Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Wednesday, January 22 – Penning the sheep

Today has been exhausting but as it was the driest day we’ve had for ages, it was important to help Neil with the sheep. I asked the girls to take over the washing as there was a chance of getting most of it dry today, while I went across with Martin.

We started by carrying some spare hurdles over to the corner of the first field that Neil wanted to use. It was the driest patch available, so we linked the hurdles to form a holding pen with a narrow race leading out.  Then Neil rounded up the first flock with his dogs and we penned them up.

I was meant to inject while Neil manhandled the sheep and Martin set them free one at a time, but I had such trouble parting the thick fleece of these woolly devils and stabbing them in the right place, that Neil had to take over. I then had the job of holding them under the chin to keep them still while he treated them. He also turned them over and trimmed their feet at the same time to save rounding them up another time.

Once we’d dealt with the first batch we broke for lunch. Linda heated a thick soup with dumplings over her camp fire and we sat outside enjoying the spring like sunshine. But we didn’t stop for long and were soon carrying hurdles across to the second field. I then came back home, leaving Linda to take over my job while I prepared supper for all of us tonight. We’re having potatoes and apples baked in the ashes and a meaty stew, to which I’ll add kale towards the end.

Thank goodness the hens don’t have to be treated. They seem very healthy and laid four eggs today.

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