Well we've had some stormy nights over the past two weeks with a
fair amount of rain - which has pleased my father a lot! The land
had gone fairly dry and unnourished due to the adverse weather over
the Winter, however the land seems to be nourishing well. The dairy
cows are now all out during the day and in at night and when
milking, you can see that the quality and quantity of the milk has
increased by far, which is showing the benefits of good quality
grass. As the summer is on our doorstep it is time to get the land
back into shape after the adverse weather therefore there will be a
lot of rolling in the next few weeks. There are only two ewes left
to lamb which means the end of another lambing season for another
year. Now we look forward to the sheering and the harvesting.
At the moment we are preparing for the Young Farmers Rally which
is one of the biggest events in our calendar year, therefore as
there are only ten members in our club, it is very busy where we
meet around 2-3 times a week. The Rally is held on the
11th of May, 2013 at 9am in the Anglesey Show Ground,
Mona, Llangefni with a 'Celtic' theme. We have plenty of work at
the moment as the advertisement sign is supposed to be up by
Thursday to advertise the Rally. Every club are making an
advertisement sign and placing them around Anglesey and therefore
are marked towards a Rally competition. Additionally; the girls are
busy finishing the scrap book which gives pictures and accounts of
all the young farmers events in the last year...which will
entertain many in the Rally - (and yes, all those embarrassing
pictures are in them!). If you're in the area, come to support the
members and i can assure you a fun filled family day out!
AT LAST! The dissertation is finished and has been handed in for
marking! Which means one thing less to worry about....however, once
I finish something, I need to move on to the next...which means
another assignment, presentation and an exam. Therefore I will be
in front of this computer for a while. Despite this, it was lovely
to join my father on the farm this weekend - a little fresh air
makes a difference. I am also going to Edinburgh this week to a
midwifery conference. The conference has brilliant speakers that I
often reference in my university work, therefore I am sure is will
be very beneficial, and I am thoroughly looking forward.
That's it for now; there will be an update on the YFC Rally in
my next blog! Thank you for reading.
How are you? I hope this snow hasn't caused you too much
problems. It's such a shame for farmers that have had many problems
due to this snow, trying to get the sheep out whilst they are
trying to guard their lambs. The snow couldn't have come at such a
bad time, this is the first 'white Easter' we've had in a
It's such a shame for farmers with the loss of many sheep and
the standard of the land poorer than average due to the adverse
weather we've had in the past year. The land is not as fertile and
therefore has a detrimental effect on farmers, for instance, my
father is between two minds of letting the dairy cows out onto the
fields due to the poor nourishment. My father and my middle
brother's sheep have now finished lambing whilst my eldest
brother's sheep have only just started, which will keep us busy for
a further few nights.
I hope that everyone has enjoyed their Easter and has eaten
plenty of Easter Eggs!! At the moment I am in the middle of writing
my dissertation, which is one of the last assignments due before
finishing a degree course - therefore I need many Easter eggs to
keep me motivated!! After finishing my dissertation, I only have
one assignment, one exam and one presentation along with the rest
of my placement before finishing in September. But it will soon
come as the first few months of 2013 have already flown by!
I love this time of year as the day gets longer with the clocks
going forward. 'Looking forward to the summer' that's how I
remember which way to turn the clocks - and for definite I am
thoroughly looking forward for the summer. We have an exciting
summer ahead as Anglesey is the sponsoring county for the Royal
Welsh Show this year. Additionally, we have all the Young Farmers
events to look forward to, such as the rally and the Menai
Straights raft race and as I mentioned before, I will be finishing
University in September.
Right then...I better get back to the writing with a little
chocolate and a cup of tea to motivate (any excuse for
Thank you for reading, bye for now.
Just as I started to think that winter was behind us, BANG, it
comes back with a veangance!! The ewes and the early lambs have
been out in the fields for a while now enjoying the nice weather,
but I have started bringing them in at night again now. I would
never normally do this with lambs that are well over a fortnight
old now, but between the lack of natural shelter and the lack of
grass the ewes and lambs are more than happy to sleep in a corner
of a shed!!
