How often do you check your sheep if they're not on your homestead?

Bicoastal

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Our main predators are coyotes. Even in our relatively suburban homesite location, we've had loss due to coyotes. I'd have to have 2-3 LGDs out there for sure.
Wow! With multiple dogs in this scenario with gravity or timed feeders, how do you manage feeding so they each receive their individual ration? I can see younger/smaller or more timid individuals being pushed away from their food and a bossy dog hogging the feeder/s. Maybe other shepherds have figured this out. I'm curious to learn their solutions.
 

misfitmorgan

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Our sheep go to a 12 acre summer pasture about 13 miles from our house. So far I see them a couple times in the summer when i drive by or stop a time or two but for the most part until fall when it is time to flush them I dont see them more then maybe 10 times from may to october. To be fair though there the pasture is at our friends house, he makes sure waters stay filled and in late september he starts flushing the ewes for us. When there is nothing left to eat in the pasture usually between halloween and thanksgiving some time the sheep come home to the winter dry lot. They are bred by then so the rams can go in with the ewes, the herd cleans up the left over late apples that fall from the trees inside the pen, and clean up anything green that has grown while they were away.

When they are loaded in the trailer we assess their body condition and check them for anything that looks off. We continue to grain them until christamas and if everyone looks in good condition still we stop giving grain until lambs hit the ground(we aim for late febuary-early march but fence line breeding is a thing). The lambs are ready to wean by the next may, the adults all go to summer pasture and the lambs stay in the winter dry lot to be sold, raised, or tamed. In august or september the ewes lambs go to join the herd and be flushed. The ram lambs are long since sold, or should be in freezer camp(except this past years)

Then it all starts over.

I dont really worry much about them but as stated there is a person there who makes sure he sees them every few days. The system will be changing soon as this year we are supposed to be building a barn and pasture fence on our property. I dont think I would feel safe leaving them to lamb unsupervised. I will also mentioned we did keep 37 goats at a friends house when we first started this adventure, we lived 15 minutes away. At first it was fine, but as time went on it got to be frustrating, irritating, and just felt like a waste of time. We had a lot of losses, and felt very disconnected from the goats. In the end we sold most of the goats and moved those that were left to the new place we bought. Most the of the ones we kept never really bonded to us and we ended up selling most of them. Overall I would not recommend 24/7 pastures far away unless you are not wanting to have a relationship with your sheep.
 

Beekissed

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Wow! With multiple dogs in this scenario with gravity or timed feeders, how do you manage feeding so they each receive their individual ration? I can see younger/smaller or more timid individuals being pushed away from their food and a bossy dog hogging the feeder/s. Maybe other shepherds have figured this out. I'm curious to learn their solutions.
It's called "resource guarding" and it can happen. If it starts at my place I'd just arrange a pen wherein two different feeders can be accessed from opposite ends of the pen with a wall in between....if a dog is guarding one feeder, he can't very well guard another. Takes training while young to prevent that whole resource guarding thing but I imagine it can happen even despite training.

Will be heading in that direction very soon and will let you know how it all pans out. Right now I feed my dogs within 3 ft of one another each day and I could even put those pans touching one another and there would be no fighting. Starts while young and I get to be the one who decides when they eat, where they eat and how that eating all happens....I can take away the pan, put my hand in the pan, give the pan to another dog, etc. They learn that no matter what happens to the food, they get fed and full anyway. That way they don't feel the need to guard any feed from anyone, except the sheep and chickens...they are definitely allowed to keep the sheep and chickens out of their feed. That's sanctioned by the food bringer. ;)
 

misfitmorgan

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It's called "resource guarding" and it can happen. If it starts at my place I'd just arrange a pen wherein two different feeders can be accessed from opposite ends of the pen with a wall in between....if a dog is guarding one feeder, he can't very well guard another. Takes training while young to prevent that whole resource guarding thing but I imagine it can happen even despite training.

Will be heading in that direction very soon and will let you know how it all pans out. Right now I feed my dogs within 3 ft of one another each day and I could even put those pans touching one another and there would be no fighting. Starts while young and I get to be the one who decides when they eat, where they eat and how that eating all happens....I can take away the pan, put my hand in the pan, give the pan to another dog, etc. They learn that no matter what happens to the food, they get fed and full anyway. That way they don't feel the need to guard any feed from anyone, except the sheep and chickens...they are definitely allowed to keep the sheep and chickens out of their feed. That's sanctioned by the food bringer. ;)
That's something we do with our doberman's. We teach them ALL food of any kind is our food not theirs. We can give the food, take the food, move the food, hold our hand in the dishes, pick up the food, open their mouths and take the food back out, etc. The food never belongs to them so they never have a need to guard it. We train them to the point that if food falls on the floor, they dont even move....because it is not "up for grabs" the human just misplaced it for a minute but it still belongs to the human. You can set your dinner plate on the floor, and it wont be touched unless given permission. They do zero begging and will not even face a human while the human eats.
 

