This is the censored version of what greeted me in the sheep/pig pen this morning. Hetty had for reason known only to small brained bovines pushed herself in between the gate of the next pen, the ring feeder and was stood in the water trough.
Now I have to admit to having seen her late yesterday afternoon in a similar position but assumed that she would back up and get on with her life.This was an error of judgment and it had fatal consequences.
Animals, we have found, sometimes lack the self preservation gene, sheep are a classic example of this, they have so many ways they can self harm and kill them self. Poultry come a close second, Turkeys inability to stay alive here at HQ is legendary, the last Turkey (other than the one at Christmas) died from a combination of hay and gravity. I threw a bale of hay over a partition wall and it ruined Christmas dinner. Only the other day one of our Coq au Vin cockerels "flew" over the kennel door to see what was the other side. Preston our very ancient Beagle was almost as surprised as the cockerel, and only one of them survived the encounter as a beagle is partial to fresh chicken.
So this morning as bleary eyed I walked along our lane with a bucket of feed, fending off much needed sleep and unwanted goats, Hetty stood looking at me over the fence. As I fed the pigs and spoke to Hetty, questioning her sanity at standing for so long in the same place and apologising to her for not sorting her out sooner, it became apparent that something awful had happened. Hetty was stood in what can only be described as a pulpy mess. A woolly bloody pulpy mess. Petal, one of last years lambs, had got herself in front of Hetty and had been trampled to death. Both Hetty and I looked on failing to understand what had happened. I dismantled the feed ring and she turned around and began eating the corn laid out for breakfasts. I don't know why Petal thought it a good idea to get into the gap, and I don't know why Hetty kept trying to walk forward over her instead of backwards out of the water trough, it happened and we have to make sure it doesnt ever again.
This little chap is the cause of the increased tiredness at Rock HQ, only one person, Super Grandma Jill has not succumbed to the need for extra sleep since his arrival a week ago. This despite her feeding and watering all the animals everyday and looking after all the humans. Late this afternoon Beth and Rob called round and found all of us asleep except for Super Grandma. Tomorrow I go back to paid work outside the smallholding, I hope I get some of her energy!