The sheep, all males, were entrusted to us by the OABA, Oeuvre d’assistance aux bêtes d’abattoir.
After the years of abuse they had been subjected to, they were suspicious and did not want to enter the barn, no matter what the weather.
We walked at a distance in the meadow each day accustoming them to our presence, without trying to approach them.
After a few days, some came and we started offering them some grain in our hands. And gained their trust.
Arsène and Lupin, inseparable grandpa, were the first to come to us.
Ali and Baba, the two biggest of the gang, were quick to follow… then the others.
Today, everyone comes to see us spontaneously, looking for hugs, checking what we are doing… Obviously, we are also good at scratching!
They were seized at the request of the authorities. In the farm where they were born, they were locked up in the dark, in unsanitary conditions. The ground littered with rotting corpses.
While they were afraid of the sheepfold when they arrived, they now enter it without fear. They know what is good for them and are no longer afraid of anything. This confidence warms our hearts and facilitates handling for the annual mowing and deworming. Or the care after the terrible fights of which they have the secret.
It is not uncommon to have to walk the meadow with disinfectant to clean up sores… and repair shelters and playground they conscientiously dismantle.
Arsène and Lupin, the oldest, were separated from the rest of the gang in the fall. One rainy evening, we found Lupin asleep at the bottom of the pasture while all the others had returned to take shelter. Given his great age, 12 years old, we took the decision to put him with Arsène in another meadow and lock them up for the nights to be sure that they would be warm and dry because it is possible that they no longer realize their needs…
The great Baba, stripped of his place of leader, joined them. He is much calmer and is protective of our two ancestors…
While he had valiantly withstood the shock of the 2022 heat wave, the adorable Lupin passed away at the end of the summer. He was surrounded by Arsene and Baba who showed great tenderness. We miss him.