Thursday, 28 May 2009


There is no doubt about it - farmery folk do like to winge! This morning down at the burn side there wasn't a breath of air, and it was warm, in fact quite humid...... and yes the little blighters were out. Oh Lord! I had actually forgotten about them but I guess it is that time of year and they will be desperate for a feed. Yes, you're right - the Midge - y'see, wind has got it's uses, as has cold weather. There's just no pleasing some folk.

Midges brings me on to Bluetongue, being a member of the eu has more to answer for than you'd think as that is where the BTV8 has come from, well okay, it travelled from Africa originally but it crossed the channel a couple of years back and is now threatening British livestock.

Many in this area are vaccinating at the moment and many aren't. It is a difficult choice, no one wants to see their stock suffer but will they? That is the question.

The south was hard hit two summers ago and had to vaccinate which you would expect could create a buffer zone for the north. Last year the only bluetongue outbreaks had actually come in with imported animals from the continent, there were no cases of bluetongue caused by midges in this country. Umm, makes you think, especially as the vaccine is about 80p a head for a sheep ( although at the moment there is half price vaccine available as it is fast approaching it's use by date).

Time will tell, but I do know if farmers think their stock really are under threat then they will do something about it. In the mean time I will scratch my midge bites and contemplate. Did you know they are referred to as 'no see ems' in Canada - very aptly named!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

blowing a hooly

Blimey! The website is up and running and good ol' Shep has been sleeping on the job...... lambing has just drawn to a close you know, we're all allowed a nap every now and again!

Well an awful lot has happened since the tup sale, tups went out, came in, winter came and went, lambs were born, summer is heading our way - far too much to fill you all in with at the moment.

Sheps main problem at the mo' is wind - not the flatulence type, no, definitely not gastric problems, its that unseen wind, you can hear and feel it - just can't see it.
Strong cold winds seem to have been the norm now for too many weeks, admittedly we've had some hot sunshine, however, it has often been masked by the wind.

lambs easily get mis mothered as the ewes can't hear them bleating. Sheep find an excuse to take ill or die, wonderful disorders such as staggers, mastitis, pneumonia - give the woolly critters an excuse and they'll find something to ail with cold winds blowing on their backs. Dogs can't hear you either, although there is no doubt about it Collie dogs definitely have selective hearing and strong winds are most probably just a grand excuse to do as they fancy.

Then of course there is those of us who have to go out in the wind, which is warming if on foot and nithering if on the quad, gets really wearisome battling against it and once inside in the warm and shelter makes you feel awfully sleepy...... on that note I'm off to bed, who knows? the wind may have died down by morning.