We have started with some work out on the fields, and we are
waiting for some improvement in the weather so we can do a little
ploughing and take out some slurry/fertilizer. We also need to do a
bit of fencing, as well as planting some apple trees for our new
orchard (which we are planting as part of the Glastir scheme). So
plenty to keep us busy over the coming weeks/months.
I am pleased to report that Bestan is coming along fantastically
well. The whole family is besotted with her, and she is growing
flat out! To be fair she is sleeping quite well and allowing mum
and dad to have a bit of sleep at the moment. However I am sure
that will change at some point. I dread to think about writing a
blog in 14-18 years time and the potential problems which will be
keeping me awake then!! So we are determined to make the most of it
now. However, as I say that I am instantly reminded of the fact
that the next batch of ewes are about to start lambing so I will
have to get up at nights for them anyway.
No rest for the wicked!!!
Happy Saint David's day everyone! It's lovely to see the
daffodils brightening up the garden. It's a very busy time of year
at the moment. If you're a fan of singing, reciting or dancing… the
list does go on, then you will most probably attend the National
Urdd Eisteddfod every year. Indeed the Eisteddfod season every
Saturday, the county Eisteddfod will be held at the end
of March. On the other hand, if you're farming...then you will
most probably be tired of being on your feet all day, heating the
colostrums, spraying the lambs and forming new pens every day.
Normally, I'm always busy this time of year. As you know I'm a
member of Aelwyd yr Ynys and therefore familiar with competing in
the Urdd every year - however this year, unfortunately I won't be
competing as I have to put my University studies first.
Since my last blog, I have some exciting news to share. As
a student midwife I have become more and more familiar with
the extraordinary work of the charity SANDS (Stillbirth
and Neonatal Death Society). The charity offers support to parents,
families and friends who have experienced the loss of a baby,
additionally; they support and promote research to reduce the loss
of babies' lives. This charity is very close to my heart and I
felt that I wanted to help them. Therefore, I am participating in a
Trek across the Sahara in March 2014 to raise money for SANDS. I
will be trekking across the Sahara over a period of 9 days and
camping along the way, beginning the trek in Quarzazate, Morocco,
then finishing in Mhamid before returning home from Quarzazate. I'm
looking forward to raise money for such a fantastic charity.
Our county drama competition was a successful evening for
Anglesey young farmers this year with Rhos-y-bol winning the
competition. They travelled down to Swansea this weekend for the
Wales competition in which they became second in the Welsh dramas.
Congratulations to Rhos-y-bol for their success. The Rally is on
our door step with a competition to suit everyone. I'm also on the
fundraising committee for the Royal Welsh show this year as
Anglesey is the sponsoring county. At the moment we are organizing
a fundraising calendar for the summer therefore I'll keep you
updated regarding the events you can take part in my next
Thank you for reading; I'll be back soon,
Siân Pierce Roberts
It is my pleasure to announce that at 1:23pm on the
29th of January Betsan Grug was born, 8lb 6oz of joy!!
Things haven't been the same in our house since then. Doting
grandparents and proud auntie's and uncle's, and two very happy
parents, tired, but happy!
We had been worrying quite a bit about the weather whilst
waiting for the arrival of Betsan, with heavy snow falling in many
places, however we didn't have much at all, which was disappointing
in one way, but a blessing as well. In the absence of snow we did
however have plenty of wind and rain, and it's at times like these
we are very happy that we have moved out of the caravan!
Lambing time has also started, and after a pretty miserable time
pre-lambing with health problems in the flock, I am happy to say
that we have some nice strong lambs on the ground now, back in
early January I seriously doubted I would be able to say that.
Let's hope lambing continues in a trouble free way. Ewes and lambs
will have to stay in a while though, as the weather is so bad and
the fields so wet. So we are really hoping now for a spell of
better weather, so fingers crossed.
Well I don't have much more to say at this time, things are
pretty busy between work, lambing and looking after Louise and
Betsan!! Right I better go, I think I smell a nappy that needs
P.S. Good luck to Gwenno Griffith (WalesYFC Chairman) who this
weekend starts her 12 Peak challenge in Gwent to raise money for
the British Heart Foundation.
2013....2013? Really? Where does all these years go? I remember
the Millennium like yesterday!
May I wish you a very Happy New Year!! I hope you all had a
lovely Christmas with plenty of chocolates....junk....and I
will say it (even though everyone is bored of the word!)...turkey!
The Christmas period is a lovely time, however it is nice to be
back to normal isn't it? I started back on placement three
weeks ago and it does scare me that in eight months I'll
be a qualified midwife. Something that I've dreamt of for so long
will be achieved in eight months! I'm thrilled to say that I love
and truly enjoy every moment of such a privilege profession.
Before I move on any further, can I thank you all for
reading my blogs over the past year - I hope I've entertained you
during the wet days with the Young Farmer's stories. Even though we
didn't have a 'white Christmas'...we had plenty of snow last week!
Even though it's beautiful to look at, it can be a pain for many
people. We had around 5-6 inches of snow here, which is very rare
as we are very close to the straights - we are always the last ones
to have a flake of snow normally. There were many snowmen about
with everyone enjoying the community spirit.
It's a new year for the Young Farmers with plenty of events to
look forward to. Over the weekend we've been raising money in the
Anglesey Showground with another night of raising money on Friday
in the Tourism Awards. Tonight, we have a darts, pool and table
tennis competition consisting of female and male singles and pair
categories. Bodedern YFC will be hosting with many members enjoying
the evening. The 'Entertainment weekend' will soon be here which is
in March 2013 where there are junior and senior member of the year
competition and a drama competition. Therefore there are plenty of
events and competitions ahead for the Young Farmers.
We've just started lambing here, with many little lambs about.
It's very cold for them this time of year - especially during the
snow therefore many of them are in the sheds for a couple of days.
On the other hand, many farmers are only just starting scanning
their sheep as they're not due until the end of March/beginning of
April. The market has not changed a lot with prices for butchers
lambs still relatively low and the beef cattle are starting to drop
as well this week.
One again, may I thank you all for reading, I hope
that you have enjoyed.
Be careful in this weather!
Happy new year to you all!
Hopefully you all enjoyed over the festive season and have had a
good new year so far. We thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas in our
new home (even though we are still unpacking and moving things from
the caravan!!). The one room that has been ready for quite a while
is the nursery, but we are still awaiting the arrival of the little
As I write this it seems likely that most of Wales is expected
to receive some snow tonight, the forecast for West Wales does not
look to bad, so hopefully there will not be too much disruption in
our area (especially if we need to make an emergency trip to the
hospital!!) We'll see what the next few days bring.
The in-lamb ewes have been in for about 10 days now, and
settling in nicely, I'm far happier now that they are in, and I can
keep a closer eye on them. We have had a few problems with the ewes
in the last couple of months, but hopefully those problems are
behind us now. I'm quite looking forward to lambing now, but the
first lambs are not expected until Valentine 's Day, and I'm sure a
lot of other things will have happened by then!!
Right I better go and check that Louise is ok, nect time I talk
to you I'm sure that I will have news of the new arrival.
All the best,
P.S. Mali the sheepdog had a litter of puppies over Christmas,
and they are a beautiful little litter!!!!!!
Dearest readers, a lot has happened since I last blogged. The
time of year once again came around where the rams were to be
introduced to the breeding ewes. I'd decided this year that I was
to seperate the Suffolks and the Texels into two seperate flocks
during tupping, in the hope of increasing the number of Suffolks
that we have in the breeding flock. In recent years we've primarily
used Texel or Beltex rams so it was about time to reintroduce the
Suffolk. I managed to buy a yearling Suffolk ram of a very high
quality late this summer down at our local Sheep Market in Crymych,
as well as two Texels which caught my eye. So therefore, with the
Suffolk ram with the Suffolks and the remaining Texel rams with the
rest of the flock - I hope we'll see good results come the lambing
season at the begining of April. Time will eventually tell, however
I do have my concerns about the overall ferility of the flock this
year with the grass being quite nutririonally poor which comes as a
result of the lack of sunshine this summer. None the less, I've
ensured the flock is intaking plenty of hay in their diets as well
as vital fish oils with added Omega 3 which promotes fertility.
