NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: And another free sheep <sigh>  (Read 384 times)

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
And another free sheep <sigh>
« on: August 24, 2019, 10:44:31 am »
We get the odd stray wandering on the property. My own pet flock has pretty well fenced fields - or at least i can't see any obvious holes or access points apart from the stream and that would take a good 150 yard paddle upstream from the nearest ford: the banks are mostly too steep even for a sheep to use except for a bit in our field where our sheep could get a drink if they needed to.

Last week we had a single stray wandering another part of the property and dashing into dense woodland when i made an attempt to shoo it out. That was closely followed a few days later with a flock of 30 strays. So I called the local sheep dealer LC 'cos they're always his and left a voice mail. Shortly after the 30 sheep departed on their own after munching my grape vines but the single sheep went missing for a few days and then appeared in with my flock.

Of couse LC hadn't got back to me - he's a cheerful chap i get on well with but slow to respond probably cos he views it as free grazing (it's the local welsh way).

V is eccentric (well that's the kind description) and has this thing that if a sheep gets into our flock's field then that's sanctuary field and they have the right to stay - which is how we got half the flock and the other half because some of those strays were pregnant at the time.

When I happened to see LC while going to town I pulled over for a chat. He hadn't bothered getting back to me since his 30 had gone home but asked about the single stray. I pointed out that it was now in sanctuary field and his choices were to accept that or come confirm it was his and have me pay for it. He knows V and just grinned and said "It'd better just stay there then"

Then he really surprised me by asking how much room i had - which he knows - and asking if I'd be prepared to take on pet sheep because he hates to send them off to be killed and it leads to tears (whose i don't know). I thought that was really odd for a sheep dealer but I now fear i have started an unintended sheep rescue.....

When the latest ewe arrived I muttered 'Oh, no!' so V now calls it Yoyo (as in  Yoko Ono) - personally I wanted to call her humbug as in Bah Humbug! but got outvoted. When i say outvoted it was one vote each and V gave herself the decider (as usual).

Voss Electric Fence

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: And another free sheep <sigh>
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2019, 10:49:04 am »
Why are people always surprised that farmers feel it when they send lambs off?   Why on earth would anyone live the life of a livestock farmer if they didn’t like their livestock?  In fact, how on earth would anyone live the life of a livestock farmer if they didn’t like their livestock?!
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: And another free sheep <sigh>
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2019, 12:30:57 pm »
Yes. But LC is a dealer - as in middleman between smaller guys who sell to him and he moves them on in bulk to slaughterhouse. They don't stay with him long...just to the next lorry-load.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: And another free sheep <sigh>
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2019, 04:47:11 pm »
But maybe he sees soemthing in the face of one and can't move it on .......... or 30  :roflanim: :roflanim: :roflanim:
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: And another free sheep <sigh>
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2019, 05:12:54 pm »
I breed sheep and take them all to a dealer who buys them all and they are sold for meat. I look forward to getting the money for them, but its also a sad day because you become fond of the lambs/sheep. The hand reared lambs are always the hardest to part with, usually after weaning they make friends with the other lambs and become harder to spot in the flock.. but there is always one that is super friendly and stands out from the others.. This year he's called Tiny and has a reservation with vegitarian friend of mine, in her pet flock..

I bet your sheep dealer friend/neighbour has hand reared a few lambs himself and experiences the same..

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: And another free sheep <sigh>
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2019, 05:23:15 pm »
Yes. But LC is a dealer - as in middleman between smaller guys who sell to him and he moves them on in bulk to slaughterhouse. They don't stay with him long...just to the next lorry-load.

I read that - but pure dealers don’t have pet lambs, so I’m thinking he farms too ;)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: And another free sheep <sigh>
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2019, 06:08:55 pm »
He does have land - so one part of me wonders why he doesn't just keep them himself. I bet it's grandkids that get on his case when really friendly sheep turn up (which is how come I insisted on Nigella staying with us when she strayed with a 6-sheep flock)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: And another free sheep <sigh>
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2019, 12:13:45 am »
Pet lambs in a commercial flock are a :censored: nuisance, and unless the person who’s reared them really knows their stuff, they often grade really poorly too.

Until I came on the scene, ex-BH used to palm his off on a neighbour and sell a few to other farmers who had ewes needing lambs.  I’d reared 20-plus every year on the moorland farm, so just set to and reared them for him.  They were a nuisance in the flock, but we managed, and I did a good job so they mostly got away before Christmas and graded fine.  But he did absolutely hate taking them off, particularly any he’d fed himself.  He didn’t like taking any lambs in, if truth be told; he’d have much preferred we could sell hogget so they’d have had a bit more life.  He’d say they looked at him with such trust, and he knew where they were going... 
Funnily enough, I was more okay than him about the lambs going, but really felt that betrayal thing with old ewes.  I’d go and set them settled in their pen, go into the ring with them sometimes, and knew that my being there reassured them, but also knew what was ahead of them and that their trust was on this occasion misplaced.  Whereas he with old ewes knew it was not a kindness to keep them on through another Cumbrian winter, so taking them in was the right thing to do, and it was easier for him than taking lambs in.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: And another free sheep <sigh>
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2019, 11:14:46 pm »
But maybe he sees soemthing in the face of one and can't move it on .......... or 30  :roflanim: :roflanim: :roflanim:



 :roflanim: :roflanim: :roflanim:

 

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