I lost another sheep yesterday. Honestly, this is by far and away my worst winter ever as a crofter. I make that 10% of my stock lost since the end of September. Again, it was as result of a sheep being on her back and unable to get up. This time it was one of the sheep scanned empty last month.
She was out in the village park, with the other empties and I noticed there was one missing when I went out to feed the singles. Obviously a bad sign, straight away, as she didn’t come running when I called them.
I found her stuck on a slight slope. Just to the right here, there is a ruin of a house and the ground slopes away down towards the left, away from the house. The sheep may have slipped or bumped into another sheep and ended up stuck helplessly on her back.
She wasn’t far away from the village but no-one could see her, as there was another (empty) house between her and the rest of the village.
Rear legs facing almost straight up and the sign of poo round her rear shows she was there for a while.
A quick check of her tag shows she was a sheep I bought as an in-lamb ewe from someone else in Ness last year.
I took her in to the machair to bury her, and on my way in, I came across something I’d never seen before. A ferret/polecat drowned in an old bath.
I put the cast-iron bath there last Easter, to use as a water trough for the sheep. There has been little rain here for the past fortnight, so it must have jumped in for a drink and not got out again.
I scooped it out of the water (don’t want it decomposing in there!) and left it on the ground for scavengers to take.