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Baymule

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Very handsome fellow! At 7 weeks, he’s showing good conformation, round hindquarters, long in the loin. Do you plan on keeping him for a flock sire?
 

Baymule

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Thanks! That’s my plan. It was all in hopes he’d be put together well. Looks like I’m on the right path. 😊
They can change as they mature, going from fantastic to not so much. And the other way around. Most of the time, a good one is easy to spot, as they grow, they just get better. I think he’s a fine looking ram lamb, even at his young age.
 

SageHill

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They can change as they mature, going from fantastic to not so much. And the other way around. Most of the time, a good one is easy to spot, as they grow, they just get better. I think he’s a fine looking ram lamb, even at his young age.
Ah yeah - just like puppies into dogs. I’ve seen great ones turn into mediocre. Keeping my fingers crossed.
 

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Grabbed a quick breakfast sandwich and was out the door with Obi to graze the sheep. I decided to try an area where DH wants to store stuff. I checked and liked it - but for sheep! We took the sheep in and let them settle for awhile. I think I saw ~maybe 2-3 put their heads down to sample the greens. That was it. It turned into a stand around and do nothing. Sigh. But I can let DH have that area to store stuff. It has easy access for vehicles which makes it pretty prime for him.
Since that's on the north side we took the north ranch road ever so slowly to the meadow. Tried grazing on one of the north hills - but the sheep just said "No, we're going to just stand around" -- OK I get it they don't want to graze downhill. They like going up, not so much down. I don't blame them. It's also something I ran into last year. We'll get there, as there are ways to get to that hill from the down side and go up. Got down to the meadow and they were happy.
Headed back to the barn using the south road. Yesterday I'd noticed some of the fencing I'd reinforced earlier this year because critters - most likely coyotes - had massively dug under - needed more tacking down to the existing fence. It looked like whoever the "engineer' was had tried to get out. Though my original plan to take the north side road wouldn't take me there I still grabbed the hog rings and pliers 'just in case'. Glad I did. I spent ~15-20 minutes tacking the additional fencing to the original rusting 4x4. Obi kept the sheep in place - either munching or standing - I really don't know because I wasn't watching them. He did his job, I took care of the fence, and we continued back to the barn.
OH and while I was on the ground working on the fence, I saw this plant - kind of pretty, very tiny and delicate. I snapped the pic and continued with what I was doing. .....
IMG_4505.jpeg

I just checked to see what it is and according to the phone it's ...
Smallseed Sandmat - sounds interesting then I read the taxon name -
Euphorbia polycarpa --- I think this could be very bad. I know that
ephorbias are pretty nasty things - the sap is something to stay
far away from. Put people in the hospital kind of thing. Firestick cactus is one
that people have trouble with here. I think I'll do a little more research, hoping
perhaps it's more like the sugarbush sumac that is nothing like the poisonous
cousin. But - I'm not holding my breath for an "it's ok".
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Going down the south ranch road.
IMG_4484.jpeg

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No we don't want to graze downhill....

IMG_4493.jpeg
 

SageHill

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Take a sharp hoe, cut toxic plant off at ground and spray root with a herbicide to kill it. Or get some high powered poison and just spray the plant.
Yup - I use a sharpened shovel to scrape things out. I don’t use Roundup. Dig deep and persistence.
In my research on this I found the Indians use it to counteract snake venom (esp rattlers) and poisonous insect bites. Not sure I’d be willing to try that - hope I never have the need! Further investigation showed what I already knew about the sap.
Either way it’ll be outa here.
 

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Cold and heavy overcast today 48-57. Herding lessons day - regulars. I changed up the format for one of them increasing lesson time and adding in my pup Zo to demonstrate. He has far less training than the student's dog but is at the same point in training (heck he's got me and I read sheep and dog - second nature for me). It worked out well. Previously I'd show her with her dog and then she'd try - but her dog was tired (and being a shorter dog that doesn't bode well for getting it done right). I could demonstrate with Zo, she could watch, we'd discuss it and she'd try with her dog. This is a win win for all! Zo especially likes it because he gets to "work". Another dog that comes regularly lost it's mind. All crazed and not listening in the small arena. Would "quit" if I put too much pressure on her, then would zoom --- bad bad no no. So I used Zo to bring the sheep from the large arena to the corral, took down the creep feeder, and was good to go. Zo did sooooo good being "ranch dog". Worked that dog in the corral - and it was much better -- then she'd try the "you're too tough, you hurt my feelings" trick on me - "too much pressure, I don't wanna work now". HA HA HA --- I got your game now. You WILL circle and you will keep circling until I say stop or change directions, no you can not change directions on your own. Quite an epiphany for her and me keeping the pressure on her until she'd do what I wanted. Interesting psyche with the dog. Always learning, always learning. :).
Zo put the rest of the sheep "away" when we were done and helped out with barn chores afterwards.
He's now thinking he's the "Chosen" one -- sorry buddy - not yet, but you're working into the chosen group!
And the lambs are getting bigger - and the ram lamb -- he needs a plastic piggie nose to wear - he is ALWAYS doing this -----
IMG_4538.jpeg

No manners I tell ya' No manners!!
Off to help put Christmas lights on the barn.
 

