On The Farm This Week

It’s July, well the calendar says it’s July but the weather is questionable! Every year in July Michael weans the lambs. You can wean a lamb anytime from twelve weeks old onward. The process that we use is quite simple. All the sheep come into the yard in batches. The ewes are separated from the lambs and they are turned out on pasture with a lean pick of grass and the lambs are moved onto fields of after-grass. After-grass is the grass that grows after the meadow has been cut for silage. It’s very nutritious and putting the lambs on it helps them to thrive now that they’re out in the big bad world without Mammy! All the ewes have to go on to a less nutritious pick of grass so they won’t develop mastitis. It’s important to make sure that the fields are securely fenced, especially the ones that the lambs get turned out in. They are little divils and will try and find Mammy for the first couple of days. After spending a day or two baaing for her (if you listen carefully you’ll actually hear them say “Maa, Maa, come back Maaaaaaaaaa”) and then they realize that life is much cooler without her watching and they can up to all sorts of tricks with their mates!!

Also this week Michael will be giving a sheep herding demonstration for Xtreme which is a Team Building and Adventure Centre in north Dublin. He’ll be using Mist and Nell, the two working collies here. By my estimation they are great dogs, very intelligent. Mist often takes pity on me when I’m helping Michael move sheep. A stubborn ewe or two will be oblivious to my waving hands, jumping and shouting, so Mist kindly nips over, moves them along and looks at me as if to say “don’t worry, they just know you a weakling, I’ll move them for you”. Which is very kind of her really!!

Michael also hopes to be making silage……. soon. So everybody cross your fingers and toes for good weather!

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