The snow cleared this morning and it felt like a completely different place up on the grazing fields. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and all was right with the world, except for one thing … some of the ladies hadn’t been properly groomed before they arrived and were in need of dagging.
For the uninitiated a dag is the matted, mucky wool on a sheep’s tail or rear-end. Those of you familiar with Australian soap operas will remember Charlene calling Mrs Mangle an ‘old dag’ on a regular basis – sorry but I grew up in the ’80s.
Here are a set of dagging shears. They are quite brutal, especially if they accidentally get poked somewhere they shouldn’t!
The first job was to set up a corral using some old hurdles that were lying around the place. Next we needed to get the sheep into the corral, which we did by luring them in using a bucket full of sheep nuts. The pony in the neighbouring field was keen to see what was happening.
Gail inspected their feet before we cracked on with the job in hand. Unfortunately there is no recorded footage of the actual dagging as yours truly was doing his ‘sheep whispering’ bit and trying to keep them calm while Gail went at their backsides with a large pair of sharp implements. Don’t worry no sheep were injured or killed in process, although you’ll see in the photo above that one didn’t like what she was seeing and started planning an escape route through the wooden gate.
And here are the fruits of our labour – a lovely pile of dags.
I want to show one last photo though, which is possibly one of the most peculiar things that you’ll see in a while. In the next field lives a rather fine horse called Jake, who has recently been bought a companion, Doodle, a miniature Shetland pony. I think they make quite an odd couple.