I've saved Nobby, but poor Fred was not so lucky. He and 41 other lambs headed for market. We left the lambs off with two tractors and trailers, drove home, and returned in the car a short time later. Fred was in the pen with the rest of our lambs. He appreciated some scratches.
Fred came a long way. He was a weakly little lamb that I honestly thought wasn't going to make it.
But with some care from Ben he came round.
And he made it.
One of the challenges at the sale yard is recognising your own sheep when they come into the ring, which is why ours were marked with a blue and a yellow dot.
It was a good chance to see what other breeds of sheep are out there. One for my wish list: Hampshire Downs.
It wasn't just lambs - ewes that have gotten too old/aren't suitable for breeding end up here.
What lot number is this one...?
A man pointed this lamb out to me and told me I should photograph it - this from someone who didn't know who I was or why I was taking pictures. I have to admit, though, that this was a lovely lamb. The temptation to take some of these lambs home was almost too much.
The pens inside filled, some lots waited outside.
I checked up on our lot - 21 - just before the sale.
I wished Fred good luck, and asked him to fetch us a good price.
I found a good spot ringside as the sale got underway.
This tip wasn't very impressed with his audience.
The sheep came through the ring with astonishing speed, and before long our lambs were under the hammer.
Trade wasn't very good. We didn't get as much as we'd have liked. But just look at Fred - the last one out of the ring because he wanted to be with the people.
The sale carried on, and by now there was a large crowd.
One of the dealers checking the lambs' condition.
After a while I went in search of Fred. I checked the pens that held the just sold sheep first.
Then I checked outside, and there he was. Our lambs were mixed in with those from other lots (for example, the purple ones). He didn't come over to see me this time.
So I said my goodbyes and headed for home.