March 2016

Sheep in Winter

30 March, 2016 - 13:00 | Lara Pollard-Jones

Reflecting on a “bad” winter … what do we mean?  The UK winter which is nearing its end has been miserably wet though not very cold.  This is an unpleasant combination for farmers and for sheep.

When the weather is wet, it’s more difficult to move around the fields, there’s mud in gateways and “poaching” of muddy damaged grass extends many yards into the fields themselves from each gate.  And then if it has been windy, the gutters that feed the rainwater tanks may be damaged, causing leaks and more mud at a time when getting a ladder out to do repairs is unusually difficult.

The Killing Fields

7 March, 2016 - 12:41 | Lara Pollard-Jones

This has been quite a hard winter for sheep farmers: not only has it been very wet indeed, which is bad for sheep, but also the meat prices have been a bit lower …

As a result, there cannot be many shepherds this year who have not experienced losses of ewes, rams, yearling lambs and newly born lambs.  We have heard sad stories of lambs being born only to drown in the mud and puddles in the field before they can get up or die of pneumonia from getting too chilled.   This is very hard to deal with.

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