Getting rid of the body
Whether a sheep dies of natural causes or you slaughter it, getting rid of the body is trickier than you
first expect, especially on a hobby farm.
If you slaughter a sheep in warm weather, flies will land on it as quickly as on the back of your own shirt.
You deal with the meat quick smart, but fly eggs will probably be laid on the rest of the carcass. It's the same with a body you find dead in the paddock. Once that happens,
it needs to be buried the traditional six feet down (or the ground tramped down very hard), or maggots can crawl up to the surface through the loose dirt. Foxes can make
things worse by digging a tunnel down to the body.
Digging a deep enough hole, especially when the ground is hard, is no joke. Even with a back-hoe, it's a lot
On a big property, the normal method is to drop the body at the back of a paddock. It gets smelly and fly
blown, but it's far enough away not to be a problem. If you drop the body onto high ground, the theory is that the fertility will make its way down when it rains. On a small
property, don't put it too close to your house, or the neighbours, or the road fence. Covering it up looks better, but that's about all.
If you have lamb bodies, or just the guts of a sheep, you can drop them into a 200 litre black pickle barrel
with a screw top lid, about half full of water. You can put rabbit guts, dead birds and seeding weeds in, too. With the lid on tight, any flies that hatch will die inside the
barrel. After about a year, start a new barrel and dilute the old smelly water to use as garden fertiliser. It's a handy way to get rid of small rotties close to the house,
and eventually it will improve soil fertility.
An old bushies' trick to use a sheep's head is to put it in a plastic bag till it goes off, then empty the
bag into the septic tank. If chemicals have killed off bacteria in the tank, the sheep's head will probably kick start them again.