Autumn has arrived with all the expected colours appearing once again. We had Harvest Festival at the church last Sunday and Harvest supper in the village hall on Tuesday evening. Everyone brings something from their garden, or something they have produced, jams, chutneys, etc. I brought a leg of Portland hogget and took home pumpkins in return. We raised over £200 for charity.
Matt came over on Friday morning to help me do the feet of the 21 ewes who will soon be with the rams. Sheep feet need checking and trimming on a regular basis. Hurdles were set up already forming a pen, and I had been calling them in with the shaking bucket ploy for a few days. All of them came running but two managed to evade capture, shooting out at the last second as I tried to close the entry way.
When Matt arrived we managed to chase escapees into a corner and all the sheep were now ready for the foot work. So far so good. And the rest of the morning continued the same way. Matt flipped a sheep for me, I started the feet, he flipped another for himself and on it went. I chatted away as usual, giving him histories of individual ewes. I’m sure he was terribly bored.
There is a real technique for turning a sheep. I’ve tried, but still struggle. Once turned on their back ends and propped up, they relax and stop struggling. I wonder about the ancient shepherd that discovered this holding pattern with his sheep.
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.