SageHill Ranch Journal

Baymule

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It’s a DOG!! Your phone can’t even agree with itself on what breed of dog you have! I vote for Italian Greyhound.

You don’t have to dock tails on hair breed sheep. Dorpers are docked. Katahdin and other hair breeds are not. So unless you just want to, you don’t have to
 

Ridgetop

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There is no need for you to dock your sheep unless you like that look. After 30 years of sheep, an undocked sheep looks strange to us. Hair sheep (except Dorpers) are seldom docked. The reason for docking in wooled breeds is to avoid fly larvae and maggots in the wool under the tail from blood and birth fluid, poo and pee. When you are raising sheep for a wool crop, the wool from that region will be discarded due to the above reasons. Most breeders/ranchers who run commercial Dorper/ Dorper X flocks often don't dock. If you are bringing 100+ lambs to the sale yard and selling by the pound (dream on So Cal breeders LOL) those extra ounces of tail (not to mention testicles) per lamb translate into $$$. At just 8 ounces per tail per lamb that is 50 extra lbs. on your check, and if you have pasture and are keeping your lambs until 70-90 lbs., those tails and testicles will weigh a lot more. Anywhere from $100 to $200 per 100 lambs. Since a lot of commercial ranchers are bringing in several hundred lambs at a time, those tails and testicles can give you a big bonus. And you save time castrating, avoid the possibility of infection, and/or cost of an extra vaccination for tetanus.

We dock our ewe lambs but no longer dock or castrate ram lambs going to the sale yard. Ram lambs grow faster and heavier than wethers and ewelings. And our ethic buyers prefer lambs with tails and testicles. Since we don't have any graze here, we pull our ram lambs straight from the ewes at 3 months (weaning), toss them in the trailer, and take them to auction. They usually average 50 - 70 lbs. at that age depending on whether they are twins or singles. If I plan to keep and register a ram lamb, we will dock him.

Isn't it a small world about you knowing Laura N! We got our first goat - a beautiful little Toggenburg yearling from her, as well as our original Dorset sheep when she lived here in Tujunga. When DS2 sold his Dorset flock to concentrate on his dairy goat herd, Laura bought the small flock from us since they were her original line which she purchased from the sheep instructor at Cal Poly Pomona. He had developed them over the years, and they were wonderful sheep, super cam, great wool and carcass, and could have doubled as milk sheep. We all learned a lot from those Dorsets. Those Dorset traits are what I love in my White Dorpers. She is also the instructor DS3 and I went to with our Aussie for herding classes. :D =D
 

SageHill

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There is no need for you to dock your sheep unless you like that look. After 30 years of sheep, an undocked sheep looks strange to us. Hair sheep (except Dorpers) are seldom docked. The reason for docking in wooled breeds is to avoid fly larvae and maggots in the wool under the tail from blood and birth fluid, poo and pee. When you are raising sheep for a wool crop, the wool from that region will be discarded due to the above reasons. Most breeders/ranchers who run commercial Dorper/ Dorper X flocks often don't dock. If you are bringing 100+ lambs to the sale yard and selling by the pound (dream on So Cal breeders LOL) those extra ounces of tail (not to mention testicles) per lamb translate into $$$. At just 8 ounces per tail per lamb that is 50 extra lbs. on your check, and if you have pasture and are keeping your lambs until 70-90 lbs., those tails and testicles will weigh a lot more. Anywhere from $100 to $200 per 100 lambs. Since a lot of commercial ranchers are bringing in several hundred lambs at a time, those tails and testicles can give you a big bonus. And you save time castrating, avoid the possibility of infection, and/or cost of an extra vaccination for tetanus.

We dock our ewe lambs but no longer dock or castrate ram lambs going to the sale yard. Ram lambs grow faster and heavier than wethers and ewelings. And our ethic buyers prefer lambs with tails and testicles. Since we don't have any graze here, we pull our ram lambs straight from the ewes at 3 months (weaning), toss them in the trailer, and take them to auction. They usually average 50 - 70 lbs. at that age depending on whether they are twins or singles. If I plan to keep and register a ram lamb, we will dock him.