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That's something we do with our doberman's. We teach them ALL food of any kind is our food not theirs. We can give the food, take the food, move the food, hold our hand in the dishes, pick up the food, open their mouths and take the food back out, etc. The food never belongs to them so they never have a need to guard it. We train them to the point that if food falls on the floor, they dont even move....because it is not "up for grabs" the human just misplaced it for a minute but it still belongs to the human. You can set your dinner plate on the floor, and it wont be touched unless given permission. They do zero begging and will not even face a human while the human eats.
And that's how it's supposed to be done!!!! I so wish other people took the time to train their dogs in such a way.....so many dogs would not wind up in shelters if people would just train them to have proper manners, to be obedient to their owners, to respect humans and boundaries set forth by the humans.

I've been wondering about Dobermans....I never see any in my area anymore. They used to be the fad dog of the 70s and into the 80s and I'm glad they no longer are, but it also makes them more scarce to be found now that they are out of favor. I'd love to see if I could train one to be my general farm dog and possibly a low key herding dog. I know they have herding genetics in their background, as well as hunting genetics....both things I need but in a very intelligent breed and I've found most Dobies to be incredibly intelligent. I think they could be adequately trained off chickens, be a good and loyal family dog and also keep small preds from getting the chickens.

Maybe not a typical choice for a farm dog but I still wonder if it would be a good fit. What are your thoughts on it? Do they tend to be a "one person dog" like GSDs, so that I would have to worry about them around my grandkids or fighting with the LGDs for my attention? Would they enjoy that kind of job, you think?
 

Kusanar

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I've been wondering about Dobermans....I never see any in my area anymore. They used to be the fad dog of the 70s and into the 80s and I'm glad they no longer are, but it also makes them more scarce to be found now that they are out of favor. I'd love to see if I could train one to be my general farm dog and possibly a low key herding dog. I know they have herding genetics in their background, as well as hunting genetics....both things I need but in a very intelligent breed and I've found most Dobies to be incredibly intelligent. I think they could be adequately trained off chickens, be a good and loyal family dog and also keep small preds from getting the chickens.
Lol, want one? There is a big black bitch near my farm I would be glad to catch and ship you! She chases cars but otherwise seems to be a decent dog.
 

Kusanar

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I think I better start out with a pup, don't you? :D Chasing cars....sounds like she needs a job to do.
Lol, yeah, there is apparently someone out that way trying to steal dogs, I'm kind of hoping they grab her since her owners don't even try to keep her out of the road...
 

Bicoastal

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It's called "resource guarding" and it can happen. If it starts at my place I'd just arrange a pen wherein two different feeders can be accessed from opposite ends of the pen with a wall in between....if a dog is guarding one feeder, he can't very well guard another. Takes training while young to prevent that whole resource guarding thing but I imagine it can happen even despite training.

Will be heading in that direction very soon and will let you know how it all pans out. Right now I feed my dogs within 3 ft of one another each day and I could even put those pans touching one another and there would be no fighting. Starts while young and I get to be the one who decides when they eat, where they eat and how that eating all happens....I can take away the pan, put my hand in the pan, give the pan to another dog, etc. They learn that no matter what happens to the food, they get fed and full anyway. That way they don't feel the need to guard any feed from anyone, except the sheep and chickens...they are definitely allowed to keep the sheep and chickens out of their feed. That's sanctioned by the food bringer. ;)
Right. That is a different scenario with a human present. OP is talking about 3 LGDs left to their own devices for a week at a time with a gravity feeder.
 

Beekissed

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Right. That is a different scenario with a human present. OP is talking about 3 LGDs left to their own devices for a week at a time with a gravity feeder.
Not sure what others do about that. Greg Judy has whole packs of dogs eating from just a few gravity feeders and never mentions resource guarding.

I'd say my solution may still fit....a single dog can't guard two portals of entry for feeding. He also can't do it 24/7 if he's guarding flocks. If I found a dog was guarding the feed instead of the livestock, I'd just removed the issue, the dog in question.
 
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