They are noisier than they have ever been. The new stock men on the farm are in their late teens to early twenties; jumping like uncoordinated gymnasts while making coarse incoherent sounds, some of them occasionally bursting into an uncouth form of vocabulary, none of which is worth repeating. The sheep take on an urgent calling to their groups which increases in intensity as the young stock men increase their pitch and volume.

The older stock man, who we do not see so much of now, does wave his arms about sometimes, and there is significantly less volume in his communication with the livestock. If the flock recognise him, there may be no vocal instruction at all. The sheep will move along with him guiding them in the direction he wants them to go. Sure, the occasional animal will be skittish and behave contrarily. It doesn’t take much physical movement from the older man to rectify that.

I watched a shepherdess working with the recent lambs, also an older quite big one. She has really worked hard with the orphan lambs and it is clear for all to see that they are thriving, far more than in previous years. One was looking so good, he has been selected for breeding. The big lamb, (named Dougal, see here, last paragraph) with a mind of his own, discovered who the mistress was when he decided to play his own game. There was not a shout, nor was there any jumping around to obtain the result required.

P1000411 Young Dougal 2

This is very young Dougal with another Suffolk lamb, Skye, who was about nine months old in this picture. Dougal is about her size now, and is six months old. He has the same colours as Skye, and he is very much stockier.



  1. No sheepdogs used these days on this farm. Some farmers do. The last one behaved more like a pet and occasionally pretended to be a sheepdog. The previous one was very much a working collie. The farmers are not young and I guess it would be one more concern for them if they had to look after a dog as well. In many ways, they are being very responsible about this.

    They always looked after their dogs very well as indeed they do now with the farm livestock.

  2. Dougal, learnt…definitely not yet! He will. Allowing for his obvious characteristics, Dougal is young enough to still try it on and will, for a while yet, of that I am pretty sure.

  3. Now, if I didn’t know we were talking about Dougal the Suffolk lamb, I might just think we are discussing the young stock men who might be modelling themselves on the macho ‘Rawhide’ cowboys, (even if they are too young to have seen anything like them on TV). 🙄

  4. Difficult for the two elements not be; the lambs, including Dougal and the two-legged idiots, are not very far away from each other at present. The latter being decibels noisier that the four-legged others.


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