Life on the Farm

Sophie Law

Hello everyone, that’s me officially back from just under 9 months of maternity leave and what an amazing time it was.  I hope everyone is well and have had enjoyed the festive season?

Our daughter Ellie was born on 19th April, a very fast labour of only one hour and she has been full speed ever since. Rolling over at a very early 13 weeks and now at only 9 months is pulling herself up to stand and desperate to walk to catch up with her big brother.  Jack has been an amazing big brother, he’s very helpful but also so caring. He talks to her, plays with her and is so excited to go and see her when she wakes.  Also, to say that summer was a good one to be on maternity leave through, would be a little bit of an understatement.  Especially when Ellie was, and still is, such a content and happy wee soul.

We also decided to add another member to our family, as if the madness of a new baby wasn’t enough, we decided to get another.  Everybody meet Fern, our red Labrador pup.

She’s not as small as that any longer, or as sleepy but she is great. Perfect with the kids and gets on well (most of the time) with our Jack Russell, Midge who is now 10.

Last summer was amazing, we had a very good crop of silage and were lucky we didn’t have to do as much as the year before, as we still had some left. The ground we have is quite wet generally, so we were loving the dry spells and warm weather, it gave the ground some rest from all the water it hangs onto most of the year.

Don’t get me wrong, the hot dry weather did come with its downfalls.  At one point there was no water for our stock.  We had to cart massive IBC tanks up to the other steading we have use of.  This is because their water is from a borehole, a hole dug deep underground which connects to the water table.  The water is then pumped up to a tank at the surface.  The weather was so dry, there was none!  This in turn increased our water usage at home, which we pay for.  Not exactly ideal, but there was no other way.

At the back end of last year we did some forecasting for the winter months, and realised we were going to be tight for money if we carried on with the head of calves we had due to input prices going up.  So, after some research, and some brainstorming we decided to sell some calves earlier than normal, which would normally be January time, allowing us to free up some cash and reduce spend.  We then sold the rest of the calves a couple of weeks ago, and thankfully trade has been good.

The cost of living is affecting us all and has become a huge worry in the farming sector as well because there has been an increase in price for not just our own food, but the feeding for the animals, bedding, fertiliser, fuel and electricity.  Electricity is a big one because we do most of our farming in the morning and evening where there is little to no daylight, as we both work full time through the day.

Now we are heading into calving season, and our first girl is ready to go any day.  Gav and his dad have really been working hard and putting in the hours to muck out sheds, clean and bed sheds and pens before calves start to hit the ground.  The space made from those who have been sold, has given space for our next lot to be born.  This has to be one of the best times of the year. I would say second to the cows getting out to the grass in the spring.  Seeing new life come into the world is just amazing.

Next month I’ll hopefully be able to pop up some pictures of some new calves and update you all of any other goings-on on the farm.  Until then, as always if there is anything I have covered but you would like more information on, please let us know and I will try and answer any questions you may have. Or if there are any topics you would like me to cover.  Our email address is you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular rural updates.