Thursday, 2 December 2021

Annual Census

Tending the sheep has been a little easier since their amalgamation last week with the ewes and ewe lambs in one field and the rams and ram lambs in another. I've replenished the hay supplies which should see us through into the New Year. They all get a small amount of supplementary coarse feed each day, including the three remaining ram lambs  I do not want them to lose condition over the winter. This is how they will remain until I bring the ewes in at the end of February ready for lambing.

Still on sheep. All sheep keepers (and goat keepers) are required by DEFRA to complete an annual census of their livestock as of the 1st December. The notice to complete this came through last week and I have duly completed and returned mine. Along with tagging, movement licences for each movement on and off the holding and individual keeper's obligatory holding registers, theoretically every sheep in the UK is traceable. This is of significance if there is a serious disease outbreak and is the reason why detailed livestock recording has been put in place. It is even more detailed for cattle. 

It was not very long ago that the devastating effects of Foot and Mouth Disease were felt by cattle farmers.  The major current concern is with African Swine Fever which has been edging closer to the UK. We live in a world of pandemics.