Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wow, time is flying. I seem to be running around a lot and just trying to schedule things, along with basics of keep up.

I had moved the sheep into the hill field, but have moved them back to the big field, as the grass was gone fast (it's young grass in there and I don't want it destroyed). My brother took down 4 big trees and they lay right in the path from hill field to big field. I noticed this after we got the sheep out of hill field. They went to where a tree limb blocked their way, turned into their winter pen which has been taken partway down for a deck that was built and was filled with construction debris (read dangerous). Then, since someone left a barn door open they went into the barn (the bigger section where the steers were) and then pushed through the broken panel from when the steers were there, and then back out and then up into the yard near the driveway. Dan got them back for me and we got them into the big field. Then I had to get them in the barn and there was a worker on a ladder hammering on the left side of the half open doorway. Well, I suggested he should move because if the sheep hit the ladder, he would go flying. He responded by telling me he was not worried he had all his weight on the ladder it would go no where.... Luckily for him Dan is very good at his job and he did no get knocked off. Men, you can't live with them and... well you know the rest.

This week I have to get the rest of the barn cleaned out and this weekend another load of hay is coming. It's quickly cooling off outside and they said the end of this week will struggle to hit the low 50s. I hope it warms up again!!!!

No other news, except I pulled Dan from the trial we entered next month. Dan's been working very well and lately, our focus has been on off balance flanks on the fetch. We have been making some progress. Dan's so fun to work. He is so amenable to being directed, it's extremely nice....

Ticks are back out in force. In addition to the Preventic collars, I am having to spray them with bug spray to discourage the ticks. It's really bad.

Ginger needs to get a bath- she smells of urine- and I don't know why. Maybe her kidneys are just extremely shot. I think though, it's more that she has a hard time getting in and out of the box. So, I will get the dry bath stuff and clean her up. The stress of a real bath would be very hard on her.

I slept pretty well last night. It's a bit of a miracle...........

Well, that's it for now!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yesterday after work, checked/fed sheep, I see another Cheviot has been marked... This boy is smitten, however with the Border Leicester he bred. He lays right next to her and when she gets up and moves, so does he ;) I see markings on one of the lambs, which I really don't want to happen, because they are too young in my opinion, but it may just be from jostling to get out of the barn yesterday....

I got a fair amount of cleaning done at the house yesterday, and am slowly feeling like I can function again. It's amazing what sleep does for a person. My mother made her signature apple crisp yesterday, and made a pan for me, so I have to head up there to get it tonight :) I love apple crisp/pie/fritters, you name it.

Dan has been so extremely wired lately- he has so much energy working the sheep, and running between the fields when I am either walking or moving feed pans, or you name it. He's incredibly fit. Dan is not a dog who could ever be just a pet. No way no how.

Got an email asking about the Cheviot ewe lambs I posted for sale on craigslist, they want them in the spring, not now (I assume like me, they don't want to feed them over the winter). I already have whatever I have extra spoken for.... My plan is to increase my flock by 2 x each year, so I can actually get them to pay for themselves- at least pay for their hay.

It's raining today, so I doubt I will get any dog work in. Tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Well, it all came to a head yesterday. I was so over wrought worrying about money, that I was not sleeping (maybe 4 hours a night) not hungry, and my blood pressure was way up. I am finding that I am going to need to take more time to relax, and maybe do some yoga.......

So, anyway, I got up early yesterday, had an extremely busy day at work, and then home. I got the dogs, headed up to the farm, and checked the sheep. Favey, the Border Leicester ewe was blue ;) I wish I had a nice Border Leicester ram to breed her to, because she's a stunning girl, but these mules will be nice anyway...

I decided to move the flock to the other field, after I worked Dan. I find that if I want precise work, and also, for Dan to remember flanks, etc., I need to work him regularly. So, I am making that effort. I then went and marked the girls with a sort of ID with crayon, so I can tell who was bred and when, and wrote it down. Of course they may not actually settle, but at least I have some idea...

When I put them in the new field, they were extremely happy, and all just got to the business of eating. Sheep just LOVE new fields. It's like moving to a nice new house, for people....

When I got home yesterday, I was so tweaked, that I decided I needed a hot bath. So, I took one and then got in bed and relaxed, and later, I read my book and I slept all night. I have not slept all night in it seems like MONTHS. I woke up when the paper delivery came.... I was so happy.

I think we are due to get rain on Weds/Thurs this week, so my plans to go work dogs may be dashed. Oh well, this time of year you can't count on the weather........... This year, you can't count on the weather at all!

Oh, got my passport yesterday. That was quick!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

This morning I took it easy. I fell yesterday while walking through the barn carrying a bale of one of the 70 that I stacked. Landed right on my shin, and left a goose egg there. Anyway, this morning I made some pancakes and coffee and just chilled out. I was so tired. After my morning relaxation (which I so badly needed), I headed up to the farm, marked Mr. Ram and released he and his ewe pal out to the rest of the flock, which they were more than happy to be back with. After I let them out, I brought a bag of feed into the lower level of the barn, went back with a scoop of grain and one girl already had blue on her. I kid you not. Not sure if it was the one he was with or what, but he was certainly testing every girl he saw. I worked Dan before I let the ram out and he was pretty good, but doing some odd things in terms of directional commands I need to sort out.

I just finished an early dinner and am just going to relax the rest of the day.

A close up of "Favey" my favorite Border Leicester ewe. She is still good to work with the dogs, but she likes my company...

A very rare close up of a Cheviot, with ram looking on in the background

A happy couple...

This girl really likes the new boy... If you look close, she already has matching blue..

