Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Moving lambs and training the new help

Tess has been the main dog for almost 8 yrs and she has pretty much retired from trialing and I am slowly easing her out of the lambing chores. I do let her do some but not the daily chores. Lucy, Nan and Jackie are picking up the slack.

Monday was Lucy's turn. I had turned the ewes and lambs out to one pasture and we needed to put them away in the big stall at night. Now, lambs are not known for being the sharpest knives in the drawer so gathering lambs and their mamas was not as easy like opening the gate, calling "sheep, sheep" and sending a dog to gather them in while I show the ewes the feed bucket.

The ewes (before they had the lambs), upon seeing the gate open and me waving the bucker of grain, and the dog behind them would run like a thundering herd and if I was slow to move, I would have sheep tracks all over my shoes.

Toss lambs into the mixture and you have...ewes headed to the gate, lambs not moving, ewes realizing the lambs are left behind and then rushing back, and the dog trying to move the mass and the ewes wanting to get fed but the lambs moving at a snail pace and ....well, you get the picture.

Lucy gets behind the flock and starts gathering them and any lamb not moving she will nudge with her nose or shoulder and any ewe that take a charge will get a quick nice grip or she will stand until the ewe moves. I see a lot fo Tess's lambig skills in her...gentle with lambs but firm with the ewes

Pretty darn soon, the flock is in the stall, all moved without a fuss or muss and Lucy is quite pleased with her fine work. I am very pleased to see that she did such an excellent job and now is the main lambing dog. Lucy dances with joy at her new role.

Suddenly I hear a loud wailing and look up to the house and I see Tess with her face smashed to the window...she is on the computer desk (which I might add she is NOT allowed on!!), face smashed to the glass and protesting that somehow I forgot to call her or perhaps telling Lucy that she could do better. Who knows but she made it clear she was mad.

But she soon forgave me when I gave her a pig ear when I came through the door.

1 comment:

Monique said...

Lucy is a really special dog. I'm glad she did her happy dance, its too cute when she is so pleased with herself.