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Vera “a touch of the itchies” update

It’s been a few weeks since we wrote about Vera our ewe with “a touch of the itchies”.  See earlier story:  “Vera gets a touch of the itchies”

So, I thought I’d give you a wee progress update.

Happily I can report that since the vet’s visit in July, Vera’s been gradually getting better.  Although the vet hadn’t been 100% certain what had caused Vera’s “itchies”; in the days following his visit it was looking more and more like his suggestion of photosensitivity.

We scanned our pastures for any suspect plants.  The main culprits are umbelliferous plants and St John’s Wart.  I thought we had none of these where the sheep graze, as a horticulturalist I am always on the look out for “dodgy plants”.  But to my horror I found some Wood Angelica lurking in a dingy corner and my heart sank.

Several broken spades later I had removed about 25 of the villains.  Phew I thought, that should stop any further outbreaks.   I then whizzed off to the nearest chemist for some Sudocrem.  I had done some research and checked with the vet and Sudocrem would be the perfect ointment to aid Vera’s recovery once the affect of the steroids started to wear off.

And so began “The Cream Ritual”.  At first Vera was a bit suspicious of me brandishing my pot.  However, a few short days after being totally unimpressed with “the funny smelling white stuff”, she started to seek me out and wait patiently as I smoothed it on.  Pretty soon Vera made it plain she loved The Cream Ritual.  As soon as I took the lid off the pot, her neck grew several inches longer and she started to lick the air whilst nodding her head up and down, all tell-tale signs of a happy sheep.

As the days went by, Vera, on spotting me, came trotting up and leaned into me as I smoothed the cream on.  Her favourite spots were under her armpits.  She began to lift her back legs up to let me get right in.  The Cream Ritual became a really enjoyable part of both of our days.

Now, nearly 3 months later with the days shortening and no more scorchy days, Vera is almost completely better.  I’ve stopped applying Sudocrem much to Vera’s disappointment so I’ve been giving her plenty of head scratches and chest rubs to compensate.  I also check her skin on a daily basis just to make sure she’s OK.  Although it’s autumn there are still a few warm days and too much sunshine can cause a flare up.  So, it’s slow progress, but Vera’s getting there.

We just hope that she hasn’t become photosensitised indefinitely but only time will tell.  For the moment, she is OK and that is what matters.

 

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Sheep happy with new path

With autumn fast approaching and soggier weather, access to the lambing shed (now known as “general sheep/hen/shelter/meeting room”) in the orchard had become wet and slippery.

Getting to the orchard is a bit of an expedition for the sheep as it’s quite literally off their “beaten track”.  We had to show them the way at first, but they soon learnt how to do it and made it part of their routine.

To get to the orchard they have to come down a slope from the main field, trot along a rock lined path and then pop up through a gate on the other side where, voila, their shed is.  This is all fine in dry weather but it’s not been that dry lately so access has become somewhat challenging.  During the summer the hens would line up along the path dust bathing, not now!

sheep trying out new path

Sheep are sensible creatures and instinctively steer clear of boggy ground.  It is a sheep’s worst nightmare to become stuck in the mud, their small hooves, spindly legs and barrel shaped bodies aren’t a good design for navigating marshy terrain so they’ll avoid it at all costs.  Unfortunately this can be quite hard in South West Scotland as it rains a lot and it’s often muddy.

The path to the lambing shed was not only becoming churned up, it was also getting really slippery due to it being on a slope.  So from one day to the next the sheep pretty much stopped using it.  This was unfortunate as during this time it wasn’t just raining, it was proverbially “chucking it down”.

Now sheep are hardy animals and will put up with whatever the weather throws at them, however, keeping sheep for a number of years and observing their ways has taught us that even they have their limits.  In prolonged rain they’ll actively seek out shelter whether that be huddling under a tree, standing in a long line by a dry stone wall or, stretching out in a custom built field shelter.  I know where I would rather be.

So, we decided the path leading to the shed, (now resembling a slalom slope) had to be made usable again if we wanted happy sheep.

I say “we” but it was all Adrian really.  I just helped bring some wooden poles down to make the edges.  Adrian was the one who brought trailer loads of “scalpings” down and spent hours shovelling it all down to create a walkway.

Adrian hard at work

Once it was all done, we sat back and admired it and then walked up and down it a few times to try it out.  We were really pleased; it had a deep layer of scalpings all held in place by planks of wood to stop it slipping away.  It was not only functional, it looked great!

