'The day our farm became a killing zone'
Two weeks ago one of our peaceful fields turned into a field of death after a dog attack on a batch of ewes.
A few days earlier as I walked the fields doing the herding, I murmured to myself how well the spring was going with no major issues with the calving or lambing as we made good progress with field work. This was mainly down to the good weather over the winter and spring months and not my management skills.
Little did I know what was around the corner. As always with farming, you never know what's coming.
The story starts with me doing the usual jobs around the farmyard in the morning . It was a sunny spring morning and I was aiming to get out of the yard as quickly as possible to start work in the tillage fields. Two fields over from the farmyard I heard a batch of ewes bawling, but thought nothing of it as I jumped into the JCB to feed the cattle.
This was a batch of 40 ewes with twin lambs about a month old on good grass, so there was no need for them to be upset. As I cut the plastic off the next bale of silage I also heard the suckler cows in the adjacent field roaring as well.
I then knew there was something up and headed to the farmhouse for the shotgun and a handful of cartridges.
As I jogged across the first field I assumed it was just a neighbour's little house dog and that a shot into the air would put him on his way.
But as the noises coming from the field became louder, I quickly realised this was a bigger problem and the jog became a sprint.