Friday, October 14, 2011

I was talking with my sister the other night, we chatted about my blog and how I am on the fence about keeping it going, or changing it, or what... My sister wants me to develop it, and keep going. I think I have gotten into a bit of a sad sack role lately- even though I am happy, and funny, happy things to happen! So, I think I will roll back my fb time and spend more here.

Let's see, so I put a ewe in with my ram lamb to keep him company. The next day I come back and see that the other sheep pushed the doors open, the ram/ewe pushed the pen open and they all exited stage left. It would not be a big deal, except it took going through five closed doors to do this. I kid you not.

I got the ram and a ewe to put with him and fortified the pen area. Next day, they were still in there... I have ordered raddle powder (behind on all this) and some good marking crayons (have had it with chalk) and am going to mark my sheep, since many lack/have lost ear tags. As soon as I get the raddle powder I will mark the boy and put him out with my ewes, but keep out the three ewe lambs. I don't want him breeding them- especially one who is really small.

I brought everyone in yesterday and wormed them. I had them come in through the small guillotine door. Danny helped me with that. Dan is very good at this, if a bit too exuberant to push them at times- but he has great cover if they break off.

Been graining everyone now, and will continue until ram is done. I brought some hay out and some were interested, but clearly, no one is starving.

Have to go get hay tomorrow, which puts a crink in my plans to go to the sheep and wool festival. I may go, but I may not, I detest the huge crowds. Sunday, is another day I could go, but then, I do like to have one day where I don't have to do anything.

I got some extra "stuff" done yesterday- a/c out of window and cleaned some mildew that was up near my attic door, been meaning to get to that for ages... I also washed a ton of laundry. It was very good to get that done.

Well, that's it for now. I hope that everyone has a great weekend. Will be back to update soon :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Well, I finally have some down time. It's not coming around much lately. Been working a lot, and then working the dogs, and well, lots of other things.

John and I took ride up to the Cooperstown trial and I scribed for a couple of hours before I headed out to go look at ram lambs about 25 mins northwest of the trial. Why oh why are sheep farms so spread out! I really don't like being away from home for so long. Thankfully, my sister let the dogs out mid-day for me, or I could not have gone.

I thought I might be interested in a North Country Cheviot ram, but when I saw the father of the ram lambs for sale I almost passed out- well, maybe not passed out, but let me tell you.... his head was as tall as my chest, he was as wide as a table and he was just absolutely GIANT. No WAY I want something like that, ever. So, we looked at the Border Cheviot ram lambs, and John and I each bought one. They made the trip home easily, and we left them both at John's for the evening.

This morning, I got up early (again!) and went to the farm as I had a couple of lessons coming. Two different dogs, the bitch is sired by Kevin Evan's Mirk, and an Irish bitch, and the male dog was bred in Michigan. The bitch had been on sheep once, and we weren't sure how it would go, but she immediately hooked on and we got some inklings of her. She's super keen, likes to go away more and when one split off, she really worked hard to find it (it ran into the brush). I like her a lot- she's going to be good. The male was good too- he had never been on sheep before, and after a minute or two of ignoring them, there he was, locked on- he started circling right away, but kept kicking out when I tried to stop him, so I will have to have running shoes on to work him too :)

During the lesson, John arrived with the ram lamb and I put him in the pen I had ready. That's him, above in the picture- he's registered, and I hope he and the girls will hit it off.

Now, I am just going to chill for the rest of the day, I am needing some serious down time.

Monday, October 3, 2011

So, I decided to work Lucy a bit in between working Dan. I have gotten so frustrated with her, that I stopped working her. She has so much cover, stopping on the fetch is just impossible, and also, she just loses her cool sometimes. But, all that said, she is incredible in all do it or die situations- fetching sheep from woods, ledges, pushing sheep where they will not go... Dog breaking sheep, holding sheep, basically, she has so many virtues, that it is hard for me to accept her weaknesses, and after my friend said some things that really stuck, I have decided to go back to working her, and getting a better relationship with her. Some how, I want us back where we were. I damaged our relationship by coming down very hard on her, so I need to get that trust back, and I need to allow her to work, with just a few must do rules, and not get upset when she blows me off, which I know she will. She is going to teach me a lot.

Working Dan has been so nice, he is so willing and biddable, I lost for a moment the fact that Lucy is every bit as talented, just say, a bit less needing micro management. I can't tell you all how many people ask where Lucy is, and relate how sad it is I am not running her. I still may not run her, but I will work her, and if all we can do is help out at trials, at least she will be doing what she lives for.

I guess it's true, we get the dogs we need, not the ones we want.
Wow, didn't realize it was so long between posts. Been busy. Let's see, John and I went to the Big E and saw some runs at the sheepdog trial there. It was neat to go, but I have to say, fairs tire me- regular fairs, not sheep and wools ;)

On the way home from the Big E, we picked up a ram for John to use. Nice ram, but John thinks he is too tall/big to use with his ewes, so I have no idea what is in store for them. Won't really matter, because John has never pulled his other ram........ Either way, the girls will be bred.

I finally got my tax bill paid and now can breathe a little. Worked Dan with a trainer the other day, we worked on shedding and also I saw some holes in some of his work. But the good part is that he is starting to get shedding. Still a few more sessions with the right sheep, but he will get it. He's so darn wanting to please.

This week is busy at the tail end of it, and then I am going to go help out with a sheepdog trial, and go with John to look at a ram lamb. Then, the next weekend is the sheep/wool festival and I plan to go at least one day and shop for sheep items and maybe more art work.

I love fall, and everything about it. I think the sun should be coming out later this week too!