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Mark Billadeau

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About Mark Billadeau

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    Bill Nye Wannabe

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  • Location
    Middletown, MD
  • Interests
    science, working dogs, sheep

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  1. This section is: Training Discussion Forum for those engaged in training their border collies for livestock operations and ISDS-style trials. Please post these discussions in the “Other BC Topics” section.
  2. Amy, thank you for the update; I’ve been wondering/worrying how you were fairing with the fires. I’m happy to hear you’re doing well (as well as can be expected). Stay safe and healthy. Mark
  3. I’m waiting on pins and needles to hear from family about my nephew’s covid test results. He was exposed at his work to a coworker who was found to be positive. After the exposure he started not feeling well. If he turns out positive, my sister (who has cancer in remission), my >80 mother, and possibly my >80 father (lung