Sheep 101. No, Disney haven’t run out of Dalmatians for their latest reboot, and it’s not a wolf-infested room of nightmares in the Ministry of Love. This is sheep 101, the beginners guide to sheep keeping and all things sheep.
Heidi and I learned lots of helpful tips, especially about lambing and pest control, but I’d say the best thing I learned was a nifty way to flip a sheep.
You hold the sheep sideways on to you, standing at its flank and holding it under the chin. Then reach under its belly and take hold of the back leg closest to you. When you lift the leg the sheep will naturally swivel round and end up turned over. Voila!
It was also really nice to get to meet some of our fellow small holders, and spend an afternoon drinking coffee and eating biscuits!
This course was one of the many available through the Somerset Smallholders Association. Membership is a very reasonable £12.50 for single membership or £17.50 for family membership. For this you get all sorts of perks including lots of interesting courses and events, a bi-monthly magazine and access to the tool loan scheme – which includes a very useful stock trailer.
The stock trailer and the very friendly, helpful people are the only reason we managed to retrieve all of our sheep after their recent adventures.