Sheep Worrying is Serious Business
We’re fast approaching Lambing Season (Mar-April) and being mindful of Farmer’s concerns is really important to the TRF. People who enjoy experiencing the countryside firsthand, like ourselves (responsible dirtbike riders), rely on the good-will of many people. Not least like-minded farmer’s and land-owners.
Sharing the countryside comes with its responsibility and sensitivities which became much clearer during a recent interview with farmer Nick from West Wales.
TRF: How much does a lamb cost you, if the sheep aborts?
Nick: It varies depending on the time of year and what’s happening at the market. But generally, Ewes (female sheep) carry 2 lambs per pregnancy and we aim to get £90-120 per 42kg lamb.
… [that’s £180-240 per aborted pregnancy]
It depends on the gender too, for example, a male lamb would expect to fetch £90, whereas, the females would go to breeding sales and command much more. A rare breed pedigree sheep could get up to as much as 42,000 guineas!!
TRF: What causes you most concern [as farmer]?
Nick: Where we live, it’s the dog walkers who don’t have the dog on a lead. We see a few green laners but they’re generally quite mindful not to scare the sheep during lambing and we tend to put the pregnant sheep on quieter fields.
TRF: What can you do about Sheep Worrying?
Nick: The farm attracts vermin, which I control with a number of measures, including a shot-gun. If the dogs roam free and are worrying my sheep, I’m within my rights to take the dog(s) out before they destroy my entire flock [livelihood] for that year.
We’re grateful to Nick for sharing his perspective. And also to share the message during Lambing… BE AWARE – BE SENSITIVE – BE QUIET!
If you’ve got an after-market pipe fitted, we suggest back-off revving it during this period where sheep might be in the next field nearby – the sheep don’t understand it and running scared can cause them the abort.
The TRF (Trail Riders Fellowship) want trail riding to be a sustainable activity – the TRF already has massive support from the other users of the countryside. Let’s keep “Shaun-the-Sheep” and his many cousins feeling relaxed in their fields when out trail-riding the Green lanes near you.
Credits: Aardman Animations.