Shearing, kidding, and chasing a beagle

Shearing, kidding, and chasing a beagle
Today I was supposed to shear sheep…but my electric shearers broke after shearing three sheep last Sunday. I have the broken part on order but thought I would use hand shears on 2 sheep today so I can get their fleeces combined with the others and sent to the mill. I had a meeting this morning so caught the sheep in the barn, cleaned up and went to the meeting. When I got back several of the sheep had wriggled out of a small gap in the hog panel fence I had made include one of the two I had planned to shear. So I sheared the other one and let the others out. I then decided to try to entice all the sheep back in with treats. I used sheep grain and animal crackers and could only entice the friendly sheep in- not the wild, skittish sheep (one of which was my shearing target). So then I decided I would try to chase them into the barn. As expected they scattered and did an end around on me and would not cooperate in the least. As I was giving up on this endeavor I noticed our beagle out back behind the fence (where he shouldn’t be).

I yelled at him, and he ran away from me. So I walked back to the barn, out the gate and to the back yard. He was no where to be found. Finally I spotted him (by noticing where the obedient good dogs were looking), and he was three neighbors away, heading up a brushy hill. I yelled at him again and he looked at me and ran away. By this time I am mad. I went into the house to change clothes, figuring I’m going to have to drive to the street to where he’s heading, and I called Tom at work to come home to help. We lost a loose beagle one- he got hit on our busy road- and I did not want that to ever happen again. So then I went out to locate him again, and he had veered away from the upper road and was heading into the woods. So rather than get in my car I walked up the road to a driveway two homes down and got near him but again he ran away from me through the brush. So then I walked after him up the hillside through the blackberries, salmonberries and downed tree limbs as well as a spring in my clogs trying to get to him. He just kept going farther from me. Finally Tom drove up the driveway, and we had the beagle between us. Then he decided to come when he was called and came over to me. I slapped him once and put him on the leash. He kept getting tangled in the blackberry vines so Tom came up the hill and grabbed him for me while I gingerly walked back down the hill. We then found the spot in the fence that he had snuck through and tied him up for the rest of the afternoon.

Then I went into the barn to grab the fleece I had sheared and noticed Magpie, our last pregnant doe, was finally in labor. So I sat in the pen with her and watched her give birth to twins. They were both breech but came out fine with no assistance. It’s a male and female, and I chose to call them Batman and Robin. They are doing quite well. Finally I collected my fleece and brought it into the trailer to dry. I skirted the 4 fleeces that are already dry and some from last year to get ready for the mill. Hana, our Highland cow, appears to be in early labor so I’m watching her too. Tomorrow I’ll try to catch the errant sheep, get her sheared and get all of the other fleeces ready for the mill. Quite a day!

2008-03-13 01:45:17 GMT
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