Posted by: kathandroger | February 12, 2017

Well done Rosemary-again!

We have kept a few sheep since we have been in France. They are to keep the field and wood on the hill behind our property tidy, and we eat the lambs! Rosemary was one of our original sheep, and the only one remaining. She is not pretty, she is difficult to catch for shearing, and all that because she is, I believe, a sheep with brains. And what a brilliant mother! We had been expecting her to have her lambs for about a fortnight. Last year she had triplets, and as we were away, it was only because our lovely neighbours Lyddie and Alain came to check and found two of the newborn left behind that the trio were reunited and raised. Each morning I have expected to find her with new lambs and it happened a few days ago.img_3659Lambing is not a pretty sight, and this was before the afterbirth had been shed, minutes after the last lamb. She had the sense to go under cover in the bad weather, and was already cleaning up her lambs. After a couple of days they look very much better.img_3666The three, Eeni Meeni and Myni, are all about the same size, one female and two males, and we hope she again raises all three. We are waiting for Flossie, the other sheep, to produce Mo! When I was in Dorset and had Jacob sheep, they sometimes had triples, but never once raised all three; my daughters had to bottle feed one, or we tried to get a foster mother to help.

We tend to think that sheep are not the cleverest of animals. At the moment we are looking after Rollo, a delightful Springadoo belonging to some friends. He is a very friendly little dog, and I took him into the field, on a lead, to see how he reacted with the flock. Boodie, our old Airdale, is largely ignored by them, although Moins Dix, the goat, and he play together. The sheep have absolutely no fear of Boodie, but on seeing Rollo there was an immediate change of mood. The goat ran away, the sheep kept their distance, and Hercules the ram came up and attacked the poor little dog, bowling him over and frightening him dreadfully. The ram is usually a friendly chap, but when he is in the mating season, or when his girls have babies, he does tend to be a bit protective. I found this out again this week when I was admiring the lambs and he butted me in the right thigh. That was four days ago and I still can’t walk properly! I don’t think Rollo will be a threat to sheep, and I remember an old farmer in Dorset telling me that if he knew of a sheep worrying dog he would put it in a pen with a ram and it was soon cured. Animals aren’t daft.

The other success this week is that my rebuilt fishpond is not leaking. After some recementing and painting with special paint it is at last continent!img_3668

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