LGDs Lead The Way

The hardest part for this post was picking which photos to share.

The ewes were moved over to the stockpiled pasture a couple days ago and we decided to start bringing them home overnight, mainly to allow them access to the water bowl, secondly to accustom them to gathering up at night once again.  The stockpiled pasture is large and without fence on two sides so we feel more secure  bringing the group home at night. 

This photo series is the first morning of turning them out to pasture.  They must pass through a narrow, treed alleyway.  You may recognize it because it’s one of my favourite places to take flock photos as the ewes funnel through. 

I thought I was taking photos of sheep and what landed on the camera is a short but very interesting series of the guardian dogs.  It’s very common that the first ones to travel out into a new place are the guardian dogs. Lily and Whiskey in this case, sniffing at first; note the lead ewe on the left, also sniffing and the others watching. 


Comfortable with going forth now the dogs lead and sheep begin to flow.  Once the dogs move the ewes have trust in the decision and overtake the lead. 


This photo was the real surprise - look who’s coming up on the right.  Birdie - charging her way out as is her custom.  Birdie moves like this all the time, around the flock, through the flock, to the flock, away from the flock. 


She’s an example of a guardian dog whose actions do little to keep the stock calm.  The ewes have lived with the little white frenzy for close to year now are certainly used to her ways and know just to move out of her way and go back to what they were doing. 


The bright side of Birdie is that when she acts serious about a potential threat, the ewes take heed, and sometimes it is Birdie’s charging that gets them rounded up in a hurry.  How in the world they detect the difference is beyond me. 

A few moments later the ewes are filtering out into the winter pasture. There is lots of green feed here, I expect they will be content for awhile. 





Comments

  1. Another interesting post; thanks. I see that Winter is well on its way in your part of the world.

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  2. Beautiful shots, as always! And I love watching and hearing about flock dogs.

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  3. Much to wonderful for words.....

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