Sheep: Back to reality after a big week on my farm
Published 13/04/2016 | 02:30
What a week I have just had. Sometimes I had to pinch myself to really believe that this was all happening. Before I knew what was going on there were celebs and weather forecasters all mucking in on the farm. To cap it all, Ivan Scott broke a world record shearing a sheep in my shed.
I had a lot of fun here last week with RTE's 'Big week on the Farm'. It was such a great opportunity to inform people about farming and about where their food comes from and I think that there was something in it for everyone.
Before I agreed to do it, one thing that was made clear was that this should be a positive but realistic show. I think we achieved that and hats off to the production team, camera operators, presenters and celebs for what they did.
I couldn't speak more highly of them. It was also good to meet all the weather people, whom we as farmers, depend upon so much. They are very committed and professional about their jobs.
Although there was a lot going on, the sheep didn't stop lambing and I was delighted when there was a bit of free time at the start of each day to disappear out to the fields to keep an eye on things. Obviously I had help in for the week, but nobody knows my farm better than I know it myself.
The weather has been and still is the biggest challenge over the last while. We are tantalisingly close to the end of the winter, but I have found over the years that April can have a nasty sting in its tail to remind us that we are still not home and hosed.
I have never seen such a year with grass tetany. I lost about six ewes so far with it and that is why I have bitten the bullet and started feeding roughly 300-500g of high magnesium nuts with 18pc protein to all groups of ewes and lambs around the farm.
This regime will continue until things begin to get milder. It is expensive but I've no choice because it's just one of those years.