Welcoming warmth after ‘rough spring’

Munro Valley Farms manager Carla Murray and her children (from left) Bella (4), Lucy (6) and Fern...
Munro Valley Farms manager Carla Murray and her children (from left) Bella (4), Lucy (6) and Fern (1) and their pet lamb Tom enjoy a spring day on the farm in Lawrence last week. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE
In an occasional series, Shawn McAvinue travels highways in Otago and Southland and when something catches his eye, he stops for a chat with the people involved. For the first instalment he stops on State Highway 8 to visit a sheep and beef farm near Lawrence, in  South Otago.

Just out of Lawrence on State Highway 8, travelling towards Teviot Valley, a flash of yellow in a paddock catches your eye.

The colour is a winter crop of chou moellier on sheep and beef operation Munro Valley Farms.

Warmer weather made the crop go to seed a couple of weeks ago, farm manager and Lawrence Area School teacher Carla Murray said.

‘‘It’s really bolted since this heat’s come.’’

A herd of Angus heifers are ‘‘chewing it down’’.

Warmer weather was welcome after ‘‘a bit of a rough spring’’.

‘‘We’ve had howling winds and rain.’’

Lambing had gone ‘‘remarkably well’’ considering a dry summer and autumn stunted grass growth.

‘‘There’s a lot of lambs around, considering the season.’’

Orphan Suffolk-cross ram lamb Tom had been taken as a pet and was friendly.

‘‘We put nappies on him for a bit because he kept coming inside.’’

She had some friends who were farmers in Wales. Each season they put orphan lambs in nappies and let them sleep inside near the fire.

To show her friends they were trying their method, they took a photo of Tom in a nappy and sent it to Wales.

Tom was spending more time outside after they learnt a nappy was more effective on a ewe lamb than a ram lamb, she said.

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