Now to wait for the sheep to reacquaint themselves with it.  After about half an hour, (truth is we couldn’t wait) we went and got them.  We brought Peaches the matriarch over first.  If she approved, she would lead the others down.

Peaches is a sensible girl, utterly reliable and a great matriarch.  Sure enough, apart from an investigative, bordering on suspicious, sniff prior to hoof placement, she was soon walking along the path, bringing to mind images of a certain wee girl from a certain well known book/film.

By now the others’ interest was piqued and soon all 19 remaining sheep were piling onto the path like a bunch of children playing musical chairs when the music stops.

Which was very amusing to watch!  And led to half the flock veering off and creating a parallel path. Most of them got the idea however and after a few days they started to include a trip along the new path to the orchard on their daily rounds.  They particularly enjoy visiting the orchard at the moment what with there being lots of apples lying around just waiting to be gobbled up.

 

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Hello Boys!

tups in field next door

Being autumn, it’s approaching tupping time when the ewes are put to the tup.  The farm next door has been to market and got themselves a pair of splendid young tups and put them in the field next door.  They seem like pretty calm chaps, but they are in a field out of which there have been a few successful escape attempts in the recent past.

At first, we did nothing as we had sorted out the decrepit gate and our neighbours had plugged the gap.  However, it all changed when they spotted each other.  Our sheep like to pop down to the lambing paddock each day to check for apples.  It’s also where one of their field shelters is sited.  On their way down, they were spotted by the boys next door who, in their amazement, stood their like teenage boys transfixed.  Of course, our girls totally ignored them.

However, a couple of days later, the girls decided that they had made their point and were spotted attempting to smooch through the metal bars of the gate between the fields.  Boys on one side and two or three of our ewes on the other with noses pressed up right against each other.

“Hmm”, we thought, maybe we had better do something.  Aside from not really wanting to go through the stress of lambing next year, we also have a couple of hogs that are tiny compared to these boys and don’t want them getting pregnant or even hurt in the process.

So, we have moved our sheep to the fields away from contact where the are now separated by a field and some stone dykes.  Not that that’s stopped them gazing wistfully at each other from hilltop positions on both sides.

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It’s time for hooves and bottoms again!

Every three months we give our sheep a general MOT, this means checking their teats, checking (and trimming if necessary) their hooves, trimming the wool around their bottoms and trimming the wool around their eyes.  Out of all these jobs, probably the most important is trimming the wool around their bottoms (known as “dagging” in the sheep world).  Dirty wool can attract flies which can lead to flystrike which is a killer.

I should mention at this point, back in the olden days when we first had sheep, the days leading up to doing the MOTs would cause me palpitations, (not Adrian, he is the laid back sort rather irritatingly).

Just getting our sheep into a pen, let alone doing all the necessary tasks could be fraught with disaster.  In fact it was due to many mishaps; sheep refusing to be penned up, us chasing sheep around the paddock, our inability to “tip” them once we had got them into a pen, us being stood on by sheep, us ending up flattened by a sheep, the list goes on … but anyway, all these set backs did have a positive outcome, it made us quickly rethink our sheep handling strategy.

One frosty day whilst nursing a squashed toe after being stood on yet again by one of our larger ladies I had a rare light bulb moment.  I remembered how our mentors were always leading their sheep around with halters.  They are great show enthusiasts so had trained their flock to be halter trained.  I wondered if we could do the same and so make life easier for ourselves when it came to doing their health checks.  We weren’t interested in showing our sheep, but the idea of a docile sheep trotting after us on a lead rope seemed very appealing not to mention practical.  I particularly like the idea of not having to “tip” a sheep again (it’s nigh on impossible unless you have cracked the technique and I clearly hadn’t).  The vision I had in my mind was to be able to work on the sheep whilst it was standing up, tied to a railing by a lead rope rather like a horse.

A training plan started to form in my mind based on a mixture of Cesar Millan’s and Monty Robert’s “whispering” approach.  I would use psychology, patience and bribery in the form of sheep nuts.

I ordered some halters and as soon as they arrived I got to work.  I set up a largish pen in the paddock with a smaller pen inside, filled my pockets with nuts and off I went.

