Lambing season is just starting in the fields around Rye and will soon be in full swing with most Marsh flocks starting around April 1. Its quite an appropriate start date really, as you must be a fool to have sheep!
They must be the most frustrating farm animal to rear. They spend most of their lives trying to escape from their fields and, if you do keep them in, they like nothing more than going lame on a regular basis, getting stuck in brambles, ditches, forks in trees, or just through the wire fences.
At lambing time some sheep suddenly decide that they want to pinch every lamb born but, once they finally have their own, they decide motherhood is not for them after all and abandon their new born offspring.
If that’s not enough, flies love laying their eggs on them in the summer months, so basically they are a walking maggot host that needs constant care and attention.
But their ultimate life’s ambition is to just drop dead for absolutely no reason at all. Hats off to Noah for keeping his two sheep alive, but sometimes I wish he hadn’t!
Finally if you are enjoying a walk around the countryside and see a sheep that appears to be sunbathing (see picture below), they are actually likely to be stuck on their backs and need to be turned over ASAP. Just roll them over, being careful of their flaying legs, and hopefully they will walk away.
Occasionally they may stagger or fall over a few times similar to a drunk leaving the pub (if you remember that far back), but once they gather their bearings they will soon be right as rain until they find another way of trying to reach their life’s ambition!
Happy lambing to the local farmers and small holders. For anyone else who wants to follow the tales of a sheep, the life of Shady the sheep can be found on Instagram.
[Editor’s note: And, while lambing time may all look well organised and planned on Countryfile on BBC, sheep do not always stick to the timetable so visitors and recent newcomers currently out for a carefree walk may find themselves suddenly thrust into unwanted farming life. It might be wise therefore to have a good map with you, and know where the nearest farmhouse is!]
Image Credits: Simon Wright .