When deciding what to produce at Manor Farm, we are lucky as we have an abundance of pasture that gives us plenty of room for manoeuvre. Once upon a time spare grassland in Hampshire was gobbled up by the demand for cereal production, but because some of our fields are old water meadows that are part of a natural drainage system, cultivation was pointless. We decided to stick to a mixed farm system, and nowadays, we’re rather glad we did.
We shear the sheep once a year, usually in July or August. Two men take one day to shear 400 sheep. The wool from one sheep weighs about 2kg.
Always in April and what a magical time of year! Lots of new arrivals every day. We usually expect about 500 lambs. Come and stay at our Feather Down Campsite or Bed and Breakfast to enjoy a private tour of the lambing fields, you might even see a lamb or two popping out.
In order to help us check the ewes at lambing time we like to know how many lambs each ewe is expecting. Bob the scanner visits us in February and ultrasounds every ewe. We mark them with a colour on their wool depending on how many lambs they are expecting.
About a week before lambing is due to start we put all the ewes expecting one lamb in one field, ewes expecting two lambs in another field and all the ewes expecting triplets in another with Alfie our lama. You will have to come and stay here to find out why Alfie is in charge of the triplets.