Another rather unpleasant week ! The wind has been blowing, often making it feel quite cold and the storms have rushed through depositing copious amounts of rain.

Between the storms it has stayed rather damp, which gave us a total of 32 mm of rainfall over the week.

Everywhere is so muddy and to add insult to injury I managed to slip over, without injuring myself, but ended up covered in mud!

The barrage of storms during the past week did some damage here on Manor Farm and on our daughter’s farm in Devon.

Here Kevin removed the bough of a tree which had blown across the road, fixed a door which blew off its hinges and once again was forced to build a dam to divert the torrent of water

Melissa, for a second time this year, had water finding its way into her house and fortunately managed to stem the flow with a bundle of towels.

In Devon a large section of barn roof blew 40 feet into the air before landing against the garden wall.

It was not a barn housing any livestock , but a neighbouring farmer was on hand a few days later to help with the repair, using all the right equipment to keep them safe while doing the job.

There have been two vet visits to Manor farm during the last week . One was to look at a lame freemartin Friesian / Holstein, born just before we sold our dairy herd at the end of 2018. A freemartin is the heifer (female ) twin of a mixed set of twins. The hormones of the male calf influence the development of the female whilst in the uterus.

This usually results in the female being sterile, as she will often look externally female but her internal reproductive organs may be absent or underdeveloped.

When the vet came to check her there did not appear to be a problem with her hoof and it was thought she had injured herself somehow. She was then injected with a painkiller and anti -inflammatory before being moved to a pen, with a friend to keep her company.

The other visit was by Kevin’s sheep vet, who came to take some blood samples from the main flock due to lamb soon. Random samples were taken from six ewes expecting twins and six from ewes expecting triplets. The samples were then taken back to a laboratory, where they will be checked for nutrient and mineral levels. This is to check that the ewes are receiving the correct ration.

The 100 ewes in the elite flock started lambing during the week. These ewes have been selected to provide the future breeding stock , as they have been classified with outstanding conformation and other necessary breeding traits.

At the beginning of the week Kevin and father Francis attended a meeting where they were given presentations by vets in order to gain a certificate of competence involving drug use on the farm.

This is all part of farm assurance schemes. The focus of this one was Farm Assured British beef and Lamb. In order to become FABBL assured, beef and sheep farmers have to attend meetings, such as this to make sure they know the correct way to administer drugs and give injections. Farmers must also know about drug use in general, including the correct storage and record keeping .

A question and answer session was also included, at the end of which a certificate of competence could be given to each of the attendees.