Sheep and creeks?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by scottie1, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. scottie1

    scottie1 New Member

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    IL
    Hi,

    I'm new to this board and sort of new to sheep. I've raised lambs for the last 3 years and decided that I'm going to start raising my own, rather than buying them. So I need to make more efficient use of my pasture. My pasture is split by a creek. There is a good shallow crossing that the horses and cattle use. What do I need to do to get the sheep to start crossing the creek?

    Thanks,

    Kathie
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I know my sheep dislike water they can't jump so that may be a bigger problem than you want to hear. Have the bottle babies you've raised crossed the creek?
     

  3. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    sheep tend to avoid water like the plague!we had a bunch last year broke through a fence into a dry stream bed . this was fine but one day it poured!! i guess this one sheep was so used to crossing she jumped right in but could not swim. a bridge made of a flat hiway trailer? depends on your creek most conservation people frown on concrete or anything in the bed of the creek without multi thousand dollar studies and multi level aproval.what ever you do don't teach them to cross water!they have no idea of depth and are lousey swimmers!!
     
  4. scottie1

    scottie1 New Member

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    My goats all learned to cross the creek, years ago. But they aren't here to teach the sheep.

    The creek floods (water comes up 12 feet) so building a bridge isn't an option. Maybe I'll load them in the truck, drive around to the other side and let them out. Maybe they'll want to come home bad enough to cross.

    During high water I lock the critters away from the creek.

    Kathie
     
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kathie,
    As has been mentioned sheep do not like water and you could have your work cut out trying to get them to go through it. However, they do get used to it.

    Our farm has a creek going through the middle of it and unfortunately some of my sheep have learnt that getting wet is a small price to pay to get to another paddock that looks as though it has better tucker in it. Our farm is also bisected by drains which can be up to 3ft deep and 6ft wide. Most of these drains run alongside fence lines which means crossing them to get to gates. Previous owners have constructed crossings using old tyres wired together and the top packed with earth and limestone. They are so strong that a 12 ton digger can cross them. Is this a possibility for you? but I do appreciate that the width and depth of the creek will have some bearing on the practicality of it.

    We also flood big time and my sheep have got used to me moving them through rapidly rising flood waters and on to higher ground. While sheep don't like water, they are surprisingly good swimmers when pushed to it. We flood in the winter and all my sheep are shorn at the beginning of the winter for that reason - the weight of their wool once wet is the killer.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie