Farmer Focus: Sheep dairy under way and lambing over

We received planning permission for our sheep dairy. It got here by means of on 25 April, and we’re working in the direction of a goal of milking sheep in seven weeks.  

The digger broke floor on 2 May. I’m scripting this 11 days later and groundworks end as we speak – metal and concrete works begin subsequent week.

Sump tanks, rest room tanks, rainwater harvesting tanks, concrete panels, curler shutter doorways, bulk tank and pipework have all been ordered.

The feed silo has been procured and the parlour has gone for galvanising.

See additionally: How sheep dairy new entrant has doubled dimension of flock

About the writer

Rob and Jo Hodgkins

Livestock Farmer Focus author

Rob and Jo Hodgkins run 2,300 ewes throughout 210ha of grass and have 566ha of arable in Hertfordshire, producing lambs for Tesco and breeding sheep by means of Kaiapoi Romneys. Subsidy-free sheep farming means ewes have to be practical, lamb outside and produce lambs on forage alone.

The dairy technician is booked for straight after essentially the most financial institution holidays ever (grrr) and the electrician is primed and able to go.

The similar can’t be stated for UK Power Networks – in January we utilized for a quote to connect with the pole that sits in the midst of the sector with the dairy.

They stated they are able to join us by October – so generator it’s.

The water firm will join on 13 June, and we’ve lastly discovered a dependable buyer for the milk.

The solely disadvantage is that they’re in Somerset, so we’re engaged on some logistics within the background.

Our dairy shepherdess, Robbyn, began with us in April. Fraser, our shepherd, has lambed every little thing. Weather situations had been excellent, and he just about dealt with all 2,500 on his personal.

It’s fascinating to see another person work your system.

He made extra use of a pen at every block to avoid wasting bringing something again to “the barn” and took an orphan spherical with him to wet-foster if the chance arose.

He additionally marked ewes to draft out later for culling.

All we’ve in “the barn” is 27 orphans with some calves we’re rearing for the freezer, which implies we are going to cancel our public lambing occasion as there’s nothing to see.

Since we began it, a number of small farms have arrange and undercut us, so it’s considerably misplaced its shine anyway.

Breeding inventory gross sales are going properly. We have bought out of shearlings and a couple of third of our ewe lambs are bought.

We have drilled our new spring crops: quinoa and borage and a small area of chicory for the dairy lambs once we wean them. Next time we write, we ought to be milking.

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