It took me a while (about a week) to complete “phase one” for the sheep to start coming to me and letting me put the halter on.  The next thing I did was gently walk them around the pen (phase two).  If they got spooked I let go of the halter.  If they didn’t I led them into the smaller pen.  Several weeks of training later and little by little I managed to get each and every one of our sheep (nine to be precise) used to the halter, and eventually I was able to tie them up in the smaller pen and actually do some work on them, hurrah!!  It was a huge turning point for us in our sheep management because now our sheep were “tame”, they trusted us and so we felt a huge weight had been taken off our shoulders.

If we needed the vet we no longer worried about having to chase a sheep around just to get it into a pen, if we needed to move them to another field we simply haltered them or better still, called them and they followed us.  Rounding up our flock became a pleasant and fun thing to do instead of anxiety provoking and as a result our flock became relaxed whenever we were around them.  We were happier and so were our flock.  And the best part of the “training” programme was that we got to know our sheep as individuals with unique personalities.  We noticed that Sparkle makes funny grunty noises when happy or excited, we noticed that Selene has a particular tickle spot on her back, we noticed that Sarka was very shy and timid and needed extra time to learn to trust us.  We learned so much that winter, and mostly (I personally) learnt the art of patience (something hubs claims he’s yet to witness).

So, fast forward a few years, and after doing hundreds of MOTs, the three monthly ritual is a doddle compared to those early days.  That said, it is physically hard work and very time consuming.  Admittedly not helped by us expanding our flock somewhat.

So sometimes I have a little dream about owning a “Combi clamp”.  This is a gentle device for restraining a sheep and allows you to all those things that you need to do to: dose, inject, trim hooves, dag etc.  Although our sheep are easy as pie to handle, there is one thing I still struggle with; inspecting the back hooves.  I can trim bottoms till the cows come home, I can get stuck into the front hooves, but for some reason the back hooves are really tricky to do.  The sheep go into full on reflex mode when I so much as go near those hooves, to say they are not keen would be an understatement, they make it plain that it is the most irritating thing in the world.  I usually end up half underneath the sheep, resting their knee on my thigh and doing whatever needs doing between the hoof flicking out randomly and usually narrowly missing my nose.  As the sheep is only loosely restrained by the halter it can start to hop around a bit or worse, pull back towards me at which point I end up with a sheep’s bottom on top of my head.  Not a great experience all round and quite frustrating for both of us.  I’ve usually resorted to filling a bucket with carrots and letting them munch away while I quickly work on them but this is not ideal as I don’t always have carrots and I’m not keen on using treats as it makes the sheep hyper and they come to expect it and so become anxious, you have to be careful with how you use treats.

adrian being combi clampSadly Combi clamps are over £3,000 so that dream will remain a dream for the time being, meanwhile Adrian has offered to be my Combi clamp.  He makes a good one, he has a patented technique for keeping a sheep in exactly the right position while I can do their back hooves with ease. It is almost a blissful experience for all of us.  Part of the “Adrian technique” is to hug the sheep (so “clamping” it) whilst giving it a back scratch in just the right spot.  At this point they go into a kind of trance and start to gaze off into the distance, stretching their necks out and licking their lips.  I am happy because I can work on their hooves and no longer risk being decapitated, but Adrian is probably happiest of all because he hasn’t got to fork out £3,000 for a Combi clamp, well not for the moment anyway!

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Vera gets a touch of the itchies

Vera, one of our Yorkshire lassies, has been on our radar for a while.  She’s one of three we brought over from a Yorkshire farm just after moving here and she has thrived, along with the other two Yorkshire lassies, Vi and Ursi.   Anyway, of late she has taken to sitting on her own in one of the shelters provided for them.

VeraVera has always had a bit of a tendency to do this, so no alarm bells were ringing.  Nevertheless, Nicole had checked her over just to be sure, and had found nothing wrong.  The last time a sheep went off on her own it was Scarlett whose ear tag had become infected.  But Scarlett also stopped eating and hung her head, (a sure sign something is wrong) whereas Vera could be seen chewing the cud and looking quite content as she sat in her shelter.

