Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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Do you still train herding dogs? Considering getting one eventually, but will have to train the sheep to the herding dog. Also, would have to put up the LGDs before working the herding dog. As we get older and the flock grows, a herding dog to bring in and separate the sheep would certainly be helpful.
 

Ridgetop

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After trying to pull lambs for hours the other day, my back, shoulders, arms, wrists, legs and KNEES have been aching badly. My new knee feels bruised after kneeling on it for 3+ hours the other night and is a bit stiff now. It did not hurt until the next day surprisingly. I took aspirin, Tramadol, and Alleve last night to get a good night sleep. Then woke up 3 or 4 times to go to the bathroom. I need to drink lots of water during the day, not at night when I collapse after dinner and cleanup! LOL Drinking several large glasses of ice water at night just means I have to get up several times during the night! Luckily, I can get to our bathroom, do my business, and get back to bed without opening my eyes! :lol:

8174 is in the jug. She is breathing heavily, but in this heat they all are. Doesn't look stressed. Luckily, they are Dorpers so bred for this type of heat. So glad they are not one of the wool breeds. They are mostly shed out with just a small mohawk along the spine. DS1 will move the ewes to be bred into the breeding pen and put Lewis in with them just before he comes to TX. Need to remind DD2 and DSIL2 to write down the ear numbers of any that get a crayon mark.

Tomorrow, we have a joint birthday party for DS2 and DGD2. Then we will leave for Texas on Sunday am. Not looking forward to driving in the heat - DH is worried about tires blowing in the heat. He still wants to drive during the night and sleep during the day with the AC running on the generator. :tongue We will see what happens. Worst comes to worst, we will stop at a motel, use the pool, sleep till around 3am, then travel. Really hope we hit rain somewhere along the route since it will help with the heat. BTW supposed to be 113 degrees Sunday! DS1 suggested that I take the personal cooling fans that run on rechargeable batteries in the truck with us. I also have some camping fans that are rechargeable that we take with us. I hang those over the bed when we sleep on the road since the trailer gets very hot. DH says he will turn on the generator and run the AC when we stop. :fl:fl:fl

DS2 just had me try his homemade Pico de Gallo for tomorrow's tri tip. Very hot!!! He chopped Jalapenos into it. I told him to tone it down with a couple more tomatoes. Very good though with lots of cilantro. He is making Tri Tip for dinner tomorrow then we will bring them over to DD1's house for the party. She has a pool so we will all be in there.

This morning DS1, DS2, and DG put in the hitch. This evening we will pull in the trailer slide out and load the stuff we are bringing to Texas in the trailer. I am not sure if we will try to look in the connex for the 3rd medicine cabinet. If it is 110 degrees outside it is probably 150 degrees inside the connex! There is quite a bit of space since we removed the DR banquette. I am so happy we did that. Using a card table and folding chairs I can actually sit on a chair and use my computer now, instead of crouching on the sofa causing major backaches! :) Speaking of the computer I will be packing it up tomorrow along with my Texas files, cables, and office stuff. Tomorrow DS1, DS2, DDIL2 will have to give me their extra luggage and toys/diapers for Robert. We are taking them back for the kids in the trailer since they are flying and are trying to only take carry ons with the baby.
 

Ridgetop

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Tonight I had to pull 8174's twins. Why? She did not push and was barely dilated. The lambs were small, and I was able to coax her vulva to stretch and managed to coax it over the lamb's head, at which point the lamb slid out. The second lamb was the same. Both survived but if I had just left her to it, she would probably not have delivered live lambs. She did not eat last night or this morning and just lay in her jug. That is exactly what 18003 did, making me wonder if I had tried to pull her lambs before she was in trouble if I could have saved her and/or the lambs. Second guessing is non-productive unless it leads to changes in what you do in the situation next time. That is why when DS1 told me to let 8174 try for herself I didn't pay any attention. She was calling to her lamb and smelling the amniotic fluid on the floor of the jug with a long string of placental material hanging out with no contractions. The foot was out and the head just inside the vulva but no pushing going on. Usually if you pull the first one out it is blocking the second and the second arrives promptly but not this time. She was still not pushing and #2's foot was hanging out along with the sac so again I eased the vulva over the lamb's head and out he flopped. Thankfully both survived and are up and nursing.

I think the excessive heat must be causing the trouble I have had lambing this August. Out of 8 ewes lambing I had to pull lambs from 5 ewes! 18003 died with her lambs and I lost 2 lambs from not pulling in time. 4 of the ewes were second or third time moms that had all lambed fine with twins before. I had one ewe that I pulled a lamb then she delivered another one an hour later but did not clean it and it suffocated. Another ewe delivered her first lamb but the second had to be pulled the next day, dead. Then there was 18003 with the lamb so stuck that I had to euthanize her with lamb still inside. Even Snowflake had some trouble with her first lamb and needed help. She delivered the second fine 4 hours later. Both were very large ram lambs. A couple ewes lambed without trouble, but I have pulled more lambs just in this lambing cycle during this intense heat than I have ever had to do. Usually pulling lambs is rare. Now I am worried about the ewe(s) that are due on 9/6. They are out on the field still. Maybe I should just leave them there instead of having DS1 bring them into the jugs. I really believe that the excessive heat is making problems for the ewes in lambing, dilating or pushing. DS1 said he will go to Lowes and get a couple large fans to hook up in the barn to give the ewes some relief from the heat. That is all we can do for them. BTW 8174's lambs are small but lively and she is a good mother. AND that trick of Dr. Pol's of tossing a bucket of cold water over an unresponsive newborn actually works! I have used it several times along with swinging the lamb upside down to revive it. Swinging the lamb upside down drains liquid from the lungs and breathing passages after a hard birth. The cold water makes the lamb jump and try to breath. I still use my snot sucker too if the lamb is still having trouble breathing.
 

