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Paul Whybrow
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  • I read recently, sheep meat is rich in a salt; potassium phosphate, more than any other husbanded animal. This salt helps with mood and sleeplessness amongst other things. What does it mean, when they die by getting 'cast'?
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    Paul Whybrow
    Paul Whybrow
    Casting is not nice, as it refers to a sheep that gets trapped on its back, which can die of a number of things—suffocation, overheating, starvation and being attacked by wildlife—crows commonly peck the eyes and tongues out while the ewe is alive, meaning they have to be put down when found.
    Katie-Ellen Hazeldine
    Katie-Ellen Hazeldine
    Poor things. Well, I didn't know that. And someone told me badgers will eat lambs alive. Their guts. Talk about Nature red in tooth and claw.
    Did you work on the sheep farm? Am writing about a sheep farmer.
    Paul Whybrow
    Paul Whybrow
    No, I was a tenant there. working as a writer and running a community centre as a volunteer. I helped out when they needed an extra hand with moving the sheep—which are surprisingly slippery owing to the lanolin in their wool, explaining why shepherds need to grab them so hard. 'Sheep are born to die' is a universal saying among sheep farmers, as they do just that, dying in unexpected ways, such as getting 'cast'.
    KG Christopher
    KG Christopher
    I worked on a sheep farm for a bit, in Ireland, well, I used to help my wifes Uncle the odd sunday, we would get a leg of lamb in payment.
    Katie-Ellen Hazeldine
    Katie-Ellen Hazeldine
    A friend had her jaw fractured by a Cheviot, jumping up and chinning her. Now, poor thing, about to lose a front tooth in consequence. There are 6 on the farm she helps out. She's not sure which one did it, and says she is therefore obliged to hate them all. :)
    Pic is very Rembrandt :) Flooding in Cornwall? I do hope not.
    Paul Whybrow
    Paul Whybrow
    That photo was taken by the light of two candles in 2008, when I was living in a remote cottage on a sheep farm on the highest part of Bodmin Moor. No flooding here, just the usual 50mph gales, and Spring has sprung already.
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