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Saturday, January 7, 2023

Sheep On My Mind and Crooks

 “Some of the old shepherds or men in the villages carve ornate sheep or sheepdog heads…to decorate their crooks, thought the best of these are never used for work, but are simply for show. I will wave my crook to get the tup’s attention in the sale ring, and tickle it gently under its nose to get it to raise its head to look prouder and full of character.

A crook is as essential now on our farm as it ever was. My crook is an extension of my arm, letting me catch the sheep. Sheep are faster than a man, but will let you within a distance they feel safe at. The crook is used to take advantage of that and snag them round the neck. I use a crook almost every day in winter and dozens of times a day in the spring when we are lambing and need to catch ewes at regular intervals.”

James Rebanks The Shepherd’s Life

Thumper, the Slope County Silbernagel ewe

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