Son Of A Bee

Well, my miracle for the ram did not happen. I found him - I found him out at pasture with the ewe flock. Son of a bee.

On the flip side, however, I did enjoy the purpose and the miracle of stock dogs in solving this dilemma.

The rams outweigh me by two and half to three times, even if I were able to catch him, I had no hope of holding onto him or lifting him onto the ranger. I opted for walking him home with a group of fifty-sixty animals that I cut off and parted from the flock. That was enough animals to make the group feel secure enough to be moved away from the flock with reasonable, but not impossible, effort. Tex (livestock guardian dog) also happened to be with this group and once we got onto the well worn sheep trail, he got out in the lead, heading the right direction, and the group willingly followed. We made the long track home. These dogs do much more than deter predators. 

Once at home where we had some pens to work with, BJ and I sorted from one pen to another, cutting the ram out and leaving him in the building; a secure place to leave a single I thought. It wasn’t even noon and I had my problem solved; with luck we’ll only have a few early lambs.

BJ and I returned the ewes to pasture, picked up Cajun back at the yard, and headed out to bring home the rest of the rams. Using Cajun for this job, I put the group of rams in a paddock immediately behind the building, where they will stay.  All that was left to do was let Mr Singleton out the back exit to rejoin his mates. No dog was needed for this and indeed would only add undue pressure. 

Ah, but it ain’t over till it’s over. I made a rookie mistake of sorting him without having a group ready to put him with first, thinking it would be okay since the building is secure. He fled past me and right out the side of the building, leaping through an opening from a removed panel to allow for air flow in the building. The opening is crisscrossed with the tie ropes of the canvas building cover and he had to leap the bottom section of wall to do it. But he did, he crashed through, busted the tie ropes, raced over the hill and promptly joined the dogging sheep. That son of a bee.

Another round-up of sheep and a successful sort for the second time (thank you Cajun). By now the ram has had it with us, and we’ve had it with him. I’m just about to bring his mates to him when he finally exits the back of the building. Should he make another escape - I think we’ll come up with another plan for where Mr Singleton goes.



p.s  I did see the comment asking about the dogs and sharing photos to catch new readers up to date. That’s coming up.

3 comments:

  1. The great way you told this story made me grin. Poor you, a lot of extra work there! But thank goodness for those wonderful dogs of yours!

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  2. Ugh...I feel your pain and joy. Our rams take great delight in using their lovely horns to knock our gates off the hinges and get to the ewes. Fences take a huge beating as well. We are constantly revising how we do everything it seems to keep them where they belong. Our dogs are yet to be helpful enough....but we're working on it. :-) Love your wonderful insightful tales.

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  3. I get such a wonderful feeling reading how the dogs work for you,I can only imagine how you feel,they are so much part of the life you live.

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