SageHill Ranch Journal

Ridgetop

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One woman I know did AI twice with her bitch and got ONE puppy. She calls him her $10,000 dog. AI is incredibly expensive too with all the hormones they have to get, the weekly vet visits and monitoring, etc. I have about a dozen straws from Bubba and am going to give them to Erick since I don't want to do AI. If he uses them, I will get a puppy back and be happy.

You might want to have OBI collected even if you don't want to do AI. It would be a shame not to have his genetics in the future.
 

SageHill

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I may have Obi collected. I do have an agreement with the breeder to collect Zo. Perhaps a 2 for one special 🤣😉.
If it ends up a Zo x Ree litter, then could be a bitch from that back to Obi. Ya know, that could work IF the AI. Would take. Collection and storage fees apply 🫤 such is life.
 

SageHill

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Got weights on everyone - will do ram and ram pal another day.
Most of the ewes that lambed gained weight! (Lambing from 1/2/24 to 2/18/24)
Mama ewe with triplets born 2/18 is down 7#, Black ewe with twin rams born 1/28 is down 5#.
Lambs range from 24# (smallest triplet born 2/18 5-6# less than her sibs) to 62.
And the “handling system” I put together worked pretty good. Good as is, a few changes and it will be perfection 👍🏼. Had to start somewhere. LOL now I need to teach more lessons $$.
DH brought me coffee and helped out too 😊.
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SageHill

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Grazing with the two boyz again this morning. Sunday I felt that they were starting to figure out what each of their jobs was. I try to be quiet and say nothing - the dogs read sheep far better than I do - they can tell what the flock will do before they do it.
On the road Zo takes the front of the flock and Obi the side and the rear. It's nice that way as Zo keeps the flock from going too far. Not that it would be bad for them to go further, but it also helps in that Obi doesn't have to do that if Zo is. That's a win win for both dogs. Zo does work the side but not as much as Obi does - at least so far. I ~think Zo is still figuring out where to be. He's got it, but it's not quite as automatic as Obi.
When they are grazing one will cover one area and the other the area opposite the other.
I can tell that the sheep are getting more comfortable with both dogs working the graze as they are spreading out more.
Today I didn't keep eyes on them the whole time. I picked some avocados and pulled out a lot of wild cucumber vines. I can trust the both of them to take care of things (yet another reason I don't micromanage them). The super cool thing is I can totally trust 2 yr old Zo with the lambs. I've watched him turn lambs back in towards the flock on the graze and return to grazing without further pushing the lamb. He does it on the sides when we're on the road as well. And that's usually at speed without causing the lamb(s) to bolt.
Still haven't got it figured out for myself how to tell Zo he needs to be further away -- the command I use is "too close" BOTH dogs know it. Zo will get a little further out, but poor Obi, I'll say 'Zo too close' and Obi works out further and further. They both have the same commands, and of course their names are both similar. I've started using "Just Zo too close" which seems to be working better. Using "Just name" is something we do going in and out of the house. Don't need a 5 dog and person pile up in a doorway!
Zo taking care of the front of the flock and Obi at the rear
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Ridgetop

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I absolutely love to see the two dogs working in harmony as a team. It is a joyful experience to watch them anticipate each other's work and know exactly what to do. Working dogs are mazing doing what they have been bred for and trained for a thousand years. They become true partners when working. Obedience is a wonderful partnership between dog and master, but just a taste of what a dog/human partnership can achieve. What your dogs do is so much more. It makes it easier to understand how those old humance shepherds could travel long distances with their flocks grazing and dogs protecting. With this type of dog you can understand how children were sent out with the flocks to graze all day and then bring the sheep safely home at night.
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SageHill

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They truly amaze me. EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I thank God for them and being able to do what I am doing. When we’re out there it’s all calm and quiet. I hardly say a word. I am blest to be able to watch all the interactions between dogs and sheep and dogs-sheep.
 

SageHill

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Been doing a lot of grazing - getting it in while I can. Everything is starting to brown up - something that is easy for me to see, while most others don't. Guess it's all that time spent out in the fields. I've seen it coming for the last 3 weeks or so, in spite of all the rain. It's just the cycle out here. Such is life.
While the sheep could probably keep going out (though I do wonder about them eating those literally killer foxtails) our graze time will be coming to an end soon. I could tell by the number of foxtails and filaree that I took out of Obi and Zo's coats and the stickiness -- stickums from the filaree flowers. I would suspect before next Friday the boy's legs will be like they were dipped in honey judging by what they were today.
Love it out there - wish we could do this 365 days a year - 'tis not the case. I'll try to figure something out - perhaps weed wacking certain areas or something to cut down the foxtail risk, filaree seeds (they look like cork screws) and the nectar.
Started shearing this week. One left to go. Still learning the skill and getting better - the sheep that are done don't look like wooly mammoths, but I'm sure are requesting a new wool-dresser :lol:.
Thinking about when to put the ram back in with the ewes. We're now passed the wedding date I was avoiding as a lambing time.
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Zo, still learning "Graze" - he's getting the idea. I actually made him watch Obi and it seemed to give him a better idea. Funny thing happened - I've said how I think Obi is trying to "help" the boy and "teach" him. Today Obi was in the perfect spots for grazing - he picked a line and kept to it - but he peed/marked in a few spots along that line. He NEVER does that. NEVER esp when he's working. I think Obi was "writing on the blackboard" for Zo. :idunno:rolleyes:
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And purple flowers are always a tasty favorite (these are filaree).... (you can see the longer foxtails are browning up)
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Baymule

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Obie is fantastic! Peeing a trail for Zo to follow. Outstanding performance! 👏👏
So sad that grazing time is ending. I’m glad I don’t have foxtails or filaree.

I opened a new small field in the front field yesterday for the ewes and lambs to graze. They got full bellies fast and went to the shade of their hoop shelter to ruminate.
 
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