Thursday 20 September 2012

Connie, Dora and Flo'

In 'Small Holder' terms and exciting and momentous day when, without a lot of warning, we end up owning 3 sheep. Yesterday saw us finally get a visit from the fencing contractor, Paul M (Paul the Fence) who had been 'going to do' our sheep paddock for what seemed like weeks without ever showing up or phoning and Dad was just getting to the stage where he would do it himself or find another contractor, when Paul phoned to tell us the price and ask could he start "tomorrow". It was all agreed and Paul duly showed up Tuesday evening to drop off the wire and posts. He'd be back 'first thing' he said.

On the cattle-fencing job a few weeks back this had taken us all by surprise by meaning 0800 so this time Dad was ready after an 0700 alarm call. Foolish Boy! Of course, Paul rolled in at 11:30 with his tractor mounted post-whacker. Dad and he got stuck in and worked all day round to 6:30 pm creating the paddock, hanging the gate and so on. Very nice it looks too and the puppies and I are interested to note that the sheep wire has smaller holes at ground level and is puppy proof (and grown-up dog proof also). Mum did sterling service catering, supplying bacon sarnies at lunchtime and scones and jam / Greek Stafilia at 4pm. Paul seemed to very much appreciate this and happily piled into the home made bread, homemade jam and lemon curd, and the Greek 'Stafilia' which is a syrupy sweet grape confection.

 With the paddock built, Dad this morning contacted our friend, stilt-walking plasterer and sheep farmer, Kenny O'C (Kenny the Sheep) to let him know to start looking for 'our' sheep, but warned him that with Dad in the UK soon on a  Mon-Fri, to avoid those dates, thinking we'd get our sheep after that. Not a bit of it. Kenny was delivering some of his own sheep to the abattoir today and would happily let us have some of the 'remainder' sheep which had not yet made the required weight. Mum and Dad had decided to go with three ewe lambs this time while we find our feet and Kenny has some Texel x Jacob ewes at around 32 kg which will do nicely.
He was able to deliver them tonight so, a bit sooner than we had all expected, we find ourselves sheep owners. Kenny arrived at about 6pm in his huge shiny 4 x 4 with sheep trailer attached with our three sheep in the trailer and his young son Oisín in the cab  (it's pronounced "Urshin"). This was backed up to the gate in the pouring rain and with all dogs confined to in the house, humans blocked exits and guided the three into the new paddock. They stood around admiring the animals and talking sheep for a while and then retreated to the warm dry indoors to do all the necessary paperwork.

 Since foot and mouth there are now plenty of forms to fill in with every movement of every sheep around the country and each one is uniquely tag-numbered
These ladies are 4 months old and were born in Irishtown, County Mayo. This is only their 2nd address. To the government they are called IE045492600051B, 61C and 62E respectively but Mum has decided to name them after three sisters of the PG Wodehouse character Lord Emsworth, so to us they are Constance (Connie), Dora and Florence (Flo). Good luck girls. You mission is to achieve weights of about 50-60 kg by about Christmas and for Mum and Dad to not fall in love with you (too much)


1 comment:

Mr Silverwood said...

Yay, leg of lamb in the new year, will have to be up for that weekend for real fresh lamb, that is of course as long as you do not fall in love with them too much.