Very sad day on the farm

farmerjan

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We have both free range and fence in counties here in Va. We live in a free-range county and keep some cows in an adjoining county that is fence in. So yes, it depends on where you are are.

I would try to just feed the sheep along the side where they keep showing up. Move the feed piles a few feet closer to the area where the gate is. Might take you a week or two.
If you keep going out there to try to get them to come in then they are going to just quit it. And if the lamb inside stays without the mother for very much longer, it is going to be weaned and she will feel no interest in coming back for it. But to keep on going out there and keep trying to get them to come up is just making them more likely to just stop coming around at all.
If you can get them in, I would suggest a pen where the fence or panels are very very well done and keep them confined for awhile so that they will get more accustomed to you.
 

bethh

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Oh my goodness, I sure feel for you. I don’t have sheep but I have an LGD who recently was giving us a run for our money. I hope you figure a way to get them back.
And as I read this thread, little bo peep and her lost sheep kept coming to mind.
1584544374348.jpeg
 

Nommie Bringeruvda Noms

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I don't have sheep, and never have, BUT! I've rounded up my share of escaped livestock (& other critters), and the one thing I've found most likely (after reading your struggles, I'll not say it's a 'sure thing') to lure them in is better bait. If those ornery sheep are content to graze, simple grain may not hold any value, in their eyes. Do you have any sweet feed? If you do, take some - not much - out to the ones you already have. The others may be hiding, but is most likely they're still watching, closely. Take it out at the same time, every day, and just give it to them in a bucket, and walk away. The fugitives will get curious about what's so yummy, and come closer. Watch from the window, don't go out. At another time of day, move your panels into a better catchment, around the spot where you've been putting the sweet feed. Set it up so you can get to it quicker than they can run out of it. This whole process may take several days to a week, considering how long they've been out, and how hard you've been trying, so be patient. You want them to get used to you being out, as well as finding out how yummy the sweet feed is. Once you have it all set up - even if you have to put a small deer blind out, to hide in - one of you stays in the blind, or otherwise hidden, while the one who usually takes the sweet feed out does that again. Then wait until they're happily munching, and whomever it's hiding, quietly, but quickly, close them in. You'll only get one shot at it, once you try to close them in, so be very patient, and keep doing the rest until you're 100% sure you can close them in, when you do it.
Good luck...
 

Hipshot

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I use wire for fasting panels to t post .It is not a bad ideal to have orange cnostruction fence .fastened to hot fence post If well placed it can turn a flock .For years I have incorporated concrete supplies into farming.#4 rebar makes the best hot wire post .I buy it in 20 foot lengths and cut it to 5 foot lengths . That gives me a 4 foot high wire for horses
A two foot length of 3/4 inch black gas pipe with a cap screwed on one end makes a good post driver
.Surveyors flaging tape is cheap ,an is great for alerting animals to the wire. Loop ties and pig tail twisters are the greatest thing in the world for guick wiring a patch over a hole in woven wire.All are available at homedepot
I would suggest a temporary electric hot fence constucted around the wayward sheep ,if possible .Then the sweet feed placed daily closer to the gate till inside .Then off to the sheep sale.Just keep saying I am smarter than a sheep .
 

Fluffy_Flock

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Sheep haven't been seen today. We went looking for them and we see a bunch of their fur on a barb wire fence that has a wooded lot. Lots of buzzards flying around there so we think at least one may have gotten caught by coyotes. Of course it could be a deer or hog but I dunno. Hope to see them soon.
 

Ridgetop

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My favorite connector/holder/tie in place tool has always been baling twine. Its all over the farming community, and it’s incredibly strong for what it is.
We call hay ropes "4 H fencing". Sturdy and strong for a year or so. It will eventually degrade, but usually by being rubbed through. FYI At a fair or without a knife you can thread a hay rope through the rope on a bale and by pulling it back and forth quickly through friction cut the hay bale rope. We use it for everything around here including emergency leads for the dogs when we have to out them up in a hurry on the field.

Just saw this post! As to getting your sheep back, first notify the sheriff. Loose animals are called "estray" and can be sold off after a certain period of time unclaimed. The sheriff will be notified if a stray animal is found on someone's property since it is against the law to just keep them knowing they are strays. It counts as "rustling" and the old laws are still on the books most places.

To catch the sheep if they continue coming around - you need to use stock panels to make a long deep pen and drop small bits of hay at the open. Gradually move the hay back until they are coming into the end of the pen, then close them in and tie the pen shut. Do not try to get close to them since they will try to break out. Just feed and water them in the pen until they have calmed down. Goats and pigs are the worst at getting loose since goats and pigs revert to feral within a week or two if not caught.

Often they will come up to the fence where the other sheep are confined. I would suggest makig the new catch pen to go around the outside of the pen fence where you have the ones you caught confined. If you run the catch pen in an L shape around the outside of that pen, gradually moving the hay farther inside until it in in the far leg of the pen, you can close the gate on the catch en and the sheep hopefully will not be able to escape before you can do that. Maybe even park your car or truck in the sightline of the gate of the catch pen so you can sneak up on them and close the gate from behind the vehicle.