SageHill

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Got Christmas lights on the barn - I should take a pic 📸
Pretty calm and easy going days doing the usual things. I decided to take the sheep to the meadow this morning. Every time we've been down there this season the sheep just stood there and looked at me as if to say "Surely you can't be serious" and I'd then take them to another more tasty area where they would put their heads down and get to the business of eating. TODAY was THE DAY - the meadow is now rating higher on their breakfast spot list! We spent about an hour and a half or so - poor Obi (but he was not complaining - he loves it) - until there were more heads up and "waiting to move on" than down. Took the south road up and back and they nibbled along the way. Almost back to the barn they all decided a bush was candy and "trimmed" it down a fair amount.
A good day was had by all.
May all of you have a peaceful and blessed Sunday.
IMG_4594.jpeg
 

SageHill

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Ah what a start to the day. Heavy overcast with spit. It was hard to get moving - kind of the day you might want to hang around inside (until you go stir crazy of course). But the dogs wouldn't let me go beyond a cup of tea and a scone. OK- I pushed I a little and got an email sent out to detection students and then headed out the door with Halo - for a quick search. She is in a canine olfaction study in January and I want both of us to be on our game. They use dogs for a lot of detection work - have for ages - and now the powers that be want to "quantify" what they do, and how they do it (yeah the phd folks want to play with the dogs ;)) . Beyond knowing how many jillion scent receptors they have and how it is send to the brain, etc. Our search work this morning of course takes a whole whopping less than five minutes - time to set it up, time for Halo to find everything (today 1:48), and time to put it away. BUT - it got me outside breathing fresh air and the umph I needed to get on with all the rest.
Got the sheep out with Obi - a quick sort to keep mama, lambs and Auntie Barb behind. Took the north ranch road to go to the meadow. Along the way saw the left overs of someone's dinner or breakfast. One less cottontail (yay). Took a quick pic while Obi held the sheep. Made a mental note to myself to be on my guard. Though I'm always on the look out.
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left overs
IMG_4656.jpeg

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On the way to the meadow I decided we'd give the hill east of the meadow a shot at some tasty grazing for the sheep. They liked my choice of "breakfast diner" for them. The were happily munching fresh greens and I spied a pair of ears at the crest of the hill they were grazing on. Then a snout. Then a head. All the while I'm dropping my stick stick and gloves (standard for me when this happens) grabbing a persuasive device. and taking aim. Worked like a charm. The coyote took off fast. He was close at the crest so I beat feet up to the crest and he was no where to be seen. YAY. My guess is perhaps the cottontail was breakfast and we interrupted his feast.
.......
The crest where the ears appeared
IMG_4657.jpg

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As we grazed the sheep this morning I thought of every time that we've encountered Wiley C - and every single time EVERY SINGLE TIME Obi has been between the coyote and the sheep. EVERY TIME. We're almost on our year anniversary of being here and doing the graze thing - I am always amazed and astounded on how this dog of mine innately knows what to do. Sure I put time in training him as a pup and a youngster - but it was nothing like what we are doing. He covers ground like nobody's business - rough, very rough ground boulders, rocks, ruts, and more. Much unseen under now brown cover. He will duck under brush and come out exactly where he needs to be. THICK BRUSH - where I or sheep would not go. And today I realized that he always seems to be in the right place when Mr Wiley shows up, and he keeps the sheep still and calm while I get a shot off. He knows before I do when the sheep are tired of eating in a certain area and looks to me as if to say - 'hey I think we made need to move them somewhere else' - and I of course oblivious to what he knows wait it out to see if they will eat more in that area looks good to me. But they don't. Dang dog is right again. HOW???? I've learned to 'trust my dog' - which is what I tell both herding students and detection students. I'm still in awe of my own dog in this venture. I hope I always am.

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grazing the hill east of the meadow
IMG_4658.jpeg

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My coffee (with eggnog) is done, break time is over - time to get back at it.
 
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