Isn't it a small world about you knowing Laura N! We got our first goat - a beautiful little Toggenburg yearling from her, as well as our original Dorset sheep when she lived here in Tujunga. When DS2 sold his Dorset flock to concentrate on his dairy goat herd, Laura bought the small flock from us since they were her original line which she purchased from the sheep instructor at Cal Poly Pomona. He had developed them over the years, and they were wonderful sheep, super cam, great wool and carcass, and could have doubled as milk sheep. We all learned a lot from those Dorsets. Those Dorset traits are what I love in my White Dorpers. She is also the instructor DS3 and I went to with our Aussie for herding classes. :D =D
You are such a wealth of knowledge! ❤️ Huge thank you on the tails and testicle info -- things I hadn't though of. LOL of course I'm not looking at that many sheep - but info is priceless. My reasoning on the tails is from a stand point of them being a "handle" for dogs/coyotes. Though I will not work with dogs that are going to grab a tail (I recommend someone else for training), I have seen a few de-gloved tails at other facilities. Not a good thing. If I want to keep a ram lamb as a future working/training sheep I would definitely castrate. At this stage in the game I'm trying to build up -- LOL trying to find and get more sheep earlier this year was next to impossible. It seems like things are opening up now -- but I'm already on my current path - not sure if changing directions is a good thing because things take time and don't happen overnight. WHY CAN'T I JUST GOT TO THE STORE AND BUY A FEW SHEEP OFF THE SHELF :lol: (joking).
The current path I'm on my evolve into something else, which is ok, because that usually is because of the way things should be. I love grazing my sheep in the morning, I'd like to have something for the freezer (not there yet of course), have sensible sheep that I can use for herding lessons (which pay the hay, grain, and bedding bills).
IT definitely is a small world - Laura had really nice sheep when she was here. She was always careful and thoughtful with what she did and how she did it. I'm sure she's still that way. It's been years since I've seen her.
 

SageHill

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It was a nice brisk morning today - had a quick breakfast and tea and headed out to graze some of the sheep before the herding lessons. Obi and I sorted out the ones we wanted and I started to head out when I though - OH NO - I don't have anything with me in case of coyotes. I stalled out, thought go ahead anyway, then thought - no go back and get it - you know the drill good angel on one shoulder and not so good on the other. In the end I went back to the barn grabbed what I needed and went out prepared just in case.
Not long after we started down the ranch road there was movement, I turned and yup - there was a big old bushy coyote. If it was a dog it would have been a Best of Breed specimen. I can appreciate that. BUT not what I want. I told Obi to stop and hold the sheep. He did a good job especially considering there was a crazy one in the bunch. Yeah the one that was an arena trial sheep, the one who doesn't really eat much when you got out to graze with a dog. I've digressed..... so the Best of Breed coyote stopped - heard me tell Obi to stop and hold - and he (coyote) did a quick look and started to quickly trot away. I gave it a little persuasion and he took off like a shot! :D =D.
I kept an eye out for him the rest of the time out there just to be smart. My guess is he was saying 'oh crap' to himself as he charged away.
The ranch is greening up!! You all will chuckle at our little bit of green (I think I have green envy of what you all have ;)).
Green stuff !!!!!
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My kind of morning. There is nothing more relaxing and centering than this .......
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SageHill

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@Ridgetop I bet we know a lot of the same people! Interesting on how small the world is. I have a friend with sheep up around you somewhere - Judy, she does herding.
 

Ridgetop

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Laura's ranch name is Glenrose Farms you can look her up if you have lost touch.
info@glenrosefarms.com. to contact her and www.naturalherding.com. is another address. I have not talked t her is a long time either.

I don't know Judy, but I am not into herding since I don't have a herding dog. I do know Eileen Hanson in northern California who does herding training and runs Dorsets, Dorpers, Boer goats and pigs. She and her husband raise and process their own meat for Farmer's Markets. She and her husband were doing several markets weekly before Covid.
 

SageHill

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Laura's ranch name is Glenrose Farms you can look her up if you have lost touch.
info@glenrosefarms.com. to contact her and www.naturalherding.com. is another address. I have not talked t her is a long time either.

I don't know Judy, but I am not into herding since I don't have a herding dog. I do know Eileen Hanson in northern California who does herding training and runs Dorsets, Dorpers, Boer goats and pigs. She and her husband raise and process their own meat for Farmer's Markets. She and her husband were doing several markets weekly before Covid.
Yup! I was about to ask you if she kept her ranch name. Glad she did 😊. I’ll have to drop her an email when I get a chance.
Not sure if I know Eileen. She sounds like my kind of people 😊. Busy weekend of judging for me so DH has been taking care of the sheep. 😯😃
 

SageHill

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Ah Tuesday Tuesday - Started out with a breakfast sandwich and tea, then off to the barn with Obi. Had everything I needed, hat, gloves, sunglasses, and coyote persuasion device ;) .
Got to the barn and did a quick sort, leaving Auntie Barb, Mama Ewe and the Twins behind. I was chatting with Obi's breeder in Belgium who is having trouble with someone in Chili saying dogs she breeds are not good. You all know the FB Bully wars. I decided that she needed some help, though I no long post there (over a year and a half now). What a better way than to take pics and msg her a write up with what we were doing at that very minute. I snapped a few pics on the way to the meadow. The sheep were being perfect, Obi was perfect, everything was perfect. I sent her the pic and a write up of how he is a real working dog, healthy, fit, smart, yada yada as the sheep were munching the fresh greens. We moved around various areas of the meadow - different greenery in different areas - going for that well balanced salad for sheep :D =D! I decided to take the south ranch road back to the barn. BUT....... Mother Nature had other plans. Remember that coyote from last week?? Well he presented himself centered on top of the huge boulder on the south end of the pasture. God he was gorgeous. AND CLOSE. As I was reaching for some persuasive encouragement the photographer in me said 'This is a National Geographic photo op - grab your phone first' - I thought it, but I continued with some persuasion and he beat feet the heck out there well persuaded. I was glad that I left the family unit at the barn. I am 100% certain that had any of the sheep moved fast or bolted his prey drive would have completed his mission of finding breakfast. As Obi and turned the sheep to continue this time to the north ranch road I once again realized just how amazing my dog is. He kept and held the sheep still, standing between them and the breakfast hunter. Never once doing anything to cause the sheep to worry, move or bold. The hunter was maybe 50-60 ft way max. I am yet again amazed, and know how blest I am to have him and to continually be in awe of what he does. I'm sure you all have the same as well. I thank God every night for him and the others I have.
Yesterday I shredded all the alfalfa stems the sheep won't eat 1 full green bin and some more of shred. Am I feeding too much that they decide to only eat the goodies??? Like a kid that eats desert first?!?!?
Stalls and auto waterers are all cleaned out, fresh shavings spred (fun to kick around :D) and listened to Mike Rowe's new podcast. On with the rest of the day.
Going down the north ranch road to the meadow to graze....
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Grazing in the meadow.....
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Auntie Barb - practicing to be a mama sheep (she already thinks she is :lol:)...
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frustratedearthmother

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Yesterday I shredded all the alfalfa stems the sheep won't eat 1 full green bin and some more of shred. Am I feeding too much that they decide to only eat the goodies??? Like a kid that eats desert first?!?!?
Years ago I showed goats and one of the other exhibitors (who won tons) shredded his alfalfa hay (stems and leaves) before offering it to his goats. He mixed some grain with it and they scarfed it up. No waste! He also offered grass hay in it's natural form for the long-stemmed roughage that ruminants need.
 
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