Sunday, 21 October 2012

Docking Time!

We have about 2 hectares of land.  Most of it is divided into grass paddocks.  To keep the grass short we have sheep.  We have 10 ewes (adult female sheep) and a ram (adult male).  In spring, the ewes give birth.  It's a nice time of year.  Watching the lambs run around is very cute!  This year we have 15 lambs.  Yes, ewes often give birth to twins.  Sometimes they even have triplets!

After all the lambs have been born it's time for docking.  Docking means removing the lambs' tails.  It sounds unkind but it's very important.  If lambs aren't docked their tails get very dirty.  Flies can lay eggs there and the hatching maggots can .... well, it's not nice to think about! 

Children love 'helping' at docking time.  Thom found a nice place for a rest!

To dock the lambs, a small rubber band is placed at the base of their tail.  After a few weeks the tail just drops off.  A little while after docking, the lambs are fine and eating again.  It's not painful for long.  In January we sell most of our lambs.  By then it's the middle of summer and we don't have much grass.  I hope this summer is warm but not too dry!


lamb's / lambs'

Possessive apostrophes with plurals can seem difficult!   The rule is:

First make the noun into its plural form then add the apostrophe. 

lamb > lambs > lambs'

- A lamb is a baby sheep. (singular)

- The lambs have tails. (plural)

- The lambs' tails get docked. (possessive plural)

Some plurals don't end in 's' like children.  You add an s after the apostrophe:

child > children > children's

- Some people have one child. (singular)

- We have two children. (plural)

- The children's school is close by. (posessive plural)


  1. I have two children.
    Their smiles make me happy.
    I think that children's smiles' power is always great everywhere in the world.
    I hope every child have a nice day today and tomorrow.

    Hi, Dave! Thank you for your new lesson.
    Am I right for using forms that you teach us today?
    I would appreciate if you would correct them.
    Thank you :)

  2. Good job, you understand the form. We don't often need to use the plural possessive but it's good to know it. Many English speakers have trouble with it too!

    Children's smiles are powerful things indeed. I hope your children have a great day too!