Charlie was the two-year-old wether that we hand-reared after he was abandoned by his mum.
He was one of a pair of twins and his mum only looked after the other one. I found him in the paddock, not even cleaned off by the mother, and I thought he was dead. Then he moved.
I took him inside, rubbed him down and put him in a towel by the fire. Soon after that, he took his first steps in our lounge room. He grew quickly and was soon back outside with Hoover (the other orphan that year). He never lost his familiarity with us and, unfortunately, that was what led to his demise.
Recently, when either of us was feeding the sheep he would become more and more pushy. He would circle our legs, just as he did as a lamb, to get fed. In the last couple of weeks that escalated into butting at us, whether we had food or not. He was becoming dangerous and could have caused serious injury to Niki or me. He had a head like concrete and could not be dissuaded.
Today, I took him into our sheep yards, gave him some sheep nuts to distract him and ended his life. It was quick and he had no idea what was coming. We won't waste his life and he'll be in the freezer by the weekend.
Another lesson we have learned: don't hand-rear male sheep. Or, if you do, don't let them grow past one year.
Posted by Farmer Wan
About Ewan and Niki
Scottish mechanical engineer with a deep and abiding passion for good food. Outstanding cook. Builder of lots of stuff. Cattle whisperer. Connoisseur of beer. A lover rather than a fighter.
Kiwi writer and broadcaster who hates cabbage, even though she knows it's good for her. Chook wrangler. Grower of food and flowers. Maker of fine preserves. Lover of dancing and wine. Definitely a fighter.