Let's hope we have plenty of twins come scanning at the end of
The turbulent economic climate which is ever present in
Europe has most certainly effected the prices that farmers receive
for their products this winter. The sheep markets have been hit the
hardest in my opinion, with lamb prices plummeting up to 20-25%.
This works out to roughly about £20 a lamb less, a significant loss
to any farmer. During a difficult grazing season after the wettest
summer in over a century, many farmers were forced into feeding
silage and extra concentrates. Thus meaning higher production costs
and tighter margins. And no doubt this will have a lasting effect
on the budgets of our farmers next year, which will prove to be a
real challenge. I've definitely noticed a change of buyer
confidence around the marts already, which just goes to show the
uncertainty of the agricultural industry.
The cows have now been indoors since mid October and are
gladly feeding on the silage which was harvested in the few glorius
days of July. They seem to be quite content to sit in the warm
straw and listen to the rain pitter patter on the shed roof above.
In other news, I've just returned from a holiday to the island of
Phuket, located in the South Westen fringes of Thailand. It was my
first time abroad in several years and I must admit that it was an
unforgettable two weeks! I'll mention a little more about my
travels in my next blog come the new year. However for the time
being, I hope you've enjoyed your Christmas and I wish you the very
best for your new year celebrations!
Well a Merry Christmas to you all! Hopefully you are all ready
for a bellyful of turkey, and spending time with family and
friends. I know that I am certainly going to enjoy myself, and I am
pleased to announce that we have finally moved into the house.
After 3 years and 9 months of living in a caravan, moving into a
house with central heating and other little luxuries is something
we will never underestimate again!! All of this we have managed
(well almost all, there are still bits left!!) before the baby is
born. So enjoying the next few weeks and catching up with some
sleep is the target for the next few weeks in order to make sure we
are ready for the new arrival.
The weather has been very miserable recently, and apart from a
few very cold days last week, it feels as if it has rained almost
every day. Not easy conditions to work in, but the show must go on,
and there is always work to do on the farm. We had a bit of a
disaster a few days ago when we scanned the sheep to see how many
lambs to expect, last year we had an exceptional scanning with a
result of a 190% (1.9 lambs per ewe), however this year we have
slumped to 97%. We are talking with our vet to try and understand
why the massive drop, but we are nowhere nearer finding out why
yet. The two main contenders seem to be Liver Fluke and
Schmallenberg Virus, but we shall have to wait on test results
until we know more.
Well I won't keep you long this time, so can I once more wish
you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and maybe by the
next time you hear from me I'll have a special announcement to
Seveeeeen day to gooooooo until Christmas!!! Excited is an
under-statement when it comes to Christmas! I can't wait every year
to put our Christmas tree up, the trimmings, making the mince pies,
Christmas shopping (buying one or two items for myself in the
process!)...wrapping the presents, writing the cards! It's a very
busy time of year! I love going to different events this time of
the year such as concerts and carol services. Speaking of Carol
services, Anglesey Young Farmers Clubs have a Carol service in
Gosen chapel, Llangwyllog this Thursday at 7:30pm.
We've had some ice, but thankfully not a lot here in Anglesey.
Despite the trouble that comes with snow...it would be nice to have
a 'White Christmas'! Although it won't affect me I'll be in the
house all day eating chocolates!!
On the 30th of November, we had our local Christmas
market which is held in Gaerwen Market. One of the competitions was
the bullock weight judging and I had the first prize under 21 years
old. A fellow-member, Gareth Roberts came 1st
under 26 years old! A cause for celebration! We are looking
forward for more competing in 2013!
Only two more shifts on placement before my University Christmas
holiday. I'm looking forward to spend Christmas with the family,
despite the research assignment I have!
I wish you a Very Merry Christmas...and I hope Santa will bring
everything you wished for!
Thank you for reading, until next time,
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