The Life on The Farm column with Frances Graham

It has been a hectic few weeks since Christmas and New Year with scanning, calving and cows' feet to do. My first two cows calved that I had artificially inseminated. One of them calved two days early and the other calved about a week late and they were both served on the same day and with the same semen.

Saturday, 20th January 2018, 10:39 am
We scanned the Masham sheep and there are 80 sets of triplets, plus one quad, as we look ahead to lambing.

It just shows that how nothing is by the text book, that everything is different.

Both of the cows were put to the British Blue.

One had a heifer calf and the other a bull.

We also had someone come and sort out the cows feet as we had tried to keep doing them but they just didn’t seem to improve much so we thought it would be best to have them done.

He made it look so easy with his crush that went over so that they were on their sides and then fastened their feet so they couldn’t move or kick.

It is much better than us trying to fasten their feet up on our cattle crush as with the way we do it there is still a chance of them moving.

We were all impressed on how he trimmed them up with a disc on a angle grinder and then shaped them slightly more with a foot knife, much easier and quicker than us trying to trim them with just a knife. Spending hours just to do one foot and to seem him trim all four feet in about 20 minutes.

My grandad was very impressed on how well they were done, as we have never had someone to trim them before so it wasn’t just him impressed, I think everyone was.

Some of the cows were just overgrown and others had a little bit more wrong that either needed a bandage or a block to help them heel.

The bandages were taken off after 4/5 days, but the blocks were left on as they would wear them away with walking on them.

When he put the bandage on he used some copper sulphate to help heal and dry the foot up. When we took them off the feet looked a lot better than when we put them on. The pink bandages didn’t stay pink for very long!

It’s come back around to that time of year again when we are scanning the sheep.

It was a very hectic day as it was my sister’s 17th birthday so we had to get finished early to go and see her.

Everything seems to happen on the same day here as my dad had to go rushing off after we had finished scanning.

But it was the best scan we have had with the Mashams – they are at 214% which I think must be the highest we have ever got.

The horned ones didn’t do too bad and they were about the same as other years.

The Mashams were scanned and have 80 sets of triplets, one quad, and only 39 singles.

Normally we have the around the same number of triplets as singles but the triplets have done a little two well this year.

My dad couldn’t believe it when the scanning man said that there was 80.

We thought they were doing well.

Every time my dad went near the sheep there would be a pen of triplets so he decided to keep his distance as 80 is just a few too many.

Unfortunately, we are probably going to have to sell nearly all of these sheep we scanned as we are losing some land at the start of April and haven’t found any more land anywhere else to take them to.

We have bred the sheep up since 2005 and have got them just to how we want them and now we are probably going to have to sell them.