It has been a rather damp , dismal week with some rain falling on all of the past seven days.

The total rainfall was 25.5 mm, here on Manor Farm, with the shortening days and lack of sunshine the ground is getting wetter, so it is fortunate that we managed to finish all the planting in the dry.

Over the last few days of the week there was a noticeable rise in temperature, which remained in double figures, reaching a high of almost 17 C on one day.

Kevin has recently sorted out his flock of 500 ewes which will be giving birth to their lambs from the end of March next year. They were sorted into family groups in readiness for putting the rams with them.

Lots of help was needed for this job, so all available family members were asked for their help on the chosen day. I mustn't forget the valuable help given by the collies, always eager to assist in the gathering.

The 500 sheep were made up of 300 older ewes and 200 shearlings (born spring 2019). These shearlings were not divided into family groups but will be in a field with several unrelated rams. The other 300 ewes were divided into six family groups, which could be done visually as each family is represented by a different coloured ear tag.

Each of these groups will be put into separate fields which have been securely fenced. To make the grouping easier when they are separated for tupping the ewes have been sprayed with a large coloured spot just behind their heads to indicate which family they belong to.

It is these six family groups with high genetic merit that will be giving birth to both ewe and ram lambs which will provide the flocks future breeding replacements.

During the week all the ewes due to give birth at the beginning of January next year were pregnancy scanned.

They were also colour coded, with those carrying singles marked with a red dot, twins with no colour, triplets with a blue dot and quads with two blue dots.

When they are brought into barns they will be divided into their coloured groups so they can be fed appropriate diets. Kevin was quite pleased with the results of the scan, which showed a lambing percentage of 170 .

Kevin has also selected some more finished lambs, which are at the required grade for sale and once our agent has arranged transport will be collected.

Ian, with the agent's help has selected a group of our older Angus x beef cattle for sale, which were picked up by arranged transport during the past week. Ian has also collected another 15 calves from a rearing unit close by.

Before collecting them he prepared a fresh loose straw bedded area in the barn. The newly weaned group will remain on their own, until they have settled into their new home and are eating the same ration as the calves which arrived here a few weeks ago. Then they will be put together in a larger pen.

The older Angus steers(castrated male bovines) are still out to grass,being fed a top up of silage.

Kevin has spent part of the week preparing for a Red Tractor Farm Assurance inspection for the arable side of his business.

He has to submit all of the relevant paperwork prior to a " Virtual Inspection " of the farm.