Sunday 26 February 2017

First escapee of 2017!

We had an escapee today, the first of 2017.
I didn't know of this until I saw the rottweiller girls trotting briskly down the side path. The sight of the wagging tails on the rear ends of the girls and the sound of a ewe calling out for her missing youngster made me think that I ought to go see. Just as well I did.
This is where I was....

.... out on the front drive, and starting work on getting the hedge cut.
(This photo was taken last November)
It does not look very overgrown from here, but it is, especially where the cars turn to go out into the lane.
This is the other side of the hedge ( on the left of the photo),
and this is where the poly tunnel is going to go. It is going to take up the whole space, and the hedge needs to go because it is untidy, has brambles growing through it, and takes up space.
So back to what I was doing..... My target was to get 300 snips of the hedge cut with the secateurs, and  100 swipes of the scythe done on the ground vegetation.
It was on the 53rd swipe of the scythe, that I looked up and saw the rotty girls trotting at a good pace down the side path.
I used to be able to run, then I trotted for a few years, but now I sort of do a fast amble. It does not look very elegant, but it does get me over the ground.
.... the black and white lamb on the left, this was the culprit. He is six weeks old now and is almost the height of his mum. He is also leaving behind his cute behaviour, and is spending most of his time grazing or sleeping, which means that his mum is not giving him as much milk. I don't blame her. I have seen these twins of hers lift her off her feet as they barge their heads into her udder to encourage her milk to flow.
This, then, was the lamb who was being shepherded up the side path towards me, with both dogs up his rear end. They couldn't get closer.
And Lester? He was out at the Sunday morning Gun Club.
No problems though, just call the dogs off, and get the lamb to go into the sheep pen which was just behind me.
But no, that was not to be so easy, because as soon as the dogs heard my voice they went into a 'must catch' mode, which had Blue dancing frantically around Maz to encourage her to 'catch the lamb', which was easy for her to do because the lamb kept barging himself into the fence wire, thinking that it would evaporate away which of course it didn't. All Maz had to do was catch him on his rebounds from the wire, which she eventually did. I meanwhile, kept calling the dogs off. Blue, bless her, came away quickly, but Maz did hesitate for a few seconds, just long enough to almost get the back leg of the lamb in her mouth but not quite.
It was at this point that Lester arrived home, just as I was chasing the lamb back into the paddock.
And the mum of the lamb? Oh she had lost interest and wandered over to the other side of the field with the other lamb.
So we have had our first escapee. We are well fenced but they will always find a way out. Once the other lambs grow bigger they, too, will start escaping under the wire. We have had nine lambs born this year, nearly all males. 
We expect plenty more breakouts.
Males tend to want to be naughtier than the females.
Meanwhile, I have at least made a start on the hedge.
At 300 snips per day it is going to take me quite a long time.
Not to worry, a little bit each day will contribute towards it getting done.
Off to bed now,
so bye for now,


Cro Magnon said...

Our escapees are either horses or cows (not ours). The horses I usually catch myself, and return to their field. With the cows I just phone their owner.

Vera said...

CRO MAGNON, our fences are robust enough to keep our cows inside the fields, but the lambs are small enough to squeeze underneath it!

Dawn said...

we have had the odd pig escape and odd goat but been fairly easy to get in again, we have lots of new fencing to do before we get sheep, will keep in mind to keep them low to the ground so lambs cant get under

Vera said...

DAWN, the lambs are no problem either, but we have to be extra careful because of the lane which runs close by our farm.

DUTA said...

I suppose an escaping animal is no laughing matter- to chase it and bringing back can be quite a task. I remember , in childhood we lived in a small town surrounded by villages. Sometimes animals escaped and made it to town. The farmer got heavily fined.

Vera said...

DUTA, the lambs and sometimes the sheep do sometimes push under the fencing, but they never stray far away. It is just a nuisance, that's all.

northsider said...

Hi Vera. We once had a bullock who could escape from any field. He use to get down on his knees and go under sheep and barbed wire. I would find him grazing the grass growing in the middle of the lane and he would never go far from the other cattle.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

If only there were escape proof fencing. But like you said, stuff will find a way out. It always makes for a bit of an adventurous round up.

Vera said...

NORTHSIDER DAVE, crikey...that bullock must have been determined!

LISA, it does add flavour to the day when lambs have to be rounded up!

Rhodesia said...

No matter how well you fence, animals have a way through if they really want to. Just back from South Africa with too many photos!!! Will get back to blogging soon I hope. Diane

Kerry said...

You need eyes in the back of your head with all you animals :)

Mama Pea said...

Sounds like it was good that you were working on the hedge. Otherwise, you might have missed the little ram's adventure!

Our poultry pasture is separated from the gardening area by a 7' high fence, but we've been leaving the gate we go in and out of the poultry pasture in an open position because the snow drifts have formed a barrier to keep the birds in a smaller area around their houses and commons area. UNTIL we were gone to the big city this past Thursday when the geese decided to scale the snow mountain and go exploring into the gardens. Very, very fortunate for us they left the year old fruit trees alone and there was nothing else they could hurt. Taught us a lesson though. Gate is now being kept shut.

Vera said...

DIANE, glad you got back safely from your trip.

KERRY, most of the time they stay in the fields and we don't have a problem. Letting them know the dogs are about also seems to help keep them inside their space!

MAMA PEA, glad the geese didn't do any damage. But snow! Crikey but you get a lot of it....the nearest we get to any snow is seeing it on the distance mountains, for which I am thankful! We are now in the wet weather season, so just snow!