SageHill Ranch Journal

Mini Horses

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It's amazing to observe the interactions of the "flock, herd" whatever we have with various animals. Yes, the moms do know when it's time -- to get up, lay down, eat -- how much & how often -- where to lay in sun, shade, nibble and she teaches. This is where WE learn. This is where they learn to be an animal. It's a reason I prefer my dairy to self raise their kids, even cutting my share of the milk. 🥰

A hen & chicks is another family that has so very much interaction. Animals are worth it, in every way!
 

SageHill

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Finally SUN and BLUE SKIES and TWIN EWE LAMBS and SPOTS!
The ranch road has some pretty dangerous ruts (sheep and dog dangerous -- knee deep and narrow) and the road is too soft in places to put the tractor. Need to wait some before it can be fixed.
More lambs today! YAY and twins YAY and ewes YAY and SPOTS - double YAY!
If taking sheep out to graze is out of the question, then having lambs to make up for it is perfect.............
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SageHill

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So all but one of my working sheep have lambed. That great, but that leaves Ol Spot - the ram pal and two 6 mos old ewe lambs to use for lessons. Ol' Spot was a training sheep before I got him. This morning I bit the bullet and said time to "dog break" the ewe lambs. Remember where I started - training / teaching at a large facility when their lambs were started to be used for training (dog breaking them) it was always a crazy wild rodeo. Running and splitting like crazy. That IS what I had visions of. That is NOT what happened. Were they "light" (move really easily) yeah, they were, but they weren't crazy, didn't run pal mal for God only knows where, didn't run into fences, they, were,,,, good! Of course it was Obi working them (Zo cut a toe so he's out for a bit). What I didn't account for was all the time they've spent out grazing, moving up and down the ranch road, in and out of the barn and corral, and teaching Zo his flanks. Yeah. Unkowningly the lambs became dog-broke in the most easiest of ways --- out doing what they are supposed to do, graze, with the help/guidance of Obi and Zo and the comfort of being with the flock. Hot Damn! Lessons are on Thursday and we'll take it slow. Just two dogs, both trained well enough to not do anything crazy. We'll back step where the dogs are in the training to the easiest of tasks so all goes well and dogs and sheep learn.
After realizing what I actually had, I decided to go out an graze before cleaning stalls. With .... all ..... the ..... sheep (except the ram). Even the new twins.
I had the new twins out yesterday in the pasture turn out - their first time outside - and of course they loved it.
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We did a full graze out for about 2 hrs when some decided they'd had enough. So started heading back. Got to the road and did a quick count.... uh oh, 3 missing (we hadn't gone far) head a bit up a hill and spot Stripe and her twins. The spotted one ("Calico") decided it was .....nap time. Ah yeah - I figured that would happen :). So I had Obi hold the sheep on the road, went back and carried the lil girl - such a tough job :lol::love. Though I admit carrying her and the stock stick wasn't the easiest. I thought about planting the stock stick in the ground and coming back for it - that would be my back up plan if I had to carry another one. Didn't need to, when we were close enough to the pasture turn out I put her down and she had no trouble keeping up.
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SageHill

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Wow - almost a week since my last update.
So - we finished out our first half 2024 lambing with a single white ewe born on Friday (2/16) followed by a set of triplets (our first trips) yesterday on 2/18 - 1 white ram, 1 white ewe, and 1 silverish appaloosa spotted ewe. Normal delivery and out in the pasture. This ewe's third lambing.
I've been out grazing with mamas and babies. Today was count to 16 -- ya' know Sesame Street has nothing on me. OK they've got it easy I think they only count to 10. Make it 16 on the move and it's 1,2,3,4,5, omg did I count that one? 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, dang - they all shifted. .................... OK it's 8 and 8 ------ that works a little better! :lol: Just wait until I'm counting to 20 out there :th(or maybe 9 and 11).
Loving it though, truly loving it.
I know I don't have to really worry or count because Obi is a 'never leave one behind' dog - it's just my human condition.
Out grazing this morning -- a first time out grazing for Friday's ewe lamb ("Patch" ?? maybe) and she did well.
The sheep were grazing some sumac and wild buckwheat along the roadside on the way back and when I was thinking about continuing onward I could see that Patch decided to take a nap in the road (it's our ranch road no problem) so we took an extra 5 minutes "trimming" the sumac while she napped. She woke up and finished out the graze without another nap or me needing to carry her.
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Yesterday's triplets born in the pasture still wet. All doing well today and bouncing around in a stall today.
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From the graze today.... Obi is SOO good with sheep and especially lambs. He has a good relationship with the mama ewes from all of the grazing we've done. They trust him around their lambs. Yeah, some will occasionally give him "the stare" and he will respond accordingly. Something I noticed today (probably did the other day but today it was really obvious) there are a couple ewes that have a mind of their own and can be slow to react - like getting into a grazing area or moving in another direction. Get this, Obi knows that, and he will move that ewe's lamb(s) into the direction I need and........... the mama ewe will then follow. Dang that dog - so smart.
Somehow I've switched from being someone who herds with her dogs to being a shepherd -- big difference - and I only noticed that after a rather pointed discussion with one of my herding students. Hmmmm - reevaluation in progress.
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Patch decides it's time for a nap.
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And here's the latest spotted lamb (one of the triplets).........
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Ya' know I'm really liking the spotted ones. LOL I need a polled spotted sheep breed o_O:lol:! I've been so good at finding and getting sheep (not) - I'll just have to make my own <gasp> just kidding.
 
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