The Life on the Farm column with Frances Graham

We have managed to separate the heifers and bullocks during a week of catch-up work.
We have managed to separate the heifers and bullocks during a week of catch-up work.

This past week seems to have been a catch-up one at home with the sheep and the cows. At the beginning of the week we sorted all the young stock into two separate lots, the heifers and bullocks.

It’s a job that we have been dreading as they normally like to try and escape.

We thought that we had got everything secure so they couldn’t try to jump out or try to break out.

How wrong we were they did, they managed to get out and run straight down the front lane getting past the garden without breaking into there and making a big mess.

Surprisingly they managed to all come back into the yard and we got them sorted.

My dad had the job of shedding them into the different sheds while my brother and I had to run them up the race to my dad.

Getting the cows to run is always the hardest bit, but once one goes the rest normally try to follow. They didn’t stop.

Shedding them is the hardest job as you can’t see the back of the cow or underneath to see if it is a bullock or heifer so either my brother or I had to say what they were.

My grandad was also there checking that we were all doing the job right and also telling us that we should have done it differently. We all learn from what we have done wrong. Once we sorted them out we checked that they were all right.

There was one bullock that managed to sneak into the heifers but that was the only wrong one out of 70, so we were all pretty happy.

The heifers are better being kept separate as they come abulling and the bullocks ride them and mucky them up.

They are all to sell so they need to be kept as clean as possible.

This weekend has been a catch-up with the lambs that we have away at land down the dale. My dad and I have dosed the lambs with a wormer to kill any worms that they may have picked up and also given them a dose of vitamins.

We only dosed the horned weathers with a wormer because we felt that they may have worms as they were mucky.

But our horned gimmers were only dosed with vitamins because there were no mucky lambs and they didn’t look to ail anything so they will only be dosed when they need it. Although now you should only dose the lambs with a wormer if they needed it as there is resistance to them.

If the wormers are used too much than they will become ineffective and there will be nothing to kill the worms.

Dosing the lambs when they don’t need it causes resistance but under dosing stock can also cause resistance.

If an animal doesn’t get the correct dose then the worm won’t be properly killed therefore causing resistance.

We also did their feet as over the last few days they seemed to go lame.

It seems to be a certain few lambs out of our moor sheep that are the worst, we think that the tups pass it onto the lambs.

So it is better breeding off sheep and tups that aren’t lame as lameness is passed on.

The lambs which were lame had all their feet sprayed with iodine, trimmed if necessary and only jabbed with antibiotic if they were infected.

Antibiotics are only used in sheep and cattle if it is absolutely necessary – most of the sheep will have never seen any antibiotics in their life.

As some of the media have shown recently that they are commonly used which isn’t true, lamb is the best meat you could buy as it is just reared off grass.