Thursday, June 9, 2011

Around the croft.

Most of our crofting this week has revolved around the sheep.  A morning visit revelead an injury to Maddie Beag - a broken horn.  There was a lot of blood and it looked most alarming - especially to us sheep novices.  Infection control was our main concern, and that meant getting her into the pen for a closer look.  Now Maddie Beag, unlike her sister, Maddie Mor, is not the most sociable of sheep.  She is very wary and always waits until the big sister investigates and approves before approaching us.

We did manage to entice her in and got a good look at the broken horn.  It had stopped bleeding by this time, and looked to be scabbing up nicely.  A quick spray with some eucalyptus, tea tree and lavender spray, and some trimming of the blood stained fleece, to keep any flies away.  Mind you, there are not many flies brave enough to venture out in the weather we have been having, so I think we are safe.

This episode highlighted how ill prepared we are to be sheep keepers. At the moment we have only two, but we are planning to expand the flock in the Autumn, so it was high time we invested in some ovine equipment.

Shears - these will be needed in the next couple of weeks, as we get these ladies' hair cut  and send them up on to the hill for the Summer.

A shepherd's crook - this would have been very handy when trying to herd them into the pen.  If nothing else,  at least it makes you look as if you know what you are doing.

And shiny new hurdles.  We had been using our neighbour's as and when we needed them, but we wanted to set up a larger pen to give the sheep a bit more room, and encourage them in. Also, we had to carry them across two fields and  haul them over a couple of fences to get them to our field, so this was a needed purchase.   Look at the length of that grass - we need about 20 sheep in there just now.

So, here is a short video of our two beautiful ladies almost deigning to enter the new pen, enticed by a trug of barley.  Listen to that wind!  This is Summer.

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  1. Ooh ouch, do you know what happened, was it caught in something? Good to get it sorted and cleaned up though.

    Ah the aforementioned shears.
    Lovely to see your sheep on the move, but wow to those winds. Hope you get some clear weather soon and dry to get the fleece shorn.

  2. Dawn - there is an old sheep dip building in the files, and they like to climb around on there. I saw some blood smeared on the corner of the wall, so\ i think she must have done it there. Apparently they do it all the time, according to one of the other crofters.. She seems fine now asyway.

  3. Did I tell you Gram and Gramps (and I) had sheep when I was growing up? I loved them. Nice shiny new hurdles and a lovely crook!
    We still (!) have horrible winds here too. Should have been done with them 2 months ago. Despite the broken horn, in both photos and videos, your Maddies look lovely!

  4. Sheep are a bit daft aren't they!?! I've seen a few stuck in funny places, and big ones that have rolled over onto their backs and can't get back on their feet and need a push from the farmer.

    Glad all is okay now x

  5. Good job with the horn! I found a sheep with it's head stuck in some fencing once , it took me ages to find out who the owner was , they came and cut it free! They were so grateful. Anyway your sheep are bootiful!
    I hope you get some sunny, warm weather soon and I hope we get some rain!

  6. Glad Maddie Bheag will be okay. It's such a lot of responsibility looking after animals - but your two seem to know they are well cared-for.

  7. i like the picture of your wee boy holding the shepherd's crook and your sheep are lovely looking. did you raise them from lambs or buy them full grown? and are you planning on shearing them and doing something with the wool?

  8. Glad your sheep is okay. That must have been an alarming experience. They are beautiful! I love the picture of your boy with the crook.

  9. Kelly - thank you. Hope you are all well.
    JTS - we were given them as weaned lambs last winter. We will shear them soon, but i don't know what we will do with the fleece yet. Maybe felt it?
    Christine - we were running around like anxious parents - lol. She is fine though, despite all.
    Trish - yes some sheep have large horns, and I would worry about that. I think we will try and go for polled breeds (no horns)
    Meggs - can you get over here soon then? A wee job for you... :)

  10. I love the idea of keeping sheep, but I really would be totally clueless, at the moment keeping chickens is quite enough for me! I adore the picture of your wee little man with his crook, he got some fair praise from my daughter too! Those winds are something else, thankfully they have died down in these parts, now the mighty oak outside the garden is just waving gently in the breeze. Hope you have a fab weekend, and a less windy one too! Liz x

  11. Poor thing, I hope it heals up nicely and she doesn't feel too self conscious with only one horn!

    A very experienced shepherd once told me that sheep spend all day look for the fastest way to kill themselves...ours have already gotten stuck under a gate and their heads stuck in the fence - I dread to think what they will try next.

  12. Glad all is sorted now. Will the horn regrow?

    You must be due a break in the weather now, surely?

  13. I do wish I could have sheep! Hey, we can trade...corn for sheep! Have a wonderful weekend.

  14. Oh my, I'm glad your sheep is ok now! At least you are more prepared now, experience is definately teh best way to learn! They are daft. We had a dead ewe this year after it got it's head stuck in a feeder and broke it's neck. I am a bringer of doom today aren't I lol? Hope the healing is quick and the winds subside for you! xx

  15. I think your blog is incredibly interesting

    Much love,


    Happy MidSummer!


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