Yesterday was the year’s hottest day.  Even up here in the hills, it was pretty hot.  I was taking to dogs for their daily walk and I usually come back via the sheep just to give them a quick check and to say hello.  Vera was up and about, grazing with the others and I was about to head off back to the house when  I noticed her stamping her feet quite a lot and looking round.  This is the sort of behaviour that can be seen in early fly-strike, so I checked her.  No flies, eggs or maggots.  Then I noticed she had scratched her front leg raw.  Something wasn’t right.

vera - leg wound
Vera’s leg wound (sprayed with blue spray)

I went and fetched Nicole and some iodine and we treated her wound.  Then Nicole checked for other wounds as all of a sudden Vera seemed to be very agitated.  We thought there had to be flies or maggots hiding somewhere.  After a careful inspection Nicole found that Vera’s skin, in the bare places where there is no wool, under her arms and the backs of her legs, seemed a bit inflamed and slightly hot to the touch, there were also some small crusty patches.  Our first thought was it might be “scab” however we haven’t had a case of “scab” before so we weren’t really sure.

So we duly called the vet and he came out and had a look.  After a careful examination he scratched his head and said he wasn’t really sure what it was, other than it wasn’t “scab”!  Basically, he said, it was in the wrong places for “scab”  and none of the other sheep were showing any signs, (“scab” is highly contagious).  Good and bad news – it wasn’t serious (good) but we were not sure what to do to treat it (bad)?

The swellings looked like they were a bit cracked and so could be infected so the vet gave her a mixture of steroids, anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic.   We wonder if she had had a bad case of midgie bites after shearing that hadn’t healed.  But we don’t know.  The vet thought it could be an allergic reaction to something she had eaten.  Maybe we will never know for sure.

We are monitoring her closely.  She looks a little better today (Friday), but she’s still a bit agitated and scratching and stamping her feet.  Fingers crossed it will clear up quickly.

Vera tucking in
Vera happily eating grass

And a quick update (Saturday).  She is out and about munching away happily.  There is still a bit of stamping, but nothing like two days ago.  It certainly looks like the really hot day aggravated things.  She is showing some photosensitivity which confirms the vet’s allergic reaction diagnosis.

To be honest, most of the sheep were finding it a bit hot, so it wouldn’t be surprising if it made the itchy parts worse.

Nicole is bathing the affected areas twice a day with chamomile tea.  We’re hoping that helps too.

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Summer Shelter Gets Our Approval

Hi, I’m Selene.  I’m the leader of this little flock of sheep.  I know Peaches might have something to say about that, and maybe Ursi too come to think of it, but I see myself as leader.  Where I go, the rest follow, most of the time.  Anyway, it doesn’t really matter too much, we sheep are very good at resolving any differences we might have.  We just put our heads together and come up with a solution.  Easy peasy!

Anyway, I heard a rumour that we sheep had been shown into a new shelter for the summer and then forgotten about it straight away.  Not true.  What is true that we were a bit flummoxed when our regular shelter was closed off to us.  We like it there.  We can get to any of our fields directly.  Now, if we want to get to the big field and we’re in the lower hay field, we have to go all the way round.

Us resting in our summer shelter

Anyway, I digress.  Our normal shelter was a bit muddy and some early summer rain hadn’t helped.  The humans had put in a connection to what they call the lambing paddock.  There’s a great shelter there – I was one of those fortunate enough to use it during lambing last year.  It was great because I wasn’t even pregnant but I still got sheep nuts, yum.

Where was I? Oh yes, we’d been shown a new path.  Well, it was very nice with lots of fresh grass, but I did remember that last time we were there, we had our coats shorn off.  While, at the end of the day, we are pretty pleased about that, it was a bit stressful at the time.  So, when we found we could go back to our normal fields, I thought it maybe best to avoid the new shed for a bit, just in case.

The only thing was, I hadn’t checked the weather forecast.  Luckily for us, the humans had, and they brought us back into the shed just before the heavens opened.  It was great listening to all that rain falling yet staying completely dry.  Especially as none of us had a coat.

testing the new path

Anyway, after that, we tested the new path a few times, but there was no sighting of the shearer.  A few rather nonplussed hens, yes, but they soon got used to us.  Turns out they’d had the shed to themselves for a while and were used to kind of mooching about in it undisturbed.  On the plus side, I pointed out to them, they also had access to our sheep path and could free range as far and wide as they liked.  And, indeed, it wasn’t long before they were off exploring.

So, on the whole, we like the new shelter.  I wonder if we’ll get to use it in the winter too.  I hope so.

