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Rescuing Sheep

If you wander the hills, farmland or forest at all, you must eventually come across farm animals that are in a spot of bother. You could walk past thinking someone else will help or maybe try look for someone local to inform. But far better to just get stuck in and see what you can do to help.

A common one is to spot a sheep with it’s head stuck through something like a fence or gate, they’ve been trying to get at some grass on the other side and get caught. You might spot one stuck in a drain where it has become waterlogged. Or spot a pregnant ewe lying on her back, with legs waving in the air and slowly dying. Put on your gloves and see what you can do. Approach gently, grasp the fleece and gently roll her over, so she can get her feet back under her. For those stuck in fences etc., you may need to bend the wire a bit, then work the head back out. They may well struggle at first but usually give in, partly as they will be weak from lack of food and/or realise you are helping them.

This ewe here I helped out recently, had her head caught under rooting briars. Once these were broken, it took a few attempts to get her on her feet as she was weak. But within a few minutes was ambling off towards the rest of the flock.

Wear gloves, use common sense and obviously don’t put yourself in danger doing this. Be wary of animals that seem trapped on steep ground as they could panic and knock you. They may seem trapped but more likely are as agile as you and can extract themselves when they want. Be wary of larger animals like cattle or horses as they have muscle power to harm you, in these cases get word to someone local to find the owner.

But there’s many situations with sheep that you can easily rectify and apart from the animal itself, the local farmer/ hill farmer will be grateful as they can’t have eyes for everywhere.

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