Martin proves that hard work and determination can pay off
On the 1st March, I arrived at my field, located a little distance away from where I live and I seen three lambs and one ewe in the field. Looking over to my left, I spotted another ewe with two lambs. 5 lambs born already! I had to take one of the lambs from the set of triplets as the mother didn’t have enough milk to feed all three lambs and to support them. I took away the weakest of the lambs and adopted it, they will now be bottle fed back at my residential centre.
I had to get another lamb from ewe that had twins, to keep that first lamb company too, so they too returned to the centre. I already had a pet lamb at there, as her mother had died, the mother wasn’t well so that lamb has also returned to the pen where we now bottle-feed all three lambs and they have company with one another.
Currently I have 6 ewes left to lamb and so far, I have 23 lambs born this Spring from 11 ewes, a good crop of lambs born this Spring. I have a new field located a little distance away from my home since last year and myself and my brother built a new shed down there where I can place the lambs for a couple of days until they become a little hardier so that the fox won’t nab them.
Out of 23 lambs, we have only lost 2 so far, one from a breach birth and the other was stillborn in the field. None have been taken by the fox. As you know, you can have losses with sheep but I am doing well so far anyway. The lambs will be sold in July and the ewes will be going to the factory at the start of May as they are old ewes. I also have 10 hoggets (sheep between one and two years of age) down on a farm in West Cork that I will be taking back. My goal is to get bigger and expand my flock. The plan is to have 100 breeding ewes by this Christmas.
At the moment, all the marts are restricted due to Covid-19, so it all takes place online. The factory prices are very good presently, lamb is priced at €6.50 a kilo. I brought my lambs last year to the factory and got €5.20 a kilo so there has been a really good increase in prices this year. Through my hard work and determination and with the help of Nua, I have been able to make my dream of becoming a farmer a reality.