Hailsham Livestock Market

Shepherds Diary: September

All in all it has been a good month, with long hot sunny days but just enough rain to keep the grass going..

The orf in my flock has completely cleared up, and the sheep are not looking bad at all.  I did have a few lambs with scald (a mild infection) in their feet, but they cleared up OK with a bit of foot spray.  I do not have a footbath in my handling system and can’t decide whether I should get one or not, I suppose I will one day but it is not on the priority list.

I have sold quite a few lambs this month, earlier than I have in previous years.  They were not quite finished but went through Hailsham marketas strong stores, and did alright.  I usually arrive at the market pretty early to unload so I don’t get stuck in a big queue of trailers, and I was glad I was early with the first batch of lambs I sent at the beginning of the month because the market was absolutely full by mid morning, with lambs being put into the pig section, the calf section and into makeshift pens, there were thousands of them.   I hadn’t realised that one of the muslim festivals was due soon, so there was a very high demand.  The next week there were only a few hundred sheep at the market, with many empty pens, a huge contrast.  I am in no way a fan of halal slaughter but I am glad that the muslim population likes lamb, I just wish it was as popular amongst the rest of the population.

I also sent a few of my Jacob lambs to the local abbatoir so I can sell some direct to friends and neighbours, they are due back from the butcher tomorrow and I have just found that my large chest freezer is not working!  Luckily it was empty, so disaster can be averted, but I will have to shell out for a new one.

It is sad to hear that the Seven Sisters Sheep Centre is closing, it has done a great job over the years in educating the public about sheep farming, something we should all be very conscious about.