With the hot weather the dogs are taking it easy - more so than they like. The morning walks are a little shorter. We do some training on sheep either early in the morning or late in the evening when it is cooler out but cannot work for long. The livestock guardian dogs are either in the shade or in the sloughs cooling off.
We moved more portable fencing this morning and made another move with the flock. Later on in the day we completed two small fencing projects. In between during the mid day heat, we were inside planning our handling yards for around the shearing shed. We started planning this last year and have been planning in earnest for the last couple of days.
To date we have managed our flock with very little infrastructure. Just a shearing shed in the corner of a large paddock. No yards or holding pens etc. We use portable sheep panels as needed but only have so many of those so are limited in what we can do. Plus they are portable, not permanent, which is very versatile but limits large flock handling. Seems a bit crazy really to have managed this long without sheep yards. As our flock grows this will need to change.
We have some designs and building details to follow based on some Australian sheep yard designs, which has made planning a lot easier. Cost is an issue, so we have to be able to build mostly with what we have on hand, factoring in that we’ll have to rent equipment for the heavy duty work such as pounding in railroad ties (heavy duty posts). We are hoping to start building soon.
I enjoy the paper planning but most of all, the anticipation of how much more efficiently we’ll be able to handle this growing flock and the various uses pens and alleyways present when training dogs.