So my adventure with the Valais Blacknose Sheep is part of my plan for the next stage in my life. I have moved from Cheshire to North Norfolk, invested in a holiday let and bought 2 valais ewe lambs. This is all new but I take it as a challenge ( my broadband provider said this to me the other day ) and take each day as it comes.
So far I have had overgrown hooves, an infection in a hoof, advised by a vet to cull if it re-infects!!!!! an eye infection, constant escaping by little Georgie, ( fortunately she doesn’t go far ) and the fear of flystrike in a very hot May before I got them sheared, & Cliked (phew!)
I’ve spent a fortune on stock fencing on a piece of land that the owner then decided he was not going to let me use, went round all the village asking everyone if they would like 2 valais sheep on their land, fortunately quite a few did (and who wouldn’t!), spent hours looking up “how to set up an electric fence”, crash course in building a sheep shelter on a zero budget. Introduced myself to a very busy/lovely neighbour to help me inject a very woolley, grumpy lamb with antibiotics, borrowed lovely/neighbour & trailer to move my sheep, quizzed very helpful pet supply guy re all things sheep and met a group of very lovely fellow valais sheep owners.
I am sure this all sounds very familiar to anyone who has decided to own livestock but I have loved most of my journey so far, the land bit wasn’t great but getting to know my fellow sheep owners and the people in the village has been fabulous.
So, Covid 19 has meant that things stopped for a few months. My sheep are on a large holiday letting location, safely tucked away but instead of having people around and company they have been more or less isolated apart from my visits. Guests will start to arrive over the next few weeks and I have been practising walking little Georgie with a rope & collar……
The plan is to walk around the site with my sheep. It’s a trial & error process! The halter was not great, it doesn’t fit over their roman noses very well, they don’t like me putting it on and if I put it round their necks it just tightens which is not good.
I tried Georgie with a dog caller which she didn’t mind at all so bought some sheep collars which they don’t mind either, & a bell which spooks them and is very loud, so ditch the bell for a bit……