This month at Lackham Farm

March

Ploughing and seed bed preparation for grass and Spring cereal trials:

seed bed preparation

March is the best time to plant most spring crops. Seed bed preparation takes place on the land that was ploughed last month. Wide ranges of implements are used and the students undertake most of the work. Some spring cereal varieties are grown in small trial plots for evaluation. Once the seedbeds are ready the crops are drilled and begin to grow. It is important to ensure that the soil is not too cold before this starts.


March ewe flock starts lambing:

tail docking

The March lambing flock begins lambing this month. Once the ewes show signs of giving birth they are put into separate pens while the lambs are born. Once the birth has taken place the mother will clean the lamb and encourage it to get up by hitting it between the shoulder blades, with the front foot. If a second lamb is born to the same ewe, it will probably appear after about 30 minutes. Some ewes will produce triplets. The stockman is on hand with some students to assist in difficult births. Some lambs may be weak and need extra care or warmth until they are stronger. Each ewe is sprayed on the back with a dye showing its number and the same number is put onto her lambs so that they are easy to identify. All newborn stock must be ear tagged. The lambs will also need to be tail docked and the male lambs need to be castrated.


Fencing repairs:

fencing repairs

The early spring is also a useful time for estate maintenance. This will include checking all the fences. Some of these are barbed wire and others plain wire or wire netting. The fences must be stock-proof to prevent animals straying and hurting themselves. Gates are also checked as are the post and rail fences alongside the main driveways.

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