Dipping Today at the Fank

There's a fank on today, but because it's my Mum and Dad's Golden Wedding anniversary, we are not there.

('We' being DR and the Wee Guy. I assume you already assumed the we did not include me.)

Here's the post on last year's dipping.

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There was a fank on Saturday. Some sheep were having their dipping.

I know absolutely nothing about the whats, whys and wherefores of this whole process, so I'm going to ask my daughters some questions.

MeWhat is a fank?

GirlsA 'fank' is a number of pens joined together, where the owners work on the sheep - there's a place for shearing, for dipping, for dozing....

MeUuuh - they snooze whilst working on the sheep???

Girls: (loudly and clearly) d-o-s-i-n-g. The giving of medicines.

Me: So a 'fank' is a 'thing', a 'place'? But I hear them saying things like, 'There's a fank on Saturday' ??

Girls: Yes, because the word is also used for the events that take place in the fank. So, when the men of the village gather their sheep for dipping, or dosing (remember, medicines - not sleeping), or shearing, on a specific day, they call that a 'fank day'. 

MeHow often do the sheep get a dipping? Get dipped? (Not sure of terminology, but too scared to admit that!)

GirlsOnce a year.

MeWhat's it all about?

GirlsIt's their bath. To clean them up.

MeBut the 'stuff' they're dipped into isn't as gentle as bubble bath, is it? 

GirlsNo. It's poisonous to us. Very dangerous. That's why our menfolk are clad in waterproofs, and our kids are kept at a safe distance.

The men push the sheep into the dipping 'bath.

Notice the 'man' in the middle here. It's my boy. My boy! I need to have a word with Big Brother.

The sheep are allowed to swim for a couple of minutes whilst they regain their breath. They're then pushed right under to make sure they've washed behind the ears.

Here they are.......somewhere?!
I believe this is them getting dunked. No goggles, no nose peg. Such cruelty.

And the escape. Phew!

They may be clean, but I bet they're traumatised. 

Poor sheep.


  1. That was really neat, thanks for sharing. I have not seen that before and didn't know sheep got "bathed" before. I only helped on a sheep farm one time and it was for the shots and banding of the kids. I enjoy the outdoor tromping but I fear I wasn't much help. *smile* I don't link living in the middle of a large city when in elementary school taught me anything about the care of sheep though. *big smile* I had better let you enjoy your day of celebration with your parents. *smile* Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

  2. I love getting to share in your "doings". Why the bath in chemicals? The "Fank" must be like our "Branding Day". We also have a "Working the Cows" Day. vaccinations, castrating (or banding), preg. checking and branding are the reasons for any of those days 2 or 3 times a year as needed.

    Love and Blessings,


  3. Wow! That was really interesting! Everything looked fine but for the picture where the sheep were under water. So why can the wool just wait to be cleaned when it is sheared?

  4. Boy-oh-boy! That brings back a lot of memories!

  5. That brought back a lot of memories. The dipping was to control diseases as well as to wash the sheep.


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