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Wool Glorious Wool

It’s shearing season here and sheep all over are having their wool sheared.  Given that it’s been quite hot for a couple of days, our sheep are quite happy not to be sporting their woolly coats right now.  Shearing is also important for health, hot weather means more flies and blowflies, in particular, can be quite a threat to sheep.

fleeces dried and bagged up
Coloured Ryeland fleeces dried and bagged up

One of the sad facts is that, these days, wool is almost worthless.  Most is bought by British Wool for less than a pound a fleece.  That’s pretty much what it costs to shear a commercial sheep.  For small flock owners like us, the cost is higher.

Nicole recently started making felted rugs (felted fleece rugs at Auchenstroan).  These are starting to prove popular and so Nicole is planning to ramp up production a bit.  This mainly involves drafting me in to help.

shetland fleeces drying in sun
Shetland fleeces drying in the sun

We have a few fleeces left over from last year and 27 of our own Coloured Ryeland fleeces from this year.  However, we thought it might be good to see what kind of rugs could be produced by other breeds.  So, we have got a few fleeces from our Farm-sitter’s farm (pictured at the top) and also some Shetland fleeces from a smallholding further up the road from us.

It will be good to see how the rugs turn out. They will appear in our shop as they are finished.

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Hog Hide and Seek

Hello again, it’s me Ymogen.  It seems like ages since I updated my blog, so here’s another wee story.  We sheepies have noticed that every morning, one of the humans comes to check on us and that includes counting us.  I suppose they are just making sure Yaar hasn’t rolled onto his back somewhere.  Now, we have had a bit of a problem with midgies recently.  They are really annoying.  Poor old Yaar and Yumbo got bitten all around their eyes.  Luckily, the humans spotted it and are looking after them.

Anyway, what’s that got to do with hide and seek I hear you ask?  Well, one of the ways I deal with the midgies is to settle in the long grass.  I can cover my head with the grass and that helps keep them off.

Ymogen hiding in the grass
Me hiding in the grass

I noticed that when I do this, the humans have trouble finding me.  Up and down they go, counting away.  Fingers out, fingers wagging, lips moving, it can be quite comical really.  So now, if we’re out sleeping on the hill, I play hide and seek by hiding in the long grass.  Can you spot me?

Thankfully, the midgies seem to have eased off a bit lately.  They are still around, but nowhere near as annoying as they were.

Also, annoyingly, I have just found out that the humans can give really nice pats.  I have found out that I love having my chest scratched.  This means I can’t hide for long as I have to jump out and bound over to get my scratches.  Why is this annoying?  Well, it makes it harder for me to play hide and seek.  Not to worry though, I am sure I’ll think of another new game soon.

That’s all for now, byyeeeeeeeeeee 🙂

 

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Sheep raise concerns over smell

We have a field shelter complex in one of our small fields.  Our sheep really like the shelter and they head there when it’s raining (for shelter) or sunny (for shade).  They also head there when they’re a bit stressed, for example when it’s midgie weather.  Last year, we added slabs all the way round to ensure they had some hard standing.

muddy puddle in shelter
muddy puddle in shelter

That worked really well, but annoyingly, the ground in the shelters got quite muddy and in places there were small puddles.  Mixed with a bit of sheep poo, it can get a little smelly.  Over the winter, we used a lot of sawdust and straw to keep things fresh.  While that gave us a mini mountain of mulch, it’s still not that brilliant for the sheep.  With 27 of them, it was really a bit more than the shelters could cope with.

So, we decided to add some drainage.  We have also set up a path from our fields to the lambing paddock.  They were not well connected, but a little bit of fencing means we can now give the sheep unrestricted access to the lambing shed.  This winter, we’ll be able to spread the load between the two shed complexes.

Laying drainage pipe
Laying drainage pipe

Anyway, I did a bit of planning and bought some drainage pipe.  The plan is to run a pipe through each shelter and also around three edges where it can get pretty damp and muddy.  Combined with the guttering installed last year, this should take a lot of water around the shed away.

Then it was time to roll the sleeves up and get digging.  I had also bought a special sock, a covering for the drainage pipe that kept the silt out.  This meant I didn’t have to bed it in gravel and also I didn’t have to put it in that deep.  Nevertheless, the digging took a while.

drainage pipe laid
drainage pipe laid

Once the trench was dug, it didn’t take long to get the pipe in place.  We’re hoping it will make a big difference.

