Friday, December 9, 2011

I could If I wanted To!

Trailing sheep today i saw some funny things. No camera sorry.

If i know there will be a loose dog i try to contact the owner ahead of time, and ask that they put the dog up while we pass with the sheep.

This route was a road i drive most days and i did not think there were any loose dogs.

As we came off of the first turn from the graze i saw a Golden Retriever. The dog was loose and bouncing up and down like it had springs. I thought..ohh shit.

The dog's hackles were up and it was in the front yard of a house we were passing. It made a couple of lunges, but was still not that close to the sheep on the road. The Border Collies never even acknowledge it was there, head down working they were.

Then our livestock dog Ella came into sight and took one step onto the yard. I think she was just curious, but i bet the farm dog saw this in his eyes.

Whatever the farm dog thought of Ella i am pretty sure he said "I could go out and chase those sheep if i wanted to, but i am a bird dog and these sheep are not for me brother!" He then made a 180 deg turn and disappeared around the house. I kept looking back, but he was not to be seen.

Next stop was passing a friends sheep. I had called and ask if she could put her sheep in the corral while we passed. Last time we went by our sheep were fascinated with her sheep and it caused a log jam. She has her rams in now, and my ewes are so frisky the ewe lambs are chasing the ewes and mounting them. The sheep had been moved and we passed without the log jam, except for my friends llama who came down to the fence and reached over to kiss a few sheep.

One time we passed some mules on a fence and those bastards were reaching over trying to grab sheep!

We had a neighbor friend in the truck stopping cars in front as we came up the road. I like to have people wait and not drive through the sheep. I don't worry about sheep being run over as much as dog.

The last turn of the trail was a step blind hill down into our ranch. Marty was in front and he radioed that a neighbors Blue Heeler was out. The turn is always tricky as the sheep don't seem to like the change in up or down hill.

I kept looking for the dog and i finally saw him on the porch. He stood up and took a long look over the sheep. The house is up on the side of a hill so he was above them. I could see him thinking and i think he finally decided " I could run down there and move those sheep if i wanted to, but the sun just hit my porch so i shall leave the silly collies to their work." With that he laid back down.

Down the hill we all went and into the pasture. Another safe move.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Never Judge A Book By It's Cover

This is a picture of a new seeding alfalfa field. The field was seeded in August and the picture was taken today.

Ok... not very impressive looks like a field dead weeds.

Lets take a closer look.

Ok great now it looks like a mat of dead mustard.

Come on lets get a closer look...

That my friends is green, not yet dormant, alfalfa. As soon as the sheep touch the dead mustard it disintegrates and blows away. What is left is very rich graze.

This is the second new seeding we have grazed this fall. The field is like a mat of food and the sheep eat it in layers. The farmer who owns these fields watched the first graze closely, as new seeding is delicate. When we finished the first field he was very happy, and Monday we move to the next new seeding.

Today this farner told us that next year any graze they have in the fall, and we are welcome to it. That is music to the ears of any sheep rancher.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Climb N Run

I did not take a camera today and i should have.  We moved sheep about a 1/4 a mile to a new graze. We came out of the fields and the sheep stalled some getting on the dirt road that went around the farmers house and barn.

When grazing other farmers land you want to keep the sheep out of his yard, and also keep them from eating any high end hay from his hay barns.

I was keeping  my dog to the yard side while Marty started the sheep to turn into a hay field and keep them off of a newly planted grain field. Happy farmers keep calling back each year.

There was a very large pile of compost along the dirt road. The farmer was going to put in on the new seeding alfalfa pasture after we grazed it.

There was no reason for the sheep to go close to the dirt. I got distracted for a second and about 200 lambs( just some of the lambs i guess the ewes knew better) were ON the compost pile having some sort of lamb race! I actually screamed " GET OFF OF THERE!"  Crazy lady. Then i sent Mint up and off the came. It would have been a great picture.

The compost pile was OK, but i wonder if the farmer stopped and wondered what all the tracks all over it were :)

We got the the field and we had already set up most of the fence. I had to take Marty back to his truck so he could get the rest of the 4 wire set up.  This was an 40 acre field will all the same good food evenly throughout the field. Only 1/4 of the field was fenced, we will fence the  rest as they finish eating the first piece down.   In a new field sheep often go on a walk about to check it all out. No idea why, you would think they would just eat. 

Knowing this, i sat for a while and had the dog put the sheep in the closest fenced corner. They seemed to be eating so i took Marty to his truck. I was gone less than 5 min. When i got back the sheep were all at the far end of the field with about 1/4 of them in farm house yard.

I sent Mint and she went out to the end of the field. Thank goodness i have a good bend out. I stopped her and gave her a bend. I saw her look around and see that she had to go out and around the house to get the sheep. She did, and back they came.

This weekend we are bringing sheep home to pull lambs out and put the bucks in with the ewes. I will take a camera and nothing "fun" will happen.