Daydreaming while waiting impatiently!

tortoise

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We moved sheep for breeding today. The 2 rams were on a hillside pasture - not attached to the barn or any other pasture. We expected moving them to be easy, but they were so busy ramming and sparring that it was hard! DH was able to distract and catch the more tame/dangerous ram and walk him to the barn. Since the other ram is so wild, we decided it would be easier to walk his 3 ewes across the way to that pasture.

We haltered up the 2 less-tame of those 3 ewes (all will eat out of hand and halter, but 1 is flighty and another isn't trained to walk after the halter is on), and started to move them and the tame/dangerous ram had already escaped! :eek: DH wrangled him and moved him in with his harem to keep him distracted. In the meantime, the 3 ewes (2 with ropes dragging) had wandered out of the pasture. DH was getting stressed over having to catch them from entirely loose, but I know my babies. I picked up a grain bucket, walked over. Shook it and called "BAAA-BEES" and they come running for the grain and I just grabbed the ropes. Easy-peasy. :love Best sheepies ever. I walked over the two older girls - one haltered, one loose, and DH followed with the one that wasn't lead trained. We put the haltered sheep in the ram pasture, but then the loose one got all distracted eating windfallen apples. I lured her over with an apple and we got her in too! LOL!

Nothing is ever easy. DH moves sheep like livestock, because, y'know, he has animal smarts. I train as many as I can and handle them like dogs, because, hey, I'm a dog person. So when half the flock comes when called and the other half runs away like prey animals do, it can get messy. :gig

After we butcher the mutton and take the remaining lambs to auction, I will have almost all tame ewes. All but one eat out of my hand. The last one has potential but I haven't worked with her yet.
 

tortoise

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DH's old tractor is being temperamental again. I helped him tow it into his shop. He was pulling/winching with the 4wheeler. Still took 3 tries to get it over the 2" rise into his shop! I have never driven that tractor while the engine is running. :gig

DS4 is sick today. fever and sore throat. He has been sleeping or in bed all day. Poor kiddo.
 

Beekissed

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We moved sheep for breeding today. The 2 rams were on a hillside pasture - not attached to the barn or any other pasture. We expected moving them to be easy, but they were so busy ramming and sparring that it was hard! DH was able to distract and catch the more tame/dangerous ram and walk him to the barn. Since the other ram is so wild, we decided it would be easier to walk his 3 ewes across the way to that pasture.

We haltered up the 2 less-tame of those 3 ewes (all will eat out of hand and halter, but 1 is flighty and another isn't trained to walk after the halter is on), and started to move them and the tame/dangerous ram had already escaped! :eek: DH wrangled him and moved him in with his harem to keep him distracted. In the meantime, the 3 ewes (2 with ropes dragging) had wandered out of the pasture. DH was getting stressed over having to catch them from entirely loose, but I know my babies. I picked up a grain bucket, walked over. Shook it and called "BAAA-BEES" and they come running for the grain and I just grabbed the ropes. Easy-peasy. :love Best sheepies ever. I walked over the two older girls - one haltered, one loose, and DH followed with the one that wasn't lead trained. We put the haltered sheep in the ram pasture, but then the loose one got all distracted eating windfallen apples. I lured her over with an apple and we got her in too! LOL!

Nothing is ever easy. DH moves sheep like livestock, because, y'know, he has animal smarts. I train as many as I can and handle them like dogs, because, hey, I'm a dog person. So when half the flock comes when called and the other half runs away like prey animals do, it can get messy. :gig

After we butcher the mutton and take the remaining lambs to auction, I will have almost all tame ewes. All but one eat out of my hand. The last one has potential but I haven't worked with her yet.
:gig

Don't you just love sheep? Will be joining my two groups together soon for breeding...mine will be a much easier task, as I have only a few sheep and one ram. Open a gate and it's done, one herd. I hope to keep it that simple down through the years if I can.

How many sheep do you have?
 

Beekissed

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I sold off my less-good ewes, so I'm down to 8 ewes, 2 rams. (not counting lambs for auction and mutton for freezer)

IDK if buying a ram every couple years or having 2 at a time is worse. Yuck!

I wouldn't know what to do with two rams....seems like that's always trouble. But, buying a new ram every few years, unless you have a great source, is troublesome too.
It would be really nice if sheep folk of a particular breed could agree to swap rams to introduce new blood into each other's flocks, thus prolonging the time between total ram replacements.
 

flowerbug

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apples and carrots on hand seem to work well for about any herd animal to make them happy to see you.

i have never raised them myself, but when i was renting an apartment next to a field where the landlord had a pony and some mini goats which would always escape and bigger goats too. often i would find them on my porch because they knew who had the numnums :) i always gave them the cores from the apples and carrots. they'd just be standing there waiting for me to come out or back from hiking/swimming.
 

Beekissed

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apples and carrots on hand seem to work well for about any herd animal to make them happy to see you.

i have never raised them myself, but when i was renting an apartment next to a field where the landlord had a pony and some mini goats which would always escape and bigger goats too. often i would find them on my porch because they knew who had the numnums :) i always gave them the cores from the apples and carrots. they'd just be standing there waiting for me to come out or back from hiking/swimming.

Sheep are different than most domesticated herd animals. Though they will mug you for food any given moment...and I do mean mug you, practically climb your frame for a treat or anything they perceive to be a treat, they also seem to have the highest flight instinct of any domesticated herd animal I've ever known. At least, the hair sheep do...not sure of the woolly breeds.

This is why most people call them stupid, as they will startle and run over anything unusual~if their shepherd is carrying an umbrella, it's scary and they won't come for a treat. If someone new is standing next to the shepherd, even if she is holding out treats, they won't come close. If a stranger comes on the land and approaches them, they are GONE. They are more like deer than any farm animal I've had.

They aren't stupid, that's the intelligence of the animal...they know they are on the menu, they are defenseless except for running and being alert at all times, and so they are more wary than most. Their extreme flocking instinct is part of that safety instinct and it works, even on the African veld.

That's one reason I really love sheep, though they can be frustrating at times, they are very intelligent and intuitive. You have to earn their trust and not just anyone can do it, so the relationship between sheep and shepherd is a special thing. Only the people who never take the time to develop that relationship call sheep stupid...those who really know them are well aware of their singular intelligence.
 

tortoise

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Sometimes I'm afraid to go in with my ewes because they'll see me and start running - directly at me. A herd of 200 pound animals careening towards me makes me fear for my knees. LOL! They haven't knocked me down yet, but goodness they come close to it. They'll chew on my clothes if the treats don't come fast enough.

There's definitely a special relationship. Especiallymy tame ewes which were NOT bottle lambs. There's one I just adore. Sweet 16 (her ear tag is 16). She was raised on pasture (no bottle feeding, no handling). Her first lambing as on pasture and she didn't spend any time in a lambing pen - some of our others have spent up to 2 months in the lambing pen getting human attention and grain twice a day. Every time we've handled sheep, such as for shearing, I've noted she is easy to handle. She's eating out of my hand now. :love I have never chased or herded her, and I've avoided stressing her. Watching that trust slowly develop is precious. :love
 

flowerbug

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i have never spent much time around sheep, but i like them. i like all animals, even the wild ones, even the ugly ones or the predators. they all have their roles.

with sheering i think that would be a pretty stressful thing to do to a sheep, like they're not going to stand still for that, how long does it take for them to forgive you? lol
 
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