In a week when we breathed a sigh of relief that the snow had passed we have had a tumultuous time on the farm. We lost a sheep, and although the exact cause is unknown, it seems as though the test of the recent weather has taken its toll on our wee flock. A combination of being new to shepherding, and also having a fairly small flock to start with has made this loss more pertinent.
It is hard not to have a constant sense of responsibility for the animals under our watch, and to feel that we’ve let them down in some way. However, we’ve taken from it that it’s perhaps a wake up call we needed. We have checked through the rest of the flock for any obvious signs of ill health, and have now moved them to an area of lusher grass and stocked them up with some troughs of sheep nuts. They are enjoying soaking up the recent few days of clear skies and intermittent sunshine.
Within an hour of losing our sheep, in the cattle shed we welcomed a lovely healthy brown heifer calf, the nicest thing you could hope to receive after the loss of an animal. There is something extra special about the first born calf of the year, it feels like Spring has properly started.
The kids were delighted to witness it carrying out it’s first vital activities – peeing, pooing and taking a drink from its mother. The significance of these vital signs is becoming more pertinent to them as they get older and more involved with looking after the cattle. Let’s hope the coming weeks bring more of this!