Rest Well Biddy

When Biddy wasn’t at the gate this morning looking for a piece of apple, I guessed there was something wrong.  Still I brought out the hay and when she wasn’t at the feeder I found her in the corner of the barn.

Biddy had died in the night.

I knelt down bedside her and placed my hand on her body.  I sat that way for a while, saying goodbye and thanking her for being a good sheep. I was grateful that she was able to die naturally in the safety of the barn.

Last spring when we sheared the sheep Biddy was very thin.  So thin I worried about her making it through another winter.  But she plumped up on the spring grass and seemed to be doing well.  Since they started eating hay I’ve been supplementing her diet (along with Socks and Suzy who are also old) with some grain.

I didn’t see any signs that Biddy wasn’t doing well.  Yesterday she was at the feeder with the rest of the sheep.

But I also wasn’t surprised to find Biddy this morning.  I’m not sure how exactly how old Biddy was but I’d guess she was 11 or 12 years, which is about how long sheep life.

Biddy in the barn this morning

Biddy was the last of the four Romneys that we took in eight years ago from a farmer who could no longer care for them. They hadn’t been shorn in a couple of years but they all had wonderful wool.

This year Biddy’s wool made yarn softer than ever before.

I sat with Biddy until Socks, standing at the barn door, started baaing.  She and Suzy wanted their morning grain.

I could tell by the small amount of manure in the barn that the rest of the animals spent little time there last night.  Zinnia barked when she saw Biddy’s body, but none of the other animals paid her any attention.

Jon called our neighbor Mike to help take care of Biddy’s body.  In the past he has loaded our sheep into his truck and put them in a nearby field for other animals to eat.  But  we decided to put Biddy  in our own woods.

Mike pulled Biddy’s body on a plastic sled down the hill and through the gate into the woods.  We left her in the brush where I’ve put more than one of the animals who have died on the farm.

I will not visit that spot until the spring when she is sure to be mostly gone.  If there are any bones left I will take some to keep.

Biddy was a sweet sheep.   I’m sad she is gone, but I’m also glad I got to live along side of her in this life. I will miss her knowing look, pretty face and gently spirit.

Biddy, Socks and Suzy, this summer

14 thoughts on “Rest Well Biddy

  1. Oh sweet. Biddy.
    Those eyes, that white nose and gentle spirit.
    I shed a few grateful tears reading this and for the honoring, compassinate way her body was taken to the woods.
    She had a good life with you and Jon

  2. Farewell sweet Biddy. How wonderful that she was cared for by you these last years of her life. Your instincts were correct when you saw her so thin after shearing. I admire the way you and Jon accept with simple, natural ways the death of the farm animals you live with.
    Funny how I remember the phrase “that old biddy” from my past. She truly was that.

  3. I’m so sorry about Biddy. I I’m glad now that I bought her wool. I told you how soft it felt to me softer than any kind of yarn I bought. Now I don’t want to make anything with it I have it in a plastic ziplock bag and I may keep it in there forever. I thought she was so beautiful. I will always remember she died on my birthday. Hugs Maria.

  4. Beautiful Biddy with a smile and a rainbow. She had a wonderful life at Bedlam Farm. She passed peacefully into spirit.
    So nice to see the arrival video.
    It’s always sad to say goodbye, but I think of her wool all over the country!
    blessings and peace

  5. Finding a beloved animal dead is hard but it is maybe the best way for them. It seems to have been so for Biddy. I am sorry. I have followed all your animals for a long time and I love seeing their pictures so I will miss Biddy.
    God bless Biddy XX

  6. Loved seeing that movie of her arrival. Cannot believe sheep travel so well in the back of a car! I like how the circle of life works on your farm. Still, I am sending a big hug, as I am sure you will miss her and have to take some time to heal. Hugs! Nicky

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss but I’m so glad you have such great memories with Biddy. I know you enriched her life as well as her life enriching yours. Thank you for letting your animals gracefully live a natural life. Your stories warm my heart.

  8. Sorry to hear about Biddy. She was very recognizable in the herd with her white nose. This photo of the rainbow makes me think of a smile from heaven looking down over them…

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