Any time you buy sheep or other livestock, no matter if they are supposed to be tame or not, confine them in a small pen for a month or 2. Feed them there while you get used to them and they get used to you feeding them in that spot. Continue feeding them some grain there every night even after you start letting them out to graze. They will associate being fed grain in that pen and come in every evening. It also makes it easier to protect them at night if you have a lot of predators. Your LGD will have an easier time protecting the sheep inside a night fold than scattered across your property. Once they are used to coming into a pen for feed, they will be easier to confine if you need to separate them, , vet them, assist with lambing etc.

If you know who owns the land where the vultures are congregating, call them and ask if you can search for your sheep. You don't want to go onto your neighbor's property without his permission, but if he knows you are searching for strayed livestock he will probably help you look. At least you can find out which one(s) were taken by predators, if any, when you find their carcasses by the ear tags.

Your perimeter fencing needs to be in good shape. Your interior pens can be a little weaker as long as your animals can be kept inside your property. Good fences are more important than the livestock since without good fences, as you see, you won't have any livestock soon.

I am going to post in my "Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along" how we train our sheep to return to the barn or fold each night. Training your sheep where to go for feed and grain will be a great help when trying to round them up since they will be willing to go into that pen without fear. That will make it easier to catch them or round them up without using a rifle.

We do this with each new group of sheep when we purchase them and bring them home. Just turning them into an existing flock and hoping they will follow those old established sheep back into the pen will not do it. They don't know the old flock and the existing flock don't know them. It takes them a while to learn their place in the hierarchy. This is even more true if you buy several from another flock to put in with your existing flock. The newcomers form their own small group off by themselves instead of joining with the old flock right away.

Hope you will find your sheep and can get them back in with the others.
 

bethh

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We call hay ropes "4 H fencing". Sturdy and strong for a year or so. It will eventually degrade, but usually by being rubbed through. FYI At a fair or without a knife you can thread a hay rope through the rope on a bale and by pulling it back and forth quickly through friction cut the hay bale rope. We use it for everything around here including emergency leads for the dogs when we have to out them up in a hurry on the field.

Just saw this post! As to getting your sheep back, first notify the sheriff. Loose animals are called "estray" and can be sold off after a certain period of time unclaimed. The sheriff will be notified if a stray animal is found on someone's property since it is against the law to just keep them knowing they are strays. It counts as "rustling" and the old laws are still on the books most places.

To catch the sheep if they continue coming around - you need to use stock panels to make a long deep pen and drop small bits of hay at the open. Gradually move the hay back until they are coming into the end of the pen, then close them in and tie the pen shut. Do not try to get close to them since they will try to break out. Just feed and water them in the pen until they have calmed down. Goats and pigs are the worst at getting loose since goats and pigs revert to feral within a week or two if not caught.

Often they will come up to the fence where the other sheep are confined. I would suggest makig the new catch pen to go around the outside of the pen fence where you have the ones you caught confined. If you run the catch pen in an L shape around the outside of that pen, gradually moving the hay farther inside until it in in the far leg of the pen, you can close the gate on the catch en and the sheep hopefully will not be able to escape before you can do that. Maybe even park your car or truck in the sightline of the gate of the catch pen so you can sneak up on them and close the gate from behind the vehicle.

Any time you buy sheep or other livestock, no matter if they are supposed to be tame or not, confine them in a small pen for a month or 2. Feed them there while you get used to them and they get used to you feeding them in that spot. Continue feeding them some grain there every night even after you start letting them out to graze. They will associate being fed grain in that pen and come in every evening. It also makes it easier to protect them at night if you have a lot of predators. Your LGD will have an easier time protecting the sheep inside a night fold than scattered across your property. Once they are used to coming into a pen for feed, they will be easier to confine if you need to separate them, , vet them, assist with lambing etc.

If you know who owns the land where the vultures are congregating, call them and ask if you can search for your sheep. You don't want to go onto your neighbor's property without his permission, but if he knows you are searching for strayed livestock he will probably help you look. At least you can find out which one(s) were taken by predators, if any, when you find their carcasses by the ear tags.

Your perimeter fencing needs to be in good shape. Your interior pens can be a little weaker as long as your animals can be kept inside your property. Good fences are more important than the livestock since without good fences, as you see, you won't have any livestock soon.

I am going to post in my "Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along" how we train our sheep to return to the barn or fold each night. Training your sheep where to go for feed and grain will be a great help when trying to round them up since they will be willing to go into that pen without fear. That will make it easier to catch them or round them up without using a rifle.

We do this with each new group of sheep when we purchase them and bring them home. Just turning them into an existing flock and hoping they will follow those old established sheep back into the pen will not do it. They don't know the old flock and the existing flock don't know them. It takes them a while to learn their place in the hierarchy. This is even more true if you buy several from another flock to put in with your existing flock. The newcomers form their own small group off by themselves instead of joining with the old flock right away.

Hope you will find your sheep and can get them back in with the others.
I plan to tuck away this valuable information that you shared. @Fluffy_Flock, I sure hope you catch them soon.
 

Ridgetop

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Still planning on posting the story of the Ridgetop attempt to train sheep that we bought and did not raise to understand where to come for grain and feed. Remember these were field raised sheep. They were raised with LGDs and used to herding dogs moving them from place to place on flat land. Another look at the Ridgetop way of learning while doing. :gig And another chance for everyone to enjoy our wild and crazy life as we muddle along. Watch for coming attractions . . . .
 
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