in with their mothers a little longer to strengthen their bond before turn out. Lambing in February came with some new challenges such as bad weather, to try and combat this I used Lamb macs for the first time. I found using these great as an added layer of protection from the elements.

With our own flock of Badger Faces Sheep we have been lambing these outside during March. It has been a great feeling watching our flock grow and we have been taken back how well these sheep do with all the weather that has been chucked at them. The lambs are born with 1cm of wool which is a big contrast to our commercial flock so no Lamb macs are needed for them.

Round three of lambing is just about to start with my second flock at work starting in April. I am currently lambing this flock inside but hope to lamb them outside next year as the number of ewes have out grown the amount of shed space we have available for them.   

Update - June 2021

Since our last update we have finished lambing which went well until we had a hit of Watery Mouth. I was lambing my April flock indoors but by mid-April with 75% of the flock lambed I turned the rest out and finished lambing them outside to reduce the risk of them getting Watery Mouth. This worked and they then finished lambing without many more losses.

We have just started picking fat lambs from our February flock. I am very pleased with my first attempt of lambing early and have just pulled out a quarter of the lambs at 12 weeks. So every happy with this. This flock is mainly made up of Aberfield cross Lleyn ewes with an Abermax ram over them.

A quick update with the cattle on the farm is that we have just invested in a couple of breeds. On the commercial herd, we have just brought some Stabiliser cattle. We are looking to make our cattle more efficient and changing our breed is one of the things we are doing to get there. On our none commercial herd, we have just brought some Longhorn cattle to be at the home farm. We are hoping to breed pedigree replacements from these animals. We have also put some Longhorn embryos into our Hereford heifers. This is our first time doing this and we are excited to see if it has worked.