death in a public place

I hope when it is my time to leave this earth it is peaceful and quick, and not right in the middle of a public footpath.

Sheep are notorious for their ease of dying, and today one very pregnant ewe died suddenly, in the middle of the footpath, in full glare of the warm spring sun. It must have been quick, she had not struggled as the ground was not on this occasion torn up by thrashing limbs,  and there were no obvious clues as to her demise, plus she looked perfectly alright yesterday.

 However the warm sun shining on her once active body attracted flies by the multitude and the usually pleasant [if you like animals] warm sheep smell resonant of lanolin and grass is soon replaced by something very distinct that cloys in the nose and throat, and is best avoided.

It is in the nature of farming and working with livestock which inevitably leads to coping with deadstock some of the time. We have a large on-farm incinerator which we are licensed to use for sheep and as I write this she is now a cloud of smoke in the previously clear April sky.


Filed under Country Life, food and farming, rural musings, Food, Life

4 responses to “death in a public place

  1. Goodness, I read that first line and wondered what I was about to read!
    I wondered how you cope with dead animals, does the knackers man come for larger cattle?

  2. What is it with sheep? I visited a friend’s croft the other day and one of his Jacob ewes had just died from a prolapse. Sheep make pig farming a very attractive prospect.

  3. Glad you can cope with the disposal of dead sheep. At our last house (again bordering a field) the farmer disposed of a dead sheep by burying it in a stable yard muck heap. It was continually disturbed by foxes etc etc!

  4. Oh dear, that is sad… does that mean the lamb inside her died too? My B.I.L. was a farmer – he used to chuck dead sheep in the quarry. Yuck.

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