Friday, March 13, 2009

New lambs at Fordhall


Yes spring has sprung when new baby lambs can be seen around the farm and so far Ben is very happy with the way things are progressing. There have been no real problems and lots of twins have been appearing too.


Ben has about 90 ewes to lamb over the next two weeks, so there are lots of late nights and early mornings as he keeps a close check on all the pregnant mums to be. Many farmers will have lambed most of their sheep by now, but we are always that bit behind as we wait for the grass to start its spring growth. We operate a Foggage farming system at Fordhall Farm, which means that our livestock are outside all year round. As a result their diets are mainly grass and therefore we need to time when the youngstock come on to the farm carefully with the seasons.

You can see the lambs and free range piglets when you visit the farm shop, or for a closer look then come to our Farmers' Market and Lambing Open Day on April 26th 11am-4pm.

2 comments:

Madeline McKeever said...

Hello, I am a beef farmer (and seed producer) in Ireland. Inspired by 'Farm for the Future' I have been trying to work out yields of milk and beef per ha without the use of fossil fuels, with a view to working out how much land a community needs to feed itself. I couldn't find any figures for foggage farming. The best I could get was conventionally grown grass only diets. I would love to know your live weight gains per ha, if you could calculate them approximately. I love the pictures of your lambs and piglets.

The Fordhall Team said...

Hi Madeline,

I'm afraid we do not have seed to sell. However, you
can find some information about our grass land system by following the link below and clicking on the link on the right hand side of the webpage 'Organic Farming System'.
http://www.fordhallfarm.com/history.html

The grass mixture for each soil should be adapted and observed. Each soil will react differently and will require different levels of grazing intensity, weight of animal etc. Regardless, of the grass seed
you sow, your grazing density has higher importance. The soil needs a
mixture of grasses and time to create that tight carpet structure.

Unfortunately, I do not have details of weight gain per ha. and I imagine it is not too different to the figures you have found. This system is not about speed and quantity, it is about quality and sustainability.

I hope this helps. Good luck,

Charlotte