Friend S, who reads my blog regularly although she doesn't blog for herself, says she enjoys my blog more on the days when I write about what is happening on the farm - so I thought I would bring farm life up to date.
All the sheep have gone back on to the fells and the fields are largely empty except for a small group of dry cows, who are let out every day to enjoy the sunshine and then taken in at night. While the fields are empty they have all been harrowed, rolled, fertilised with 20:10:10, slurried and now left for the grass to grow (which it is doing with the sunshine we have had over the past few days.)
All the fences damaged by wind or water over the winter months have been repaired and are now in good order, and all the stone walls have also been checked for damage and repaired.
We still have a loose-housing barn full of in- calf cows and they are staying in for a little while longer as they are to be freeze-branded one day next week and it is easier to have them all 'captive' for that operation. It is not at all painful and every one ends up with a number stamped on its rear end so that it is easily identified.
In a couple of weeks time sheep and lambs will come into the big pasture and heifers for fattening into the other pastures. Then the rest of the fields will be left to grow until they are ready to be cut for silage. This operation will be late this year because the weather has been so cold.
Today the catch has broken on the loose-housing door so the farmer is busy welding it together again as I write this. Once the cows found out that they could push the door open they would be out and away into the fields - they can already smell the grass growing and are getting restless.