NEW SHEEP-YARDS....

The Old Ram-Australia

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G'day folks,I thought i would start a new thread for this topic.

So after nearly 50 years of having livestock we "invested" in a proper stet of yards for drafting,drenching and loading of livestock.Jenny,daughter(Nicole) and myself over the last two days have modified the original design and erected them.The result is a handling system that gives the farmer 5 options when the sheep enter the drafting race.The final design means that you can draft into 4 different yards or load onto truck or trailer. The yards should be able to comfortably handle 200 head.Drafting into any of the 4 yards is controlled from one central point .The 4 yards are all interconnected and can be selected independently of the race....Needless to say you will see them in action on their first use, of course the dogs will now have to undergo training as how this new system works but i am sure they will take to it because it is "so " easy for them to get the right result for me.

BTW,the red dye will wash off the first shower of rain.

Today i am too exhausted to do anything much, ( jenny is baking and i am resting and writing.).
 

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Baymule

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After all this time! LOL You certainly deserve this. That is a real nice set up. I like the pictures, especially the last one of you!
 

The Old Ram-Australia

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Well here is the thing ,the new yards have extended my "farming life" by about 10 years i think. BTW, the beard is something to amuse myself while we have the virus thing going on.Never attempted one before...T.O.R.
 

Baymule

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My husband has a beard, have never seen his face. One time he trimmed it waaaay too close and I told him not to do that again!

You will enjoy the help this equipment gives you. Farming is hard work!
 

The Old Ram-Australia

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G'day today Max had his first opportunity to introduce some of the flock to the new yards.As you can see he is very patient with the sheep "standing off" of them if they are doing what i want.My photography will improve over time i am sure....In the first photo note how he is positioned well off the wing as the gate is to the right of the loading ramp.....I am sure you will notice the new profile shot for me...This young Aswassi ram is an important addition to the breeding program as the milk gene will be important going forward and the "woolliness" will be bred out over time..T.O.R
 

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Ridgetop

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Love your new set up. This year we invested in some portable panels for a chute, a sorting gate, electronic box scale, gate panels for the jugs, and tilt table. The amount of work and back ache it saves is amazing. I was considering I was reaching shelf life on this sheep bit, but the right equipment sure put a spring back in my step again! We are small time, not nearly the amount of sheep you do, or the necessity at this time of making a profit. I hope to change that when we move to Texas and permanent pasture.

I love the circular set up. It looks like one man (or woman) and a good dog could do everything alone. I really want a good trained sheep dog eventually to work the sheep. With our steep gullies and hillside we could use one now but not often enough to have to deal with another dog with the LGDs. Our sheep come into the fold at night easily, we put them in jugs to lamb, and catching them in the catch pen is not too hard, but we only have about 20 sheep.

Keep posting about using this setup and about your adventure with this new ram. Improving milk yield is at the top of my list in any breed of sheep. More milk, faster lamb growth. How do you like that strange breed of sheep you bought? The had very long legs and necks. They were African right? I had never seen any like that and had to look them up on line! You said they were flighty - how are they settling in?
 

The Old Ram-Australia

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G'day Ridgetop,When you move to the new farm you will find a herding dog like a Kelpie/B.C will be of "great benifiet"in the day to day running of the flock....For me i would not buy a "trained dog",because studs have a way of not allowing the natural instincts of the dog to blossom.If you think about a seeing eye dog for the blind just how long it takes to get one to a person.This is th reason that i do not start my pups until they are about 18 months old because then there natural instincts will come to the fore (Meg is a good example of this )...My advice in buying a pup would be to ask the breeder to allow the dog to undertake a task with just the the starting command,now i suspect that many breeders would not do this as they have trained the dog to just work to command over the whole task.Max is now at a stage where he will once instructed he will work a wing in closed situations and all i need to do is a caution word,or two ,so he does not get ahead of the "shoulder of the group".

The thing is with the new ram he is "horned" and woolly and although much younger than our other rams like s to use his horns when close to cycling ewes.We also have some Israeli Assafs,but only ewes and i will look to putting a poll ram over them for a "poll" x-bred ram .....Oh , the Damaras,we purchased these from a property about 5 hours drive away in the drought and i fear that they will never settle down,but they are great mothers and their frame is certainly impressive in the USA they were x-ed with the W.H.Dorper (i think ) to produce the Katahdin. The Meat-masters from S.Africa are the most impressive breed i have ever seen.

It is worth noting that in our design that the drafting sheep will be able to se a sheep beyond the gate at the foot of the loading ramp.It has been our experience that if the sheep can see one ahead of them they move much more smoothly down the race.....T.O.R.
 

Ridgetop

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I would not mind training a herding dog, but have no idea how to do it. I had our Australian Shepherd with a trainer (we both went to the lessons) but no way to practice since we had so few sheep.

Horned sheep and goats are a problem, in my experience. Bad for fences and equipment too.

We often can coax a reluctant animal through the scale by opening the gate at the end so they think they have an exit. You are so right, handling a lot of sheep through the chutes (race) has been easier than trying to persuade one to go through. LOL

Looking forward to hearing more abut your cross breeding program. What will you be mixing the Damaras with? Or are they going tobe kept pure for breeding stock sales for other x breeding programs?
 
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