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.