Dan wanted to spend the weekend getting the hedge planting finished. But I had other ideas. The sheep are spread out across the farm. It was time to get all the pregnant ewes together, the four rams, and all the rest onto different fields. Of course Saturday was drizzly and cold, perfect weather for penning sheep and driving them across slippery pastures.
It is always my job to call the sheep into pens for transporting. I shake a bucket of nuts and they generally come running. If they see a stranger there waiting to slam the pen shut, they turn around in the opposite direction. So I spent the morning on my own calling my beautiful darlings into pens.
Then Dan arrived with our little sheep trailer on the back of the Ranger, and we started loading. All went well and it was especially good to get the ten lambs (now 10 months old) and the 6 wethers up on fresh fields at the top of the farm, with plenty to eat. I will move the 21 ewes to a field near the house in a couple of weeks, but leaving them for now until I get the cattle TB tested next week.
The last task of the day was moving three lambs who had been lame, from a field by the barn, to join the other lambs. It is always more difficult to catch a small group. The bigger flocks seems to stick together and follow the leader. So the challenge began. The three little darlings kept splitting up and one always went in the opposite direction. I finally got them into the little pen, turned around, only to see one of them managing to slip out where the two hurdles had unhooked at the bottom. She lifted the hurdle up and shot out. Dan was furious and started chasing her, all the way down to the other end of the field…where she squeezed under a gate into the wood! I was not mad at the lamb anymore but I was completely infuriated with Dan and that is an understatement!
Moments later daughter Hannah and her friend Jack pulled up. Whew. Jack ran down to see Dan while I ranted to Hannah about what her father had done. We joined them in at the edge of the wood where the petrified lamb had climbed down to the stream and tucked herself by the old stone bridge. We all slowly moved toward her and she practically jumped into Dan’s arms. He carried her all the way back to the pen, not daring to let go. So the day ended with everyone in their rightful place. And Dan got to spend all day Sunday in the sunshine planting another hedgerow, which he loved.
Jo Stover has daily adventures on her small farm, together with her Highland cattle and Portland sheep, bees, a few hens, dogs, and some two-legged family and friends.