Wednesday 14 March 2012

Sheep scanning over for another year

Fog caused problems as the scanning season came to a close. There were other minor problems. Scanning on one farm had been rescheduled to accommodate a new shepherd starting his job which found Shep doing jobs arse first (wrong way round) to other years.

I had to leave the gathering out bye to gather and help at a scanning in the Rede. Under normal circumstances out bye would be gathered, scanned and sorted before Shep had to head into the Rede to do the same tasks over there. This year was different.
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Moss was getting hot paws that week. I dread to think how many miles he would clock up on those four sturdy legs of his. Between the two farms there were just short of 3,000 sheep gathered forward over a total of about 10,000 acres - he was a happy if not somewhat tired fella.

We were fortunate in the Rede. Very fortunate. It was a hazy day, forever threatening to come in foggy but failing to do so and yet I was aware that it was foggy away out bye and the gathering still wasn't going as planned.

The farmer in the Rede had left all his gathering for the day prior to the scan man arriving - dodgy tactics, but ones which paid off. Luck is on your side sometimes!
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Easier ground to cover than that we had been working on days previously and sheep were fit so ran in well, it was also a great help that we could see them - does help!
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Two long days were put in, first day saw all sheep gathered forward and held in fields near at hand ready for the scanning man arriving on the second day. As the scan man pulled into the pens early on the second morning the sheep were also heading into the pens, it was a dry cool morning, skylarks were singing their hearts out, a pleasure to be out and about.
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Swaledale sheep this time, many of them. All awaiting their turn to go through the scanning crate.
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The view Moss had of the proceedings wasn't quite as grand as my view. Makes the sheep look big when you see them from the dogs angle.
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Finally scanning was over, twins were shed off to remain in fields, to receive feed and lamb down near at hand, the above is a bunch of twin bearing ewes heading towards new pastures, they won't see their hill ground again until the early summer.

The final two scannings went well. Lamb numbers up on previous years, as in fact most of the scannings have been, the geld (barren)numbers probably aren't down a great deal but the twin numbers on the hill grounds are up, the grassy and mild autumn/early winter saw ewes in good fettle, let's hope that fettle continues into the lambing season.
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Travelling home on dusk the sun caught my eye. It was bright red when I first noticed it but by the time I finally stopped to take a photo it was rapidly fading and disappeared just moments after I took this shot, hidden behind a foggy greyness.
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LAMBS! Just days after the scanning season drew to a close I passed these lambs just a mile or two down the valley and had to screech to a halt for a shot of them - how the seasons vary!


WidowTwanky said...

Stumbled across your blog a couple of weeks ago and have to say thank you (I didn't want to wait till I had read up to date!) I have been enthralled, educated and entertained. The best read I've had for a long time! You have a great outlook on life and a brilliant way of sharing it. Thank you :o)

Tarset Shepherd said...

Wow! Thank you for the generous comment. I hope I don't disappoint in the future