Monday, 18 June 2007

Road to the Isles Sheep Champion

Myran Creag Mhor & Creag Mhor himself.

Meet the new overall Sheep champion of the Road to the Isles Agricultural Show.
This was her second outing, her Tup lamb Creag Mhor was second in his class and they make a perfect unit.
It is the first time in the Agricultural Shows 12 years history that a Cheviot has ever won the overall Sheep Champion, this honour is normally bestowed on the Black Face Sheep.
We entered her with her first lamb, she was so well behaved and stood with grace and elegance, I was so surprised as to how well they behaved, I was even more surprised to lift the coveted Trophy.
She was breed on Skye, by Mr & Mrs C Carter of Sarsar Farm in Waternish on the Isle of
Skye, her Sire was owned by Mrs Joyce Campbell of Armadale. Sharon & Claire who were also from the same flock came 2nd & 3rd in their class so we were ecstatic
We spent all of the day before clipping and washing all three sheep and four lambs.
They were like white clouds when we finished with them.
I went into the Byre the next morning to find them all lying down except for Creag Mhor the Tup.
He was trampling all over their backs with his dirty hoofs, he causes so much havoc for such a small thing.
He has even started jumping on my car bonnet he thinks it is great fun to jump on anything and everything at the moment.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Bye Bye Babies

We said good bye to some of our babies on the 1st June 2007.
It was time for some of our cattle to go to market which is the bit I always hate.
I know you are supposed to be hard and some people would say money orientated, but I would keep them all if I could.
We had two bullocks and three heifers plus a three year old Charolais Cross cow in calf to a Limousin Ronwick Iceman.
We spent most of the previous night washing and clipping them, just spending our final hours with them as we always do, talking to them and brushing them up, I now it sounds foolish but that's what we do and I think it settles them down a little bit as they know something is going on.
They are all around about the 9mth old mark and all well behaved.

Trudy the Charolais was the choice between two cows, we have not got enough room for her and she would not tie in a stall.
She is a bit of a bully with the younger ones and was not frightened to put her head down to you on the odd occasion so we decided to keep old faithful.
She held herself well in the ring and we got a very good price for her, even though my heart sank when the hammer went down.
The good thing is we always make a point of finding out where they are going and who is getting them, she is going to be kept as a breeding cow so I was really happy that she will be going to a new home.

Jasmine was the other one I would have liked to keep, she is a simmental cross, chocolate brown in colour with white patches all over, she is really placid and spoiled.
They were all bidding on her everyone likes a coloured cow, she did best of all in the ring.
She also went to a good home for a breeding cow.
All the Heifers will be used for breeding cows, unfortunately my boys will end up the way all boys do.
We said our final good byes after they had all been sold and told them to be good.
I hate walking away from them I feel like a mother abandoning her children, or having them torn away from me.
Sometimes I feel so empty after they have gone, because you are always looking for them amongst the heard.
It is usually quiet in the car on the way home as we are lost for words.

I always remember my first cattle sale on the way home it was hell, I had a black Aberdeen Angus Cross called Prince, he was Angela's son, he had preformed really well around all of the local Agricultural shows we got a couple of reserve champions with him.
When it was his turn to go to market I cried all night, he had been my pet, always there around your feet.
When he came running into the ring, he slammed on the anchors and looked at all of the faces watching him, he spotted me in the crowd and bellowed continuously until he went out, he never took his eyes of me.
I left the ring with him and followed him to his pen.
I clapped him, brushed him and talked to him, I think he was as heartbroken as I was.
My husband said it was time to go we went to the car I could hear Prince calling they were loading him onto the wagon he spotted me on the way up the ramp, he ran to the back of the wagon and poked his nose out of the little slats on the side, calling all of the time for me to come and get him.
I will never forget how hard it was to walk away from him, I cried for 4 days solid and could not sleep or eat, I still have a little tear for him even whilst I am putting this down in words.
It is the worst thing in the world to feel loss even if it is an animal.
But even if it is only an animal they can give you as much pleasure and happiness than some human beings can.
I would like to think that I am a guardian to all of the animals that are in my care, and as such I have a responsibility to be kind, gently and compassionate towards them.
What we sow in life we will be rewarded for in Heaven as my nan used to say.