Shepherding Skills (tricks of the trade)

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Ross, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I thought it might be fun to swap some shepherding tips. If its popular enough I'll add it to the Sheep Basics post.

    I'll start off with a couple. If you have a new born lamb that is doing OK but is a little slow, or you want a little insurance it's going to find mum and colostrum on a cold night, feed it a little (2-4cc's) of 50% injectable dextrose (undiluted) from a syringe.

    You come home late and the sheep are still out! No problem get a good flashlight and shine it on the gate, and call them. (I'm assuming your sheep get handled at least a little) If they are slow, try running the beam of light along the line of moving sheep towards the gate. It gives the apearance of the lead sheep moving faster and speeds up the line. Still too slow? Snap your fingers, I guess it sounds like running hooves! :)

    So what works for problems on your place?
     
  2. ovsfarm

    ovsfarm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My favorite tip currently regards fencing. I love the quote, "You don't have to fence the animal, you have to fence the desire.". We are rehabilitating a run down Appalachian hillside farm and the fences here are horrible. We try to upgrade them to merely awful, add some hot wire to discourage the predators, and then start letting the sheep clear a spot. As long as they have food they like, water, and what they consider "good company", they stay put just as pretty as you please. HOWEVER, we had to redo the fence between the boys and the girls 3 times to keep them separate this past year. We are not totally sure how they were getting through, but I swear that one of the times the boys talked one of the llamas into lifting the gate off its hinges for them. (The gates are now hung and the top hanger bolt twisted down to discourage too much cooperation.) That was a lot of desire to fence!
     

  3. Kasidy

    Kasidy Well-Known Member

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    At lambing time I always keep a plastic bag that has two long plastic gloves and one of those baby aspirators in one pocket of my barn coat That way in case there is a emergency to deal with when I peek under the shed I do not have to waste time running into the main part of the barn and rummaging through the lambing box. That little rubber aspirator is great for clearing out noses and throats of baby lambs. I know it has saved a number of the little guys for me.
     
  4. tim1253

    tim1253 Well-Known Member

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    East TN
    The old timers taught me to put a few drops of quality KY bourbon in the feeding tube if having to feed a weak newborn!