It’s been pretty busy on the farm. The sheep all came in to be sheared which I’m sure they were very thankful for! Adam & Vivian Care sheared this year, bringing their pens and equipment with them.
It is quite a skillful job to shear a sheep that won’t stay still and very hot work, nevertheless, they were sheared pretty quickly. The fleece that is taken off the sheep is laid out and then has to be rolled and put into a large bag provided by the Wool Marketing Board. The bags have to be packed evenly and are then stitched up and taken to Liskeard for processing.
We have also introduced two new pedigree Poll Dorset rams to the girls – Unanimous and Uggster. They set to work straight away and hopefully we will see their lambs born in November.
Our young ewe lambs that were taken off their mothers in April will either be sold on or grown on and used as replacements for our flock. We operate a ‘closed’ flock, apart from the rams which are brought in.
We sold 40 of our young November lambs to another organic farmer from Gloucestershire for breeding and he travelled down to collect them from Godolphin.
The flies at this time of the year are very irritating for both cattle and sheep and the young stock were moved to fields higher up where the flies aren’t so prevalent.
The winter wheat is really looking good and will be cut around the middle of August, weather permitting.
Occasionally, when the Ruby Reds are conservation grazing the hill at Godolphin, we have to walk the hill to locate them. We often sit on top of the hill just admiring the stunning view for 360 degrees. If you haven’t had a chance to get to the top this year you should really make the effort, it is well worth it and you won’t be disappointed.
On the very last day of June, our ‘white’ heifer gave birth to a healthy bull calf which was a nice surprise as we have been waiting a while for this one!
Unfortunately, we have again gone down with TB at Godolphin losing another 2 cows, both pedigree Ruby Reds, which is a very disappointing result and means the Ruby Reds, that have grazed the hill at Godolphin so well, are severely depleted. Both these cows had young calves on them, but have managed to fend for themselves and are coping well.
The first of the silage at Godolphin has been cut. It is cut with a large mower and then left to wilt in the field for apx. 24 hours. It was a good crop, boosted by a nice amount of clover. The headlands were left untouched for the wildlife. Ideally you don’t want any rain at this stage.
The silage is drammed up which means it is gathered into wide rows before it enters the baler.
The bales are about half a ton in weight and, although they look like they could be fun to climb on, are really quite dangerous and can roll very easily.
The bales are then brought into the yard and placed on a machine that wraps 4-5 layers of plastic tightly around them to preserve them for winter feed. They are then stacked tidily away using the ‘soft hands’ to ensure they don’t get punctured.
The fields are then left for the grass to grow again for about 10 weeks when a second cut is made and the process is repeated.
Next time ….. hay season and combining .