We started 2012 with TB testing on 6th and 9th of January – we had been clear for 6 months and were hoping for another negative result to put us on annual testing. Unfortunately we had 1 reactor so we are back to 60 day checks. We will be carrying out a badger survey on the cow fields to see if there is anything we can do to try and keep the cattle and badgers apart (ie. fencing off badger latrine areas and badger-proofing cattle feed stations). Fingers crossed this works. (NB. There has not been a single documented case of someone developing human TB after eating meat and all our beef animals are checked at the abattoir by the Meat Hygeine Service).
Things are looking up in the sausage and bacon department but our Gloucester Old Spot herd is in need of new blood. We sometimes rear our own replacements using semen from the Deerpark Stud in Northern Ireland but this year we decided to buy a group of weaner gilts from a breeder in Derbyshire. They arrived on farm a couple of weeks ago and are settling in nicely.
The sheep have been scanned and we are starting to make preparations for lambing by giving the ewes extra rations. We will split them into groups depending on the number of lambs expected soon. Bonnie, the new sheep dog, is booked for her first training session in April, we must get and watch the training DVDs I bought Simon for Christmas!