Monday, 21 November 2011

They're not sheep...

They are Mountain Goats!!!

I have been thoroughly given the run-around by my flock in the last week.
First the boys, who I thought were secure and safely out of the way down on a nature reserve, found a gap in a fence after our neighbouring farmer moved his flock of commercial ewes in next door. So they were returned to me by the (thankfully laid back) farmer in a quad bike trailer.
I couldn't put them back on the nature reserve without doing some fencing there, so I took them to my new fields where the girls are... and they created havoc by finding a way around any fence put in their way. Shetlands don't see boundaries; they merely see obstacles to be overcome!

At last Chris and I, with some help from my friend Elle, got the little bleaters contained... for a while...

In the meantime, Rivendell Cuthbert, my new tup, decided that he'd covered all of his new girls and that he would move on to pastures new. Previously he was working a much bigger flock and clearly he thought himself short-changed with his 13 ewes at my spot and gone off on the pull in neighbouring fields.We're now been looking for him for three days, following tufts of ginger wool along the hedgerows, but as yet we have not located him. The neighbouring farmers and the police are all on the look-out.
Today, after another fruitless Cuthbert search, we got back to sorting out the unruly younger tups, who were blocked into one of our horse paddocks which unfortunately had very little graze.

Chris and Elle set to work building a new fence (I had to take my Mam to the doctor's) and when I joined them it was looking very smart! They had fenced so that there was an overhang at the riverside that couldn't possibly be sneaked round, and everything was looking tight and sheep proof. We released the boys into their new pasture only to find ourselves under attack from all angles: Balthazar and Brian took flying leaps across the river while Blitzen and Biff climbed up the muck heap, dropped down behind the stable and trotted out into the girl's paddock!

It was dark before we left the field and we'll have to be back first thing again to see whether we have won the battle... or not!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Belated Update

I am a slack blogger. Sorry folks, there is no excuse for it. However, things have been moving apace in the Holden-Wilde household.

Chris and I have our business off the ground and our website can be found HERE. This is a temporary site while the main one is being built by Chris's wonderful cousin Karen. Thanks Karen, you're a star xx

Chris's photography is coming on in leaps and bounds and very soon there will be a gallery to admire on the website.

My horse Danny and the sheep have moved house again and are now in a village I know very well from my childhood: a little place called Gleaston on the Furness Peninsula.

The girls have a new boyfriend called Rivendell Cuthbert! He's a handsome moorit lad originally from David and Joy Trotter's flock.

Down the road, the boys are chilling out down at Ireleth on the the salt marsh still. With no girls close by they are a proper lazy bachelor group, not a scrappy bunch as they were last year with the girls the other side of the fence!

Since the summer shows we have had an awful lot of calls about the flock and could have easily sold all of the girls three times over. Smali Archie, Smali Buttons and Smali Arrow have all gone off to new homes to work as flock sires and Galtress Ptolemy has a new home too with my friend Philip. Philip and his brother run the Wadley flock in Northumberland where Arrow, Tolly and ten of our girls are now living. Seven of the girls are out on loan and will come back to us probably next year once they have added some new members to the Wadley flock.

Smali Arran is growing into a very handsome lad. I took him along to a Shetland Sheep Society Ram Inspection day last weekend and I am proud to say that he has passed his assessment and is now an Approved Ram! I was so chuffed to get such positive feedback about him and his fleece in particular. I'll be very interested to see how his first lambs turn out next year!