Down on the farm

Gwynfan Bungalow self catering accommodation is built on Gwynfan Farm, a hill farm in Powys, Mid Wales. The 320 acre farm has been farmed by the Mills family for the past 70 years with the third generation already expressing an interest in carrying on the farming tradition.

There is a ‘Public Right of Way’ (LNY 69) passing right outside this self catering bungalow which continues through our farm yard (LNY 70) and over our fields. This ‘Public Right of Way’ then splits into two (LNY 61) – you can either:-

continue on down which will bring you into the village of Llanyre or

continue up towards our hill which rises to 1400 feet. Here you will enjoy a (360 degree) panoramic view of the Radnorshire landscape and beyond. (idea for a picnic)

The farm produces store cattle, which are sold approx. at 12 months of age to nearby Talgarth Cattle Market.  Their breeds are mainly Charolais or Belgium Blue cross calves produced from either Limousin x Belgium Blue cows by Charolais Bull and Pedigree Aberdeen Angus cows by Belgium Blue Bull. The calves are born between March and April.

The farm also produces fat lambs, which are sold approx. 4-6 months of age. Some are produced directly for the Waitrose Supermarket Group and some produced for Randell Parker Foods,  The farm also produces replacement stock which remain on the farm to protect the native breed. Their breeds are mainly Welsh Hill Ewes by Welsh Hill Ram and Mule Ewes by Texel Ram. The lambing season starts mid March until approx. middle of May.

A typical yearly calendar ‘Down on the Farm in Mid Wales’

– (depending on the weather)

September

Lambs sold as they finish
Purchase new rams from ram sales

October

Ewes prepared ready for tupping to begin [mating time] Unsold lambs brought inside for further fattening
Grass deteriorates in quality and will stop growing soon
House cattle

November / December

Feed livestock
General farm maintenance

January

Feed livestock
General farm maintenance
Scan ewes
Spread slurry if the fields are dry and firm. These are the fields from which hay or silage will be taken later in the year.

February

Feed livestock
Sheep brought in to house
General farm maintenance
Calves weaned

March

Sheep sorted into lambing groups (according to number of lambs expected) and the feeding of concentrates begins
Calving
Store cattle sold at market
Lambing begins – they receive 24 hour a day attention and give the farmer many sleepless nights

April

Calving
Store cattle sold at market
Lambing – young lambs just turned out are very vulnerable to foxes and crows
Fertiliser spread on grazing fields to aid spring growth – the grass will be cut for hay or silage later in the year
Ploughing

May

Clean out all livestock buildings
Fencing repairs
All lambs marked
Fertiliser and muck spreading
Stock removed from silage fields and fertiliser is spread to allow six weeks growth before cutting
Shear the long tails of the sheep to prevent fly strike i.e. flies laying their eggs in the wool and producing maggots that eat into the sheep

June

Sheep shearing
Routine sheep work (drenching for worms, foot-bathing, etc.)
Silaging towards end of month

July

Hay making
Silage making

August

Silage making
Lambs weaned and turned onto the grass left after the hay and silage crops have been taken [known as aftermath grazing] Lambs sold as they finish