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Ebrill 2005 April


WELLIES AND WHEELBARROWS

Sheep are awkward animals and never more so than at lambing time. No matter what you do to try and improve their lot they simply don’t appreciate it. You feed them all winter and try to get them in peak condition to rear a lamb and yet they still manage to let you down. Yesterday a ewe that looked like the side of a house managed to produce two gerbil sized lambs and although she loved them dearly, when I penned them up she had sat on one and killed it within the hour. To add insult to injury 24 hours later her other lamb had decided to learn to swim in the water bowl and by the time he’d realised it wasn’t a good idea it was too late. When I arrived on the scene, mother was quite happily munching on her hay and didn’t seem the least bit fazed by her young families passing.

Going around the lambing fields first thing in the morning can either be a pleasant jaunt looking at freshly born lambs with proud mothers standing guard over them, or it can be an absolute nightmare with disasters in every corner and under every hedge.

Having caught a ewe with a lamb’s swollen head sticking out of her the other morning, I delivered the lamb and managed to keep it alive. As the ewe had had a rough time I stopped with her ’til she got up and started licking the lamb, then being the naive lad that I am, I backed away quietly thinking everything would be OK. Unfortunately the minute I stepped she saw her chance and took off at full pelt and abandoned her lamb. As I gave chase I came to the conclusion she must have been watching the rugby as she was side stepping like Shane Williams every time I got close to her. However, what she didn’t realise is that I too had been watching the rugby and in a last desperate bid to catch her I put in a Gavin Henson style tackle and the natural order was restored.

When I eventually penned the ewe and lamb in the shed mother hated daughter, daughter hated mother, and both mother and daughter hated me.

Whilst the sheep have been doing their level best to send me round the twist, the cattle on the other hand have been a calming influence. All you have to do is put some straw under them, throw some feed in front of them and they are happy. The only down side is the barrows full of muck that have to come from the sheds every day and the muck encrusted tails that whack me round the head at every given opportunity. (I suppose they deserve some entertainment for listening to my grumbling at feeding times).

Oh, and the security system has been abandoned as a failure with one half of the team being carried off by the fox!

Gareth Llan.
© Copyright Gareth Bryan - 2005

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