Lambing is in full swing. We’ve had nearly thirty lambs so far and we’re trying to learn a bit from last year. While our ewes still lamb in the field, this year, we catch the new lambs as soon as possible. This way, we eliminate the risk the cows pose to them. The cows aren’t aggressive in any way, just careless. Last year several lambs got stepped on, but this year we (think) we’re on top of things…
Catching the lambs in the field is the easy part. Its the ewes that never cooperate. Certain we’re going to eat them, the ewes will run as far and as fast as they can, no matter that we’re holding their bleating babe. So we’ve had to get sneaky. Enter cowmouflauge ahhhh!
I know, it’s corny. But it really works, and, in spite of Trevor’s unfortunate placement behind that cow above, we’ve found a new use for our bovines — cowmouflauge ahhhh!
Maybe that’s the wrong name. Maybe we should be honest and admit we’re just applying the ‘close-talker’ principle. I know you know somebody like this. Everytime they strike up a conversation with you, they move in, well, too close. Their proximity makes your entire encounter uncomfortable and strange in its misplaced intimacy. What’s more, it’s a distraction. If you’re like me, while close-talker is gabbing, you’re preoccupied with how you can move back a foot or two without close-talker noticing.
Animals share no such social scruples. If you get too close, they simply move. The quicker you approach, the quicker they move away. But if you advance calmly, they retreat slowly.
It’s the calm movement we’re after. That, and a little bit of knowledge about pressure. If we approach the cow properly, we apply pressure in the opposite direction and know where she’ll move. And, if we’re after a sheep on the other side of her, and our timing is perfect, and we don’t sneeze, or slip on poo, or laugh, just as the cow steps out of the way, we reach out with our crook and snag the target ewes’ leg.
It’s that or tranquilize them from a helicopter.
Seriously, I’ve actually heard whispers of some people just pouring out feed to get their sheep to group up so they could grab them, but then you have to remember the feed and you never get pictures like the one above…
Say that reminds me — we’re flush with lamb! We’ve got everything from chops to shoulder. If you’ve never tried lamb, have no fear. We’ve got some recipes that’ll make your tastebuds sing!