Farmer’s Diary: How I became a sheep farmer after a serious road traffic collision


After a very serious traffic accident in 2010, my life, as I knew it, changed forever, writes Clodagh Hughes.

Farmer’s Diary: How I became a sheep farmer after a serious road traffic collision

  • ADDED
  • 1 mth ago

After a very serious traffic accident in 2010, my life, as I knew it, changed forever, writes Clodagh Hughes.

That’s Farming’s weekly contributor, Clodagh Hughes, runs a sheep enterprise on the Monaghan/Louth border near Inniskeen.

Although I am only farming my own sheep flock for four years now, I have been around agriculture all my life and always knew that whatever career I chose, I would become involved in farming again.

I was reared on a dairy and beef farm in Co. Monaghan with my four brothers and was always hands-on in all aspects of farm life.

Had agricultural courses been more readily available during the ’90s, I may have gotten into farming sooner, but I’ve no regrets from pursuing my initial career as a professional chef which I got a lot of satisfaction from.

Accident

After a very serious traffic accident in 2010, my life, as I knew it, changed forever.

Long story short, I sustained life-changing injuries when a JCB digger pulled across my path and I riding my motorbike.

Three years later, after achieving some semblance of good physical health, I attempted to return to cooking but soon realised this was not to be.

I undertook an undergraduate course in veterinary nursing but had to bow out at the end of year two, due to physical health issues.

Sheep

I was feeling a bit battered and defeated now, both mentally and physically, until I took one of my ‘notions’ to buy a few ewe lambs and start my own flock.

I chose sheep for a few reasons; they are quite manageable due to their size; they are great creatures to work with and I love sheep. The start-up costs were not too frightening, and sheep require less acreage and handling facilities than cattle. Did I say that I love sheep!

Sheep were more suited to my setup due to the amount of land I was able to lease; also, as a mostly one-woman show they were a perfect fit.

I certainly would not say I jumped into sheep farming recklessly, it was what you would call a calculated risk (well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!).

I am aware of what is involved in keeping livestock and I’m a staunch realist.

Of course, I was a bit apprehensive starting my ovine adventure but I have a fair wealth of animal knowledge, a good shed, enough ground for the numbers I could accommodate and I also have very good vets, plus a strong desire to farm.

Future

My future plans include increasing my sheep numbers, obviously! I am working towards having a closed flock, meaning I only need to buy in a new ram every few years.

I have recently been accepted onto an agricultural course and can’t wait to get stuck in.

I intend to acquire a nice small breed of cow to milk for the house, but as for farming cattle, I simply wouldn’t have the facilities, physical ability or finances needed. And much as love them, they are simply just not sheep!

Of course, hindsight is a mighty thing and looking back over the last four years, I could annoy myself by mulling over some minor regrets, but ultimately, I’m very happy with how my woolly adventure is progressing.

Similar Articles

Comments


Most popular

The Marts Forecast
The Marts Forecast
Click to View Weekly Mart Schedules
SELECT LIVESTOCK

Cattle Marts Scheduled Nationwide

Monday

  • Birr
  • Carrigallen
  • Granard
  • Elphin
  • Inishowen
  • Manorhamilton
  • Stranolar
  • Tuam

Tuesday

  • Ballina
  • Ballyjamesduff
  • Drumshambo
  • Ennis
  • Enniscorthy
  • Fermoy
  • Nenagh

Wednesday

  • Athenry
  • Ballinrobe
  • Elphin
  • Granard
  • Kilrush
  • Nenagh

Thursday

  • Ballymote
  • Birr
  • Castlerea
  • Drumshambo
  • Ennis
  • Kilkenny
  • Raphoe

Friday

  • Donegal
  • Gort
  • Kilfenora
  • Roscommon
  • Roscrea
  • Tullow

Saturday

  • Balla
  • Carnew
  • Carrigallen
  • Dowra
  • Loughrea
  • Maam Cross
  • Mohill
  • New Ross
  • Scariff
  • Tullow

Sheep Marts Scheduled Nationwide

Monday

  • Ballyjamesduff
  • Carrigallen
  • Elphin
  • Fermoy
  • Kilkenny
  • Raphoe

Tuesday

  • Athenry
  • Ballina
  • Donegal
  • Ennis
  • Inishowen
  • Tuam
  • Tullow

Wednesday

  • Ballinrobe
  • Enniscorthy
  • Gort
  • Manorhamilton
  • Roscommon
  • Roscrea
  • Stranorlar

Thursday

  • Ballymote
  • Carnew
  • Loughrea

Friday

  • Dowra

Saturday

  • New Ross
  • Maam Cross

Dairy Marts Scheduled Nationwide

Monday

  • Kilkenny

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Enniscorthy (2nd Wednesday Of Month)

Thursday

Friday

  • Fermoy

Saturday

Calf Marts Scheduled Nationwide

Monday

Tuesday

  • Kilkenny

Wednesday

  • Enniscorthy

Thursday

Friday

Saturday