Monday, August 1, 2011

Herding the Flock

A couple of weeks ago Mike and Carl moved one of the flocks from a pasture that needed some rest to one that was full of lush grass for the sheep to eat. Though this is a normal occurrence for a pasture based flock, their route was a little different. Why? Usually when our sheep are moved between pastures they need to cross a creek. The time of the move coincided with several heavy rains, thus the creeks were swollen and would not be safe enough for the ewes and their lambs to cross.

Instead of teaching the sheep to swim, Mike and Carl moved them via an alternate route. They took them off of Premier property and onto an adjacent and lightly traveled gravel road.

Photo: Mike and Carl herding the flock (hair sheep cross) through an opening in the PermaNet fence.

Photo: The flock heading down the road. Both ewes and their lambs took the trip together. You may notice a size range in the lambs. Some are a few months old while others are just a few weeks.

Photo: Though the road is usually "lightly" travelled, Mike and Carl still held up the local traffic. The traveller was a Premier neighbor and wasn't held up too long by the four legged pedestrians.

Photo: A few of the ewes stopped to admire the scenery and tasty forage during their walk between the pastures.

Photo: Mike and Carl conveniently picked a picturesque day to move the flock. The overall distance travelled was less than a mile. The sheep were well behaved and took the correct turn (to the left) at the farm ahead.

Photo: Mike, Carl and their herding equipment: two ATV's and a RedCote crook.

Photo: The flock immediately found their water source for the following weeks as they grazed a new pasture.

Photo: Sometimes some of the younger lambs aren't fast enough to keep up with the flock (another reason Mike and Carl didn't take them across the creek). Luckily for this lamb, Carl was kind enough to give him a free ride.