A word from Jake Hancock, who runs the livestock enterprise at Trill
Well it’s just over a year now that we have been farming at Trill and things are finally starting to feel a bit more under control. This time last year we were struggling with a lack of fences and water troughs in most fields, a cow barn with a frozen water supply, and six inches of snow in November and December when the rams were tupping which lead to relatively few lambs this spring. After a busy and character building year for Neil and I, we now have sufficient water and fencing to be able to graze the entire farm. We have also vastly improved our sheep and cattle handling arrangements. We had a successful harvest of Romy’s barley and oats, which was encouraging for my first year managing arable crops. The rams have been working a month earlier in great autumn weather and are due a rest at the end of November. To top it all, this week we have passed our TB test and the vet also tells us that 40 out of 41 of our cows are in calf, which is an excellent result. The calves were also weaned this week, which will mean two or three noisy days on the farm, as mothers and babies come to terms with their enforced independence. Our Devon bull “Ford Abbey Emperor” retires this year but we have already purchased his replacement, a rare red Aberdeen Angus bull (most Angus cattle are black), also called Emperor, although nicknamed Ernie. So all is well as I write, now we just hope for a kinder winter than last year!