Checking Sheep

30 Days Wild, day 14: I'm currently on a rota for checking a flock of Hebridean sheep that are 'conservation grazing' at Calley Heath nature reserve.

 Healthy Hebrideans

Once a week I check that they are all present, which can be quite difficult if they are all milling around, and look out for any health problems such as lameness, skin infections (bald patches), discharge from nose or eyes, loss of weight, lethargy, or fly strike (when flies lay eggs on the sheep and maggots develop). They should all flock together, but if one stays away from the others it usually indicates there is something wrong with it.

 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38…

This year we've had a couple with lameness, but they've been promptly treated and seem to be fine again now. If I do discover a problem, I'm not expected to administer first-aid myself, but call the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Grazing Officer who will deal with it.


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