We had fourteen of Will's sheep on our paddock since Christmas, he had had to move them from waterlogged fields and our grass was lush enough, considering the time of year, to give them a good feed for three weeks.
It means they have to get used to the dogs, for this is our field and just because the sheep are in doesn't mean we stop using it. I'm always careful with the dogs obviously, especially for the first few days, but now they are used to the sheep appearing every few months and have learnt to keep their distance.
Rosy is made to walk by my side until I know she has sussed out the situation, Mavis is obviously on her extended lead and Suky, well Suky wouldn't harm a fly ... if she's in a field with sheep she wants to be a sheep, if she's in a field with cows she wants to be a cow. She stands and watches them and copies what they are doing if it's eating grass, she eats grass, if one of them has a wee ... she has a wee, you get the idea ... totally funny to watch. She gets most upset because they just won't let her join the gang. She stands with her tail sadly droopy until one of them looks straight at her and then she wags it, as if to say 'I'm a happy doggy look, can I play with you', when they look away or stare her out the tails droops again!!
This particular group of sheep are last years lambs and don't have much experience to draw on, so they were determined not to be near us or the dogs. As we made our way round the paddock they would keep ahead of us and make for the far top corner and stand there as a tightly pressed group until we had passed by. Once we were making our way back towards the gate only then would they split into their pairs and singles and get back to the business of the day, which with sheep is always just eating the grass.
After three weeks in the paddock the grass was completely grazed right down and then they were moved into our end triangular field, as it's much smaller I doubt they will be here for much longer, there's about a week's grazing in there if they're lucky.
And talking of sheep ... I've just finished reading the book that Lovely Hubby got for Christmas, it's a brilliant read, highly recommended. I felt a bit guilty reading his present before he did but he's engrossed in a book about a man that makes numerous things out of a single Beech tree .... I don't think I'll be borrowing that one!!
I love your description of Mavis. Our cats have to get used to new neighbours with three bearded collies !ReplyDelete
I got that book last year and loved it too - a really good read.ReplyDelete
Lol I don't think I would be reading the book about the beech tree either but the shepherdess book looks and sounds like a lovely read. I bet its lovely to watch the sheep grazing your description suky did make me chuckle :-) Your paddock looks lovely to. enjoy your day, dee xReplyDelete
I've also just finished reading Amanda Owen's book it is inspiring, as a Cumbrian I could relate to all the things she went through and knew all the places she had worked in the past. My kid's are country Bumpkins and I sometimes doubted the way I brought them up surrounded by animals and fields but she has banished my doubts. She has inspired me to make even more changes to my life in 2016 and not to put things off because of fear. I will be following in your footsteps Sue and renting a bigger Smallholding and take on some new challenges (I might be in touch for some pig advice)ReplyDelete
Don't take any notice of the Trolls who tell you your doing things wrong it's your life just do what makes you happy, I love reading your Blog keep up the good work x x
That suky story is too cute xxReplyDelete
The idea of Suky wanted to be a sheep or a cow and copying them really made me smile. We had a terrier who was really gentle with sheep, particularly lambs. Cows on the other hand were meant to be chased...ReplyDelete
Sulky sounds like such fun! we have a cat called Loki that thinks he's a dog, biggest cat I've ever seen, comes when called, follows by your side and likes to play football with people!ReplyDelete
Lucky sheep - not only lush grass but the company of an extra friend!ReplyDelete
What breed of sheep are those? Laughed at Suky story, poor girl just wants to play.ReplyDelete
Sorry I don't know for sure. I do know Will crosses his sheep to get a good reliable healthy animal. One breed for the ram and another breed of ewes. He is a good sheep farmer, his sheep are some of the sturdiest and healthiest along this stretch of road :-)Delete
The Beech tree book sounds like the sort of book my husband would love too. The only trouble being that he would then want a Beech tree to try out the ideas from the book! I love him dearly, but his brain and mine work in entirely different ways, Which is probably a good thing hehe.ReplyDelete
I don't know Sue, I can just see you sitting on a home made beech stool whittling wooden spoons (I think there's an advert featuring a woman doing that)!! I'm going to order the Yorkshire Shepherdess from the library (I've just ordered the Sue Perkins book and am waiting on that to arrive in the library). Did you read the Sue Perkins book? I think John recommended it xReplyDelete
I've just started reading it, it seems a bit bitty for me ... but I'll persevere for a while.Delete
It's nice that you have been able to help out with grazing the sheep on your land - I am sure they and the farmer appreciate it. I am going to order the Yorkshire Shepherdess if it is such a good read (along with "The Sty's The Limit "). Would be interested to know what you think of the Simon Dawson book. "Pigs in Clover" I thought was excellent and I am looking forward to reading the second one. Regards, Louise S, CheshireReplyDelete
I'm looking forward to reading Pigs in Clover next ..... I just have to be nice to Lovely Hubby it was his Christmas present, I'll make him a cake before I ask him to read it first, he's just started Amanda's book and he reads a lot slower than me ;-)Delete
I just finished the book and I really enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
I too got that book for Christmas after serious hinting. Amanda shows how dreams can come true......with loads of work and determination! Just as yous is SueReplyDelete
Great post as always, Sue....the sheep appear to be in need of a shearing, as they are pretty wooly! Suki's reaction to the sheep is so funny...a copy cat.ReplyDelete
These are last years lambs, they won't be shorn until early Summer. Without their big woolly coats they would die of hypothermia out on the hillside through Winter. Its wet and freezing cold out there.Delete
Sue, thank you for the reminder about this book, I have loved watching the various programmes about Amanda, Clive and their wonderful Free Range Children, they all work so hard in difficult terrain, yet/or because of this they seem to have so much joy in their lives. I have just reserved it, so will look forward to receiving an e-mail from the library in due course. I guess it is confirmation that the majority of library users in my area are "a little older" that the only copy held is in large print format!ReplyDelete
On the face of it a book about things made from a Beech tree doesn't grab me but then I heard it as the book of the week on Radio 4-it was read by Anton Lesser (I think) so lovely voice to listen too, and surprisingly I LOVED it. Give it a go you may surprise yourself. I have just watched the Ben Fogle series 'Wild lives in UK' when he visited the Yorkshire Shepherdess. Beautiful and humbling. I will be adding it to my wish list!ReplyDelete
Yes, I too have read the book. She is quite a girl isn't she and a real toughie. She is quite local to where we live - maybe twelve miles or so further up into the wilds - but believe me, it really is the wilds where she lives. They will undoubtedly be under snow now.ReplyDelete
I loved hearing about Suky's reaction to other animals - sort of sad isn't it? Dogs are very funny.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the Yorkshire Shepherdess book recommendation: I'll try to get that.
Suki's a funny little thing and Mavis is always adorable. I'll give your book a try if I can find it here.ReplyDelete
I had to giggle about Suky - so funny. It looks like a good book I will look out for it xReplyDelete
I got 2 books for Christmas (one of them Sue Perkins) but haven't opened either yet. By the time I'm ready for bed I'm too tired to read :-(ReplyDelete
I saw the Ben Fogle programme about Amanda and was prepared to be judgemental about bringing up children in that environment but was completely charmed by the whole family and their positive outlook on life. So inspiring! :-)
I read the book last year and thoroughly enjoyed it, I really don't know how she manages all the things she does!ReplyDelete
The mobile library comes to our village on Monday - I think I'll request this...where abouts in Yorkshire is it based? We live on the North York Moors.ReplyDelete
Wonderful creatures, and I really like your photos.ReplyDelete
Our sheep are looking a little sorry for themselves in this damp weather, they squelch around the muddy field looking for the high points. Our farm is built on marsh land so it has a tendency to be on the soggy side with even a drop of rain. Thankfully tho they are a pretty hardy breed and their fleeces protect them from the elements better than my winter coat does for me!ReplyDelete