Baymule

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I think you are right. The excessive heat is causing problems. Do you have a swamp cooler? They are much better than a fan. A fan only blows hot air around, a swamp cooler actually cools the air. In your dry heat, it would feel like an air conditioner.
 

SageHill

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Do you still train herding dogs? Considering getting one eventually, but will have to train the sheep to the herding dog. Also, would have to put up the LGDs before working the herding dog. As we get older and the flock grows, a herding dog to bring in and separate the sheep would certainly be helpful.
Yup - I still train them. Mostly I teach others how to train their own dogs - saving my poor old knees for training my own dogs!
If/when you get one for herding check out how the parents work - at least one of them should work. Starting a pup is fun but also a lot of work. You never know - there may be some border collies that are retired from herding competitions that might be available when the time comes. Big bonus training is done. Of course that also comes with a dog who is old and comes with aging.
A good herding dog is worth it's weight in gold - knowing you can get things done more quickly and with less effort. But you know that already :)
I don't have border collies - they're to obsessive compulsive for me :) . There are other herding breeds that are easier to live with. With the last 40 yrs of breeding them for herding they are getting better and better - though seeing at least one of the parents working in this case is a must. Balancing the prey drive and work-ablity is a work in progress. Some breeders who don't know herding will sell the most rambunctious pup as a "great herding prospect" which is about as for from the truth as it gets.
With an LGD - yup you'd probably have to put him/her up when you work the herding dog - but ~it could be that with time your LGD would know your herding dog and let him/her do it's job - though I don't speak from experience on that one. It would all depend on the animals involved.
Stay cool - it's roasty out here -- typical September Summer in So Cal.
 

Ridgetop

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Finally have internet and the computer working - for a while at least.

DG got his wish to leave at midnight of the 3rd and drive all night through the next day. We drove for 19 hours with one meal stop and several gas and potty stops. Exhausted! o_OFinally stopped at a truck stop to sleep for the night. Spot looked level, but the trailer was tilted to the side. I was on the upper side of the bed so all ok. ;) Very early start in the morning and made it to Groveton around 10:00 pm at Baymule's son's place where she said we could drop the 5th wheel while we went to Tennessee to pick up her new ram. . Baymule drove over took us to her new place. Next day we did a few errands, dropped the trailer, gassed the truck, showered at Layne's place (still no hot water at Bay's!) Thank you Layne!!! :hugs Then went back to Bay's and hitched the stock trailer for the trip to Tennessee. Next morning we left at 6am and drove 1500 miles to Mike and Theresa's and collapsed. :thMike and Theresa's place is amazing. So neat and tidy. We had delicious food and such a warm welcome we hated to leave. While we were there Theresa, Bay and I went shopping. As true and loyal BYHers, we went to the Co-op and feed store instead of the mall. LOL Got a lot of good stuff. 2 of Mike's ewes lambed while we were in the pasture admiring the ewes and yearling ewes. One ewe was the ewe that had a C-section the previous year. She had triplets! Sadly, she decided that she did not like one of them and Theresa and Mike had to put him on a bottle. He is doing great, and the ewe was taking good care of her other 2. On the way back we detoured through Arkansas to visit Palomino and see her new place and her beautiful horses. We enjoyed our visit with her and her family.

Back to Apple Springs and unloading Cooper. He went right into his pen and did fine. Mike was worried that he might be a bit stand offish but he was gobbling cookies from Baymule as soon as he got out of the trailer. Bay moved a ewe in with him right away and he was very happy.

We are in Mt. Pleasant now and took most of the items we brought from California to the property to store them in the barn. We were putting them in the tack room when we noticed that ALL the cows had arrived to watch. No problem until the bull showed up. LOL He was more interested in one of the cows though. DH said he wasn't worried until the bull mounted one of the closer cows. LOL DH made sure to stay away from the courting couple and ept his eye on the bull while unloading. The herd all watched us curiously until we drove off to check the pond level. It has filled back in a bit with the rain, and the grass looked good. Not very tall with the drought but looking healthy.

DH and I decided that for our sheep we won't need all the 15 acres at first and can just fence sections for the sheep. I guess we will have to do it ourselves after all since the new bid came in at over $^%<)) Sorry fingers in the wrong place - $65,000!!! :thto fence 15 acres. However, it was quoted with deer fencing, clearing the fence lines, water gaps, and forestry mulching which I did not request. The additional culvert was about $1800 but needed to be okayed by Texas DOT. They also included lodging and meals for the crew for a number of days. I'm trying to get in touch with the conservation guy about the interior fencing. Since the perimeter is already fenced, we should qualify for the interior fencing program. I think we can use the current driveway and road by putting gates into the field for Cody to access his cows.

Got to go. Hope I can get back on here tomorrow. At first it told me that the BYH page was not available. DS1 arriving at DFW tomorrow. Had to replace our traveling BBQ since the old one was burned out. Also bought a small vacuum for the trailer and a toaster for DS1. The BBQ has a stove burner so he can cook breakfast outside on it. We eat instant oatmeal when we are in the trailer. LOL


 
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