Monday, May 28, 2007

Sheepless in Otaki

Hurrah! I waved goodbye to 5 sheep yesterday. There were 6 last week, but the ancient girl died during the week. She & her lambs have looked suss since I got them, she's just been past her use by date I think, which is why the guy selling was so keen to get rid of them.

But anyway, I turned up at 10am to pen the the beasts before 10.30am, when a nice lady called Faye was coming to pick them up. Fantastically, Wilma & I had them sorted nearly straight away! And for the only time, Wilma was a help rather than a hindrance. For whatever reason, she went the right way, stopped when I yelled & after only two uncontrolled circuits of the paddock, we had all 5, even the bolshie boys, in my jury rigged "funnel", and on their way to the pen.

We rested then & half an hour later Faye arrived with a high sided trailer.

While getting them in the pen was a doddle, getting them on the trailer was not. Faye backed up to the gate, we bisected the pen to make it smaller, but nothing was going to tempt them to step up & through the gate. Otto spent most of his time blocking the gap.

Resigned to a struggle, I heaved Otto around & pushed the heavy brute up onto the platform. I wondered how long I had to get another before he got back off, but to my complete surprise, George dutifully climbed up onto the trailer to be with his old mate.

"Just like a sheep" Faye noted, as she swung one of the ewes up to join them. I grabbed the last two while she blocked them all in the trailer, she rolled the lot forward while I held corrugated iron up to stop the bolting. And it was done.

The boys are off to Levin apparently, the girls & the wether lamb are staying in Otaki.

Next weekend I'll dismantle all the temporary fencing & transport it to the orchard where it will go to keeping Wilma in.

One amusing thing we noted, the 1/4 acre section next door, from whence springs Zeus the pig, now & then, is now also home to a magnificent chestnut horse. I can only assume they're circus folk or something. Anyway, that's between them & their new neighbours & the animal control guy.

Which brings me to... my utter shame on Saturday, literally seconds after I'd given her a tummy rub out the back, Wilma was returned home from the front street by the local Animal Control Officer. I was stunned "But, but... she was just out the back with me!".

Luckily, the guy just happened to be passing when he caught Wilma just outside our front gate. There was a lot of traffic that day because of some field day at the race course, so the guy didn't even tell me off, just returned her with a smile. And then he asked me if next door's dogs always barked like that & I said not really, just sometimes, and off he went to tell their owner off instead.

Oh, and that prompted me to go see if the sheep guy from next door (not the 1/4 acre section - more like a 4 acre section) had fixed his fence so that his lot can't tour our place when they want.

And he had.