Sheep may safely graze
Woolly lambs are gamboling by the streams
Sheep may safely graze
All the lost children will be found in time
Sheep may safely graze, my boy
Close your eyes, your daddy is by your side
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
We are often asked where our rescue sheep come from. Apart from orphan lambs and surrenders, many sheep are from local council ”pounds’..
When an animal deemed as ‘livestock’ is found on the roads, is abandoned on a property, or on another land holders land, the local council is empowered to ‘impound’ the animal/s.
If no owner comes forward, after a statutory period, the animals are disposed of by the council
One means is by tender, where members of the public can place a sealed bid, to purchase the animals.
A few weeks ago a supporter alerted us to there being seven sheep in our local pound, soon to be sold through tender. The seven were listed as 5 ewes and 2 rams. As we are aware that such animals are often purchased to be on sold to the sale yards or abattoir for a profit, we were keen to put in a bid to secure a safe future.
Funds being low, we were thrilled to have support for a fund raiser to enable us to put in a bid for the sheep
We put in our tender and then had a tense wait to find out if we were successful. Thankfully we were and a few days ago these seven lucky sheep arrived. One small ewe had already been shorn as she had had horrendous fly strike on arrival at the pound, and we thank the shire for taking prompt action, as such severe flystrike would have led to her death.
On the day our seven were collected the shire contractor had collected yet another three of five more sheep from the same property. These are now in the pound and the same process will apply.
The seven sheep are of mixed breeds, some Suffolks, a couple of Dorset crosses and a magnificent Border Leicester. We shedded them in the stables to get the accustomed to us hand feeding them, and to ensure they stayed dry prior to shearing. Very glad we did as we had a torrential downpour.
Yesterday our fantastic shearer made a special trip over to shear the six sheep. At the same time all were drenched for parasites and also treated for nasal discharge.
They are getting used to us and the Border Leicester, ‘Beau’, is especially friendly, leading us to believe he was a pet at some stage.
After a time in quarantine they will join one of the main flocks.
And the other good news….at shearing we confirmed the group is made up of four wethers (male sheep who have been castrated) and three ewes, saving us the needs to castrate any rams, and hopefully none of the ewes are pregnant!
So now we will need to wait and hope we can save their friends.