In the meantime, the sheep have access to the lambing shed which has a floor made of hard core, so they are perfectly happy – when they remember it’s there!

We’ll be keeping that field shut for the summer to allow the ground to recover from the pounding of 27 sheeps’ hooves

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Quite a week

Hi, I’m Pinkie.  I noticed my pal Ymogen has been writing a couple of stories so I thought I’d have a go.  I’m a year older than Ymogen and so now, quite a bit bigger too.  My mum is Ursi. Really, my name should begin with ‘X’, but when I was born I wore a pink woolly jumper to keep me warm and so Pinkie it is.  Anyway, I thought I’d tell you about my week.

pinkie
me a day old

Monday was quite peaceful.  Just the usual, you know, a bit of browsing, a bit of lying around chewing the cud.  Occasionally we moved to another field.  Just a nice, normal day here in Auchenstroan.

Tuesday, well, where to begin.  It all started as normal with a visit from one of the humans.  One of them comes over every morning and count us and checks we’re OK.  It’s quite comforting really.  But, a bit later, they were back and the female human made that noise she makes that makes us follow her.  I’m not quite sure how she does it, but before we know it, we’re up on our feet and trotting along after her.  Sometimes the male human tries to call us too.  That’s hilarious, we just stand and look at him, maybe chew a bit of cud.

Anyway, we followed the female human down a new path into a new paddock.  Yes, a NEW PADDOCK.  It was amazing, it’s the first time I have seen it.  There was long grass, wild flowers and trees with leaves in reach.  Yum yum.  There was also a lovely big shed.  “I was born here” yelled Yogi.  “Me too” added Ynca.  “And me”!  “And me”. “All right all right” I thought and headed off to explore.  To be honest, we all got a bit excited.  Later, we were penned up a little, we had the shed and a small outdoor area, so we took the opportunity for a wee rest.

shearing underway looking on
what’s that all about?

Things were happening outside.  Strange humans and big machines.  We kept a watchful eye.  Then, all of a sudden, we were ushered towards the machines.  Hmm, I thought to myself, I’m keeping well away.  I’m in the wee group in the photo to the left keeping my distance.  You might be able to spot me.

Nevertheless, the humans got their way and I soon found myself in a narrow wee corridor.  What’s this all about I wondered.  And then, I was whisked onto a platform and my coat sheared off.  My coat!!  I had spent all winter growing it.  It was lovely.  A bit hot mind you, so part of me was secretly pleased.  When the sun comes out, it can be a bit toasty in a thick woolly coat, let me tell you.  It turned out we’d all had our coats taken.  We looked a right skinny bunch, more like goats than sheep.

Then it was back back to our usual fields.  But, brrrr it was a bit chilly.  We headed to our usual shelter, but it was CLOSED OFF!  Oh no!!!!  I mean, I know it was a bit damp and smelly, but it’s our shelter.  The centre of our universe.  We were right put out.  So, we had a meeting and decided to shelter from the north wind behind a stone wall.  That wasn’t too bad actually.

Sheep resting in lambing shedLater in the day, the humans led us back to that new paddock.  Yippee, we had the big shelter.  It was great.  Lovely and dry and warm.  Just as well, really, as it rained in the night and none of us had any coats.

The next day, the humans left the gate open for us so we came and went as we pleased.  We sheep like that, we like our freedom to roam.

Nevertheless, when the rain came again later in the week, we’d forgotten all about the new shed.  What are we like.  On Saturday, we ended up all over the place, scattered amongst small field shelters in various fields.  Eventually the humans came and got us back together and led us back to the big shed.  Bliss.  Mind you, we lost Yumbo somewhere.  The humans went looking for him and I just caught a glimpse of him running down the hill full pelt to the man human.  He looked just like a little lamb again.  He was soon back with us.

Adrian and Pinkie
me and my man human

Only down side, my foot hurt today.  On the plus side, I got lots of scratches from my man human (I have him well trained).  That’s him on the left.

Then I got a whole bucket of nuts to myself – what a treat.  Yum yum.  I should have known there was a catch when they put hurdles around me.  I felt a sharp prick in my leg – the humans had given me a jag.  Hmmph!  Then they inspected my foot.  I wasn’t entirely sure about that, but if the pain goes, then I’ll be a happy wee sheep.

Anyway, that’s this week’s story.  Hopefully I’ll be back with more Pinkie parables soon.