Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Good Doggy.

I went out this morning to do the animal chores just as the sun was supposed to rise.  It is white, frozen and foggy and kinda light outside but not really.  I did put on my trusty hat brim flashlight just in case I needed it in the barn.  Zeke and I went out to check on the sheep and feed the sheep and horses.  I decided that both ewes in the jugs were capable of fending for themselves, plus I didn't want to haul water (really that only affected the decision a little!).  I looked around the barn and didn't see any new babies.  I checked all four corners, no babies.  So I used Zeke to push all the sheep out of the barn.  Then I used my fancy Y gate and shut the sheep out so that I could push the ewes and babies out into the nursery pasture in front of the barn.  I opened the jugs and finally got the ewes to come out.

  I was trying to get Zeke to gently push the sheep out the barn door but he got distracted.  He went over to one of the walls and found something in the shadows, a baby lamb!  He kept wanting to go lick it.  Since I had just chased the mother out of the barn I didn't want him touching the lamb.  We chased the mommas out and then I swung the Y gate back and all the sheep came back into the barn.  I had forgotten to shut the door from the mother area to the main barn.  Next thing I know I have three babies and two mothers out with the main herd.

I managed to catch all three babies and put them in the nursery area.  The momma ewes went in after them.  This distraction allowed the newborn and her mother to find each other.  I caught the newborn and placed it in a jug, the ewe just followed her right in.  I went and got fresh water for her in the jug.  There are now 6 ewes and 9 babies running around the nursery pasture, with the new one in a jug still.  Lots of sheep still ready to have babies.  I suspect most will deliver in the next three weeks.  I never would have seen the new baby without Zeke.  I usually make him stay out of the barn when I am moving the sheep around but I want him to have better control and listen to commands better so I have been bringing him into the barn so we can get some animal moving contact.  He was a good boy and did exactly what he is bred to do.  Pretty amazing, we have such an easier time with the animals now that he is old enough to work.  We will always have a working dog as long as we have animals.  It is truly a necessity.