Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: First Loss  (Read 2621 times)


  • Joined May 2011
  • Lincoln
First Loss
« on: December 01, 2012, 08:48:52 am »

This morning we found one of our sheep had got it's self caught in the electric fencing last night and died.  The fence was off and we had never had a problem in our other field.  We are now re-charging all the batteries so we can elctrify it again.  A huge loss as we only had four ewes and it also looks like it was fat enough to be pregnant!  My husband blames me as I was at home yesterday.

I had checked them at five last night and been in the field with them during the day, so it must have happened overnight.  We were both at an Xmas dinner, so didn't re-check when we staggered home.

Apart from the loss, finding out what to do with the carcass is a nightmare.  I think I now have the right details, but as I hadn't joined Nfsco and they are closed Saturday and Sunday.  I'm not sure how easy it is in other counties, but I can see why people don't follow the rules. 

The second problem is the sheep isn't tagged. We bought them from the previous owner being assured they would sort it out.  They haven't and I am waiting for the replacement tags to arrive from SfS.  Is this going to be a problem? 

Now I also have the problem that we may want one or two extra ewes, should I stick with smaller sized sheep as our ram is small?  If so, which breed/X breeds am I looking at?

Any advice would be really good.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 08:57:55 am by Raine »


  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: First Loss
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 09:21:38 am »
Sorry to hear about your sad loss these things happen, I am also not a member of the scheme and just phone my local knacker man and he is usually there the same day, for his records the sheep should be tagged I would tell him the situation and see what he says and get on to the folks you got you sheep from and demand that  they give you the tags as it is a requirement that all sheep should be tagged, I presume they were born on the previous owners holding. As for a couple of new ewes just go for what you fancy. hope that helps cheers
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: First Loss
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2012, 09:32:30 am »
Sorry about your sheep. Don't beat yourself up too much - even if you had checked them before bed, this might still have happened. :hug:


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: First Loss
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2012, 11:20:25 am »
I agree with bigchicken and with Rosemary.

Your local hunt may well collect for a fee, I'd try them first.

Otherwise, I'm not sure whether your four ewes would count as pets?  Aren't you allowed to bury pets?  Then get yourself registered or find out about your local 'dead cart' before you need them again  :(

And don't beat yourself up - a sheep is born with a death wish, our job is to frustrate them as long as possible.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: First Loss
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2012, 12:15:38 pm »
I'm sorry to hear about your sheep Raine  :hug: Nice of your husband to blame you, just to make you feel better  :P

Even if your sheep/goats/other farm animals are pets, if they're specified farm animals you're not allowed to bury them. What people do in practice...... but you're not supposed to.


  • Joined May 2010
Re: First Loss
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 01:00:20 pm »
I am very nervous about using any type of electric fencing with sheep, even polled ones. If the fence is shorting out or not on, then a sheep will try to stick its head through, get caught by the wool or horns, then start to struggle.  All the twisting and fighting will cause it to get the fencing, be it mesh or single strands, wrapped around its neck and there you have a dead sheep.
We have had to put up a single electrified strand to stop two of our tups battering down the permanent fence between them while they are in with the ewes, but my OH and I are paranoid about it as they could so easily get their horns stuck.  Only two more days to go til we can take the tups out.
We have found by hard experience that it's always when your normal routine is changed (as with you going out) that disasters happen  :( .  Learn by it, accept it happened but don't go blaming eachother - if you need to modify how you manage your sheep, this experience will help you do so.   There's something about dealing with sheep that sets husband and wife against eachother  ;D
Good luck with finding a replacement ewe or two  :sheep: :sheep:
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: First Loss
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2012, 01:41:24 pm »
 :bouquet: so sorry for your loss. These things are going to happen when we keep animals so don't blame yourself  :hug:


  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: First Loss
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2012, 07:09:17 pm »
Oh that's horrible :'( :hug:

I DO use electric fencing and thought I hate the stuff I find it is more dangerous with the lekky OFF.
If you have a situation where you don't need the stuff to be live, I would use normal stock fencing instead every time.
Also you need to keep the stuff really really tight to be effective, loose saggy bits (no one likes loose saggy bits :innocent: ;D ) are fatal and sheep are magnetically attracted to them. Whack a wooden stake in each corner and tie a lekky fence stake to each and haul till the fence is so tight you can play a tune on it :thumbsup:
A wooden post at EVERY change of direction and an extra strand or 2 of wire seems to discourage head poking.
Tell hubby to shut up, it is either the fault of both or neither (I go for neither :hug: ) and Fleecewife is right, if you haven't had a row at some point during sheepy chores you must be either doing it wrong OR doing it alone ;D ;D

We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
but passive.

Bring the peace back


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Canada
Re: First Loss
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2012, 12:54:47 pm »
So sorry for loss :hug: ,last year I truly came to believe that sheep have a driving desire to end their life and we just try to put obstacles in the way to stop them. I lost numerous sheep thru most unexpected ways,drowning in the water bowl, suffocated under the hay bale, stepped on by cows etc In all of them I probably could have prevented it but if I knew a little more, been there a little sooner it's always a blame yourself but realized things just happen. I learn as I go along and do my best. Here in the canadian prairie we don't have a collector for the deadstock so it's up to us to figure out. In the cold of winter burying is out  of the question so usually they go out to continue the cycle feeding the wild animals far enough away from yardsites as not to bring them in. Not really endorsed but common practice. Laying blame can go on unending so you can start but where do you end, don't feel bad it happens to all of us.  :hug:


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