A shepherd's calendar

Hare Farm's main enterprise is sheep farming. Although there are both busy and quiet times of year in a shepherd's calendar, livestock demand a shepherd's attention every day. 

Farm holidays at Hare Farm give you a great insight into the working life of a shepherd and his dogs. 

January

  • Scan all ewes and tegs (via a hand-held ultra sound device) to confirm how many lambs each is expecting
  • Bring pregnant sheep in from the fields and house in two main sheds at Hare Farm
  • Feed sheep twice a day

February

  • Crutch (shear) expectant mothers' backsides 
  • Vaccine the sheep against 8-10 diseases
  • Put up 145 lambing pens, each to house a new mother and her lambs
  • Plant last lines of hedging before spring arrives

March

  • Lambing begins!
  • Spread fertiliser on pastures to boost the growing rate of grass

April

  • Recover from lambing!
  • "Looker" all sheep and lambs, morning and evening
  • Take down lambing pens and clean out sheds

May

  • Drill grass seed to create new lush pastures
  • Shear the year-old tegs. They grow faster without a fleece
  • Drill new cover crops (including turnips and wild bird seed mix)

June

  • Protect lambs with fly repellent
  • Shear the main flock
  • Start selling early fat lambs

July

  • Make hay (while the sun shines)
  • Sell lambs at market
  • Wean larger lambs from their mothers

Aug

  • Wean the last lambs
  • Prepare for main lamb sales. Focus on getting lambs in top condition. 
  • Dipping time.  Dip sheep in a plunge pool, to protect them from future disease.
  • Tag the lambs to be sold (label in ear) in advance of lamb sales
  • Give lambs a dose of fly repellent again
  • Weigh lambs, sort lambs, ready for market

September

  • Sell at the biggest lamb sales of the year at market . Also sell old ewes. 
  • Buy young rams
  • Buy mule lambs from Lazonby Market, Cumbria.  
  • Get ewes in tip top condition . Flush them on new pastures and with supplements to put on weight

October

  • Tupping time. Put rams in with the ladies. Let the action begin!

November

  • Lambs go out to keep (on another farm, to feed on winter crops)
  • Clear ditches, repair fencing

December

  • Continue with ditching, hedging, fencing