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Author Topic: Manx Loaghtans - the end of the story  (Read 497 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Manx Loaghtans - the end of the story
« on: December 01, 2019, 10:04:34 pm »
Hi folks,


Many long term members on this site will be aware that we started off with sheep in 2014 with four Manx Loaghtan hoggs bought from my aunt. However, they really didn't work out for us, and we sent three for mutton after 18 months. The fourth one was the friendliest and escaped the chop by cutting her leg open when jumping out of a hurdle pen the day before she should have gone to the abattoir. She was just about tame enough to be manageable though, and went on to give us seven zwartble-cross lambs over the past four lambings.


However, we've lost all of our rented grazing now, and needed to downsize the flock, so it was time for Alice to go.


She's the only ewe I can't reliably catch, so I was ever so pleased to get her penned first time this morning - fantastic! stress over!..... WRONG!!


She was going to the
abattoir along with two zwartbles ewes and three lambs, but I was on my own here today, and she was having absolutely none of it. Every time I managed to get the others in the trailer, they ran out again when I went to get her (or vice-versa). Eventually, I shut the zwartbles in the trailer and went back for Alice. The trouble was, she would neither be pushed nor pulled! Eventually, I picked her up by the legs and physically dragged her onboard (No, I'm not proud either). By this time I was absolutely dripping with sweat, and I was well late for the abattoir, but at least it was done..... WRONG AGAIN!!

Whilst I had been Manx-wrestling, I had gone and left the car headlights on. Battery totally flat. I tried jumping it with the Landy (currently SORNed), but to no avail. Eventually, I joined together every extension cable we own, and managed to get connected up to a charger.

An hour later, we finally hit the road. Still, at least on a Sunday, the roads will be clear.... WRONG YET AGAIN!! Rangers were playing Hearts at home. Arrived at the
abattoir two hours late and managed to drop them off, just in time to rush back for the rest of the lambs (who thankfully self-loaded the moment I dropped the tailgate!), then back to the abattoir, managing to get them offloaded ten minutes before they shut up for the day.I'm home now, and absolutely wiped out, both physically and emotionally. And, on reflection, I'm sure that's EXACTLY how Alice would have wanted it.....
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett
Voss Electric Fence

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Manx Loaghtans - the end of the story
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 12:21:49 am »
I'm sure I've mentioned (smugly) that I got rid of our Manx at the earliest opportunity - beautiful but little Bs.
It's a bit late now to say, but a good way to make a sheep go where you want it to is to reverse it.  Stick its nose between your legs so it can't see, grab the horns and shove backwards with your knees.  You can steer it anywhere!


I think you deserve a good long soak in a hot bath  :relief:
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 03:40:07 pm by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Manx Loaghtans - the end of the story
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 07:11:08 am »
Crap! Why didn't you say that four years ago!?  :roflanim:


She did have incredibly pointy horns though, so I'm not sure I'd have wanted her nose anywhere near what's between my legs. I'll go and try it on a Zwartbles though, and will report back.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Perris

  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Gower
Re: Manx Loaghtans - the end of the story
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 07:41:32 am »
 :roflanim:  :roflanim:  :roflanim:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Manx Loaghtans - the end of the story
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 03:45:27 pm »
Crap! Why didn't you say that four years ago!?  :roflanim:


She did have incredibly pointy horns though, so I'm not sure I'd have wanted her nose anywhere near what's between my legs. I'll go and try it on a Zwartbles though, and will report back.


No, the horns just get you in the femoral arteries! Or at least they're not any other problem for me...  :innocent: ;D

Steering a hornfree sheep like a Zwartbles could be more difficult but you'll need to be inventive.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Manx Loaghtans - the end of the story
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2019, 08:25:29 pm »
My flock is, as of yesterday, down to 18 (from its peak in Cumbria of 103; that’s “my own” sheep, not including  the commercial flock that ex-BH and I ran together.)

Of the 18, only 11 are the breeding flock, including 2 tups.  (4 are fleece sheep and 3 are the last of this year’s meat lambs, to go next year.)

There are 7 different breeds in the gene pool of breeders (goes up to 13 if you include the fleece flock!). (The point being, I’ve had a lot of ingredients to play with, and select from.)

Of the 9 breeding ewes and ewe lambs , 4 - so nearly half - are or derive from one original excellent Manx ewe, Dot Cotton.  Not a looker, but demonstrably a great breeder of breeders - and her own temperament is friendly, trusting and biddable. 

And only 1 sheep is a Zwartbles or has any Zwartbles blood.

Horses for courses, clearly!  :D

But congratulations on finally getting your last horned sheep away, Womble.   :thumbsup:   Loved the story, and yes I am sure it’s exactly how Alice wanted it  :love: :sheep:
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

Possum

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Somerset
Re: Manx Loaghtans - the end of the story
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 11:54:39 am »
Commiserations Womble. I'm sure that any sheep keeper will have had at least one similar experience with uncooperative sheep and car batteries in winter. So you are not alone! At least you managed to get get them to abattoir on time. A testament to your resilience and determination. Hopefully you have now recovered from your dreadful day  :hug: .

 

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