May sees the Damhead Wood covered with a vivid carpet of bluebells. The foxgloves are in full bloom in June and Dog Roses appear in the hedgerows. Buzzards climb high in the sky and the grasshoppers are in full voice.
Extra grass is grown in Summer and saved to feed the cows in Winter. We try to make some hay and some silage. For silage the grass is cut, packed into big bales and sealed in plastic bags to keep the air out – this stops the grass going mouldy. For hay the grass needs to be drier and ideally 4 – 5 days of warm sunny weather are needed. Weed Control is an ongoing task as is fencing and muck-spreading.
The sheep are sheared and this helps keeps the flies away. The sale of lambs is far more important to us than the sale of wool as is costs nearly as much to have the sheep sheared as the wool is worth. Sheep are beset by many kinds of internal parasite. They are dosed with a drench to keep them healthy and their hooves need to be trimmed frequently or they become overgrown and infected. The majority of fat lambs are sold in August and September. We start to supplement the grass feed for the cattle with corn and other feed (for example waste bread or grains) at the end of July. The finished fat cattle are sold at 28 – 30 months old. Cattle parasites are treated with worming drenches.