Riddlesden Jacobs

A site about a West Yorkshire flock of Jacob Sheep

Sheep on the move

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It has been a weekend of moving sheep. Yesterday we moved our ram out of the field with the ewes. He’s been getting a bit grumpy with them and we’d like them to be as settled as possible for lambing. It also means that we can keep our ewe lambs and breeding ewes in the same field and give one of our fields a bit of a rest. So Brough had to go back to be with his sons. None of them were thrilled by the new living arrangements initially but the triplet ram – the one who survived the dog attack – was particularly aggrieved and fronted up to his dad, and made him back off. Go triplet!

By  lunchtime today thought they had all settled and were tolerating each other enough to eat from the same trough

Brough and sons

We have been trying to figure out what’s best in terms of managing the limited land we have and we’ve changed our mind daily really but today we decided that if we could move our pregnant ewes to the far field where the ewe lambs currently are and we could do so calmly and without stressing them we’d do it and give our lambing field 3-4 weeks without sheep to see if the mud bath will turn back into something vaguely resemWalking with sheepbling a field. So, we’d only have one shot at this and if it didn’t work first time we were going to abandon the plan. It went remarkably well. After a minute or two of hesitation our black faced ewe decided to follow the bucket of food and Kath had got herself in position behind the ewes at just the right time and all 7 just calmly walked up the field and out the gate and then along the path. The photo shows me walking at the front with all of them walking behind me. There was a brief stop just a little further on as the path widens and there is a gate to a large house and then again at Brough’s field but it was all calm as anything and completely stress free. Couldn’d have gone better.

It’s somehow really nice to see all of our ewes together in our field so here are just a few shots of our field, the moody pretty sky and the ewes doing their thing

The rest of the afternoon was spent moving feeding troughs from field to field and wheeling the hay rack across too – the wheels came off, literally. Wheeling it back in a few week’s time isn’t going to be an option.  We also walked round the field to check walls and fences, put a big gate back on it’s hinges, fed all sheep and had a close encounter with a squirrel which has been having a good go at one of our food bins. It ran across Kath’s foot. I’m actually pleased it’s a squirrel that’s made the hole in the plastic lid of the food bin and not a rat. Anyway, here’s a little video of the walk across. You’ll have to excuse Kath’s breathing, she had just run down one side of our field and back up the other side to get herself into position behind the ewes and I am very grateful that the light disguises my amazingly pink snow pants that are now about 2 sizes too big.


Author: Jess Guth

Dr Jess Guth is a Senior Lecturer in Law. She blogs at jessguth.com She also doesn't really run - reallynotarunner.com

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