The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: Rochelle on July 31, 2020, 05:40:50 pm

Title: HELP! escaped Soay wether
Post by: Rochelle on July 31, 2020, 05:40:50 pm
Hi, this is my 1st post but i have been reading the forums for some time now.
2 of my wethers have escaped and 1 has been spotted quite some way away. He doesn't seem to be with the other one though.
My question is...how can i catch him quickly? The farmer has threatened to shoot him if i dont catch him! ????
I've tried feed in a bucket but he just stands in amongst all the bramble, staring at me. I can't get in to where he is as its extremely overgrown.
Please can anyone suggest something?
Title: Re: HELP! escaped Soay wether
Post by: twizzel on August 01, 2020, 01:39:01 pm
Has the farmer got a dog that will push him out the brambles and herd it into a pen ?
Title: Re: HELP! escaped Soay wether
Post by: harmony on August 01, 2020, 01:50:40 pm
That is frustrating. As twizzel suggests you might have to work with the farmer, who doesn't sound too helpful. Do you know anyone else with a sheepdog? Is it possible to make a pen and put one of your other sheep in it to coax him out? Otherwise you'll have to cut your way in to him.  :fc:
Title: Re: HELP! escaped Soay wether
Post by: shep53 on August 01, 2020, 02:23:47 pm
Lopers for the brambles and a long leg crook
Title: Re: HELP! escaped Soay wether
Post by: cans on August 01, 2020, 03:05:57 pm
If he isnt moving from the brambles is he caught up in them?
Title: Re: HELP! escaped Soay wether
Post by: SallyintNorth on August 01, 2020, 03:44:51 pm
A solitary sheep is a very, very stressed sheep and almost impossible to drive.  And this time of year he is probably not hungry - plus, stress suppresses their hunger, so food is not useful for tempting prey animals once the adrenalin is flowing.

You need some other sheep (that he recognises as sheep) to draw him out. 

(If he has only ever known Soay sheep, any regular fat white sheep might not be attractive to him).

Hope that helps you find your way to what will work, that's a horrible situation for you to be in  :hug:
Title: Re: HELP! escaped Soay wether
Post by: Fleecewife on August 01, 2020, 10:53:55 pm
If he isnt moving from the brambles is he caught up in them?

How long have your sheep been missing?    The one in the brambles is almost certainly stuck - as I have said before, brambles are carnivorous and it sounds as if your wether is the next victim.  Sheep are unable to disentangle themselves and will stand until they die, so there's nothing for it but to shoot him or go in and get him out - you can't just leave him there to starve to death. You will need help to fight your way in and someone to hold him while you disentangle him or he will be off the second he feels he is free. Once you have him, keep him in as he will need rehydrating and feeding up.  He may need to see a vet to check his lungs for pneumonia.

For the other one, have a look at other sheep flocks - he may have joined one just to be near other sheep, even if they're not quite like him. He also might have been hit by a road vehicle.

Finally, find out where they escaped and make your fences Soay proof
Title: Re: HELP! escaped Soay wether
Post by: landroverroy on August 02, 2020, 10:48:10 am
I agree about cutting your way in to him. But rather than getting someone else to hold him (possibly a stranger that'll stress him more?) just take a halter, or even a rope and secure him to some of the vegetation while you get him completely free. There's then no chance of him breaking free again.
Title: Re: HELP! escaped Soay wether
Post by: Womble on August 02, 2020, 10:53:51 am

Oh wow. I'm afraid I've been there before with my own sheep and in my own fields, and I definitely don't envy you trying to figure this out in somebody else's field!

The farmer has threatened to shoot him if i dont catch him! ??? ?


Just checking - does the farmer definitely understand that he's a wether?
Title: Re: HELP! escaped Soay wether
Post by: twizzel on August 02, 2020, 12:14:36 pm

The farmer has threatened to shoot him if i dont catch him! ??? ?


Just checking - does the farmer definitely understand that he's a wether?


It could be that this wether is compromising the farmer’s biosecurity in which case I can totally see why they want it removed ASAP. To be honest if I had escaped sheep or cattle on our land that couldn’t be gathered we would probably do the same.
Title: Re: HELP! escaped Soay wether
Post by: Fleecewife on August 02, 2020, 01:08:46 pm

The farmer has threatened to shoot him if i dont catch him! ??? ?


Just checking - does the farmer definitely understand that he's a wether?


It could be that this wether is compromising the farmer’s biosecurity in which case I can totally see why they want it removed ASAP. To be honest if I had escaped sheep or cattle on our land that couldn’t be gathered we would probably do the same.

Biosecurity is already compromised so a day or two here or there is going to make no difference.  It will though make a difference to the sheep depending on how long it's already been stuck.
Thinking about it, the farmer's own fencing must be poor to have allowed the Soay to get onto his land - fencing works both ways, so please don't let yourself be bullied by him.
Have you made any progress yet @Rochelle with either of the escapees?
Title: Re: HELP! escaped Soay wether
Post by: Rochelle on August 02, 2020, 09:29:20 pm
Hi, yes he knows he is a wether, but he has moved from there now ???? so no idea where/if he will turn up next.