Can you believe …. It has been tipping it down all night! Again! Final preparations laying the straw and filling waters in the barn and Peter and I hitch-up and head out to collect the first gaggle. We drop the ramp by the gate and even before I call the girls, they are vying for position to clamber aboard.
my original girls who know me well are first in. First group takes the top layer and we lower the ramp and get a second group into the bottom of the trailer. Even the verge is so wet that I almost get stuck in the mud there but manage to get just enough grip to pull away with my full load and head back to the barn leaving a deep rut. Oops!! It’s my verge there anyway and I’ll sort it another day …. priority is get these in and get back for another lot.
Lovely to have the rest of the family to receive us on our return and get this group off and into pens. They literally step onto the straw and their heads drop to eat. That rustle and smell of clean straw, lovely.
Group 2, we managed to fit a few more in, the job is going well. The Glastonbury mud scenes at the field entrance made it tricky, I got spattered a number of times as a ewe launched herself onto the ramp spraying liquid mud off her hind feet as she jumped. Mud-packs are supposed to be good for you aren’t they?
Final group - we got a good layer of ewes in the trailer. I will confess here that we couldn’t get all the “crazies” in. The mud prevented any significant chasing around to round those last few up, so we left them. I know a good friend with a fabulous dog who will pull those last few in for me tomorrow so I’ll have to leave them for another night. You’d think after all the rain and the obvious pleasure of the older ewes to get into the trailer that they’d be keen to come straight in! But these last few are bred from hill sheep, a couple of them are indeed Shetlands, so a bit more rain means little to them. I’ll get them tame soon enough.
So most of the flock are in. They have settled so quickly. It’s one of those lovely things, going into a barn of contented animals, hearing the munching, the chewing the cud, the smell of fleece. They are certainly happy to be in, the heads are higher, their tails no longer tucked under them. Yes, a very good and successful day indeed.
I didn’t film over at the field as there wasn’t a spare hand to hold a camera, the focus was on staying upright in the mud and loading the girls! Phil got a fair bit of footage back at the barn though, so do watch our day here …...