It didn’t start out this way though. Our first few moves were rough to say the least. I’m impressed that the stock dogs survived the chaos and the pressure. Yet it is because of the stock dogs that moving the flock was and still is doable.
Now that our flock is familiar with moving we have options in the way we move them.
My favorite way to move the flock, especially when I’m by myself, is to use a stock dog to gather wayward sets of sheep from the far side of hills and various hidden spots first. Then once the whole flock is loosely gathered, head off in the desired direction. I like doing it this way because everyone travels together. Going through gates is simplified because the dog is keeping the rear of the group caught up, which helps ensure the whole group passes through.
The other way of moving the flock was discovered through habit of moving them. Because we use the water bus and it moves with the flock, the sheep learned to follow it, thus we can use that to our advantage when moving. This way is how I moved the flock this afternoon.
The water bus was empty this morning and since I wanted to move the flock in the afternoon I left it empty, that way I could fill it and take it directly to the new location. When I returned and set about filling the bus some interested onlookers were gathering around.
|Cajun is transfixed on a ewe off to the left; he jumped out the window two seconds later|
|Filling the bus (the water tanks are just behind the tub trough)|
|While I'm filling the bus Cajun gets checked out by a few guard dogs (customary around here)|
|The first group of sheep following the bus|
When it comes right down to it, both ways of moving the flock involves work for a stock dog, so I’m quite satisfied with either one.