Lambing and the Magic Bottle

Dear Friends,

This photograph was taken in the Karakol valley, Altai 8th April this year, right in the middle of the lambing season. Here, as I wander up and down the hills herding the ladies I think back to the sheep dog trials I used to watch. The hardest thing must be the sleep deprivation associated with getting up in the night day after day to check that the lambs that have given birth in the night haven’t rejected or mislaid their little ones. When I first saw this white plastic bottle lying on the ground in amongst the sheep, made heavy with stones inside and tied round the bottle neck with a piece of string, I wasn’t quite sure what it was for. Then I worked it out. What is it’s purpose do you think? Can you guess?

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4 responses to “Lambing and the Magic Bottle

  1. Hi Jo,

    I can’t see any of the other lambs with one so I guess it could be an orphan so that they will know which to feed by hand?

    Lambing season is most definitely a sleepless time, I remember my parents being very tired for it’s duration. x

    • Hi Jo! I think orphans are removed and dealt with in the home. I wonder if I made it sound as if the bottle was tied to the lamb? That might have been misleading. Actually, it was just lying on the ground. I was only told I would need it once I started climbing the hills to drive the herd towards the pen in the evening…..

      • Must have misread it – so is it just a driving technique or is it supposed to sound like food being rattled in a tin? – my cats come from miles away when they here the Go-cat box being shaken – wonderful to get them in for taking to the vets etc.

        Where are you now? Jx

  2. with these extra comments above, I would guess… a lure for the sheep spirits, to guide the sheep back to safety in the evening? Or do I see a cord from the bottle to the lamb, so it stays in one place? Being a felter/spinner, this picture makes me very happy! Kind regards, Maria

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