Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A delivery of lambs...

Hurrah! The sheep-shaker has shook lambs on our field too: Here we have the obligatory spring-time sheep and lamb picture - and apologies for the less than bucolic backdrop of a pile of stone and a galvanised trough. Trust me; 2 metres to the right is idyllic. Sheep and lambs may safely graze. Little Bo Peep is probably (be-ribboned) in the offing.

Today, Carl and The Girl came and 'loosed out' 11 ewes and seemingly dozens of lambs - in fact only 22. They were all 'doubles'.

The arrival of the stock trailer is no surprise. It has something about its suspension that emits a carrying rhythmic squeak; one can follow its progress around the lanes with no difficulty. I knew to be ready with an open gate about 5 minutes before it actually came into sight. Carl backed up vaguely in the region of the gate and opened the tail-gate. The ewes, from the larger rear compartment, trotted down the ramp and headed for grass, fresh-juicy-tasty-lovely grass. Their lambs, which had traveled in a little sub-section at the front of the trailer were carried out and dumped fairly unceremoniously in the field. Their mothers for the most part gave an identifying bleat. They didn't seem terribly anxious to be reunited with their youngsters.

Why? Fresh grass? Lambs? Lambs? Grass? No competition. Munch.

Instinct gradually took over and the small ovine families got together again after much baaing and sniffing. We humans can match them up by the bright numbers sprayed on their sides but sheep, not being noted for their literacy, recognise by smell.

By dusk all was peaceful on the field. Little groups had formed and only a small amount of interest was being paid to the hen houses also on the field. I have my fingers crossed here - the average sheep can work out fairly rapidly that hens are a source of food and Worth Investigating. I can do without this sort on initiative.

9 comments:

Pondside said...

Nothing like the sight of ewes and lambs in the fields in the spring - pulls at your heart when the sun is shining and the grass is green. Sometimes I give a moment to think about the work involved, but mostly I just enjoy.
Do you have a staff and a (beribboned) leghorn hat?

Cathy said...

Bear with me but the townie side is coming out now
Is that true - sheep will kill a chook to eat it?
Take care
Cathy

Wipso said...

Really love your blog mountainear. You paint such a lovely picture with your writing. Keep up the good work and don't forget I do have a good supply of ribbon if you are needing any for your hat.
And just a little note for Cathy....As far as I'm aware Cathy sheep are vegetarian and its the chicken food the sheep will be after.

Preseli Mags said...

I'll never tire of enjoying that moment when the ewes and lambs first go out. Noisy (with all the bleating) but ultimately satisfying. You describe it beautifully. I hope the sheep leave the hens alone though!

mountainear said...

Hello Cathy - Wipso is right - sheep are herbivores. They are also very greedy and hen food is a particular treat. They also enjoy rubbing their backs on the pens and houses.

General nuisances really.

LittleBrownDog said...

I love little lambs, especially when they do that jumping thing when they all spring up, all four feet leaving the ground together. The very essence of spring.

Cait O'Connor said...

Lovely lamb photo. I have posted some today too.

Fennie said...

Ah I've always thought that sheep and hens got along pretty well, but then I have never kept sheep. Yes, spring has sprung, the flowers is riz...etc

elizabethm said...

It has been noisy round here this weekend as the sheep and the lambs go out - love it!
Wonderful pictures too.