An Evening of Stock Work

Early in the evening Jayde and I headed out to collect the yearling flock and bring them to the yard area. They were grazing on a weedy field of head high thistle and it proved extremely challenging to find sheep and keep them in sight in that mess. That field needs to be worked, however when you are without equipment, field work doesn’t always get done in a timely fashion. Add in all the rain and well, it just didn’t happen. The sheep do not graze thistle either.

I set the yearlings in a paddock and then headed out to move the ewe and lamb flock to be sure I got them moved before nightfall. They have grazed around the East side of our property, moved across the North top and are now traveling back toward the South. The paddock they have been moved to is one of the few without natural shelter on it.

BJ, who has been coming with me every evening, stayed put and Cajun came along for some mustering work. It’s different from gathering in that he doesn’t go all the way around and bring stock back to me. He flanks around an outlying group of sheep, moves them in, and then re-flanks toward the next group and so on, making his way around the top end of the paddock until we have the sheep roughly collected and moving in the direction we want them. Once we have them in a loose group we go ahead and open a place in the netting to let them cross. By then the lead ewes are waiting for the call to come on over.

While I was doing sheep work, Allen was off to collect and move the cows, who had made their way into the millet field.

I wanted to sort the yearling sheep tonight but by the time I was through moving the water station for the flock, dark caught up with. So that will be one of my jobs tomorrow, which I’m looking forward to. The next week will be spent getting ready for our annual sheep camp stock dog event and some of the sheep in the yearling flock will be needed.  I haven’t figured out yet where I’ll send the remaining yearlings tomorrow as after the struggle to bring them in off the thistle patch I sure don’t want to return them there.

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