Sheep Urine Shenanigans

I like to keep life simple. With 4 home educated kids and a flock of sheep, it can get complicated enough some days. So when reading through the papyri methods, I decided I would choose less complicated sounding ones, and when I spotted one using sheep urine, I was sold.

My flock of sheep.

We have a flock of 46 sheep that we inherited with a couple of friends a few years ago. They are mostly large Cotswolds, Lleyn and crosses between these two breeds, 3 Lincolns and 3 little Shetlands.

They were bucket trained from lamb on, which basically means they recognise the bucket as a source of food and, as such, are easy to move from one field to the next, come when called, and especially the older ones all know their name. They love their cuddles, are keen to rummage through your pockets in the hopes of finding a treat or two, and if they could they would climb on your lap and rub against you much like the average family cat or dog would do.

Having a cuddle!

In a commercial flock of sheep there is very little human contact and sheep will generally walk away from people. Not so with our lot! You rarely need to introduce new things carefully as they have seen it all.

So if you had told me six months ago that I would curse the fact that we have our sheep bucket trained I would not have believed you! But here we are…

I foolishly thought that collecting their urine would be easy peasy. I had an almost romantic notion of getting one or two separated, and I would just wait for them to start urinating and catch it in a bucket of sorts. It would be effortless, because our sheep are so tame. Wrong!

Any bucket for them is a sign for food. It apparently doesn’t matter if this bucket is clear, blue, or red, or if it isn’t actually a bucket at all but a bowl, or a scoop, or even a cut down milk bottle. Both the sheep that is currently urinating and any other sheep even remotely close will dive for that bucket because FOOD! And much like Labradors, sheep are apparently never fed.

You want WHAT from me?!

This has resulted in getting no more than about a shot glass full of urine at a time making things far more complicated than I had ever imagined!

On the flip side, it has resulted in much hilarity for my partner when I go out with my “pee pot” to do my daily collection. I don’t think I have ever been so covered in muck, knocked over or peed on as much as since I started my collections.

Next time I will choose a project that only involves our sheeps’ wool and no other involvement from them!

Vera Hoenen – Wiltshire, England

The Little Spiral

3 thoughts on “Sheep Urine Shenanigans

  1. Aloha Vera, Your description had me chuckling. Could you isolate one sheep and bring in two buckets….while it is feeding you could catch urine with the other? Do you have a milking stand that you can put a sheep in that is used to take care of their feet or milk? Feed the sheep food and water and wait for the urine to flow? I know nothing about sheep but have helped with milking goats. Good luck!

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    1. Glad it gave you a chuckle! We don’t milk and I turn them over for doing the feet (like with shearing) so sadly don’t have a stand, that would be ideal! Two buckets for a lone sheep sadly still has a very similar scenario play out! The other bucket is greener or something 😂 I will keep at it collecting small amounts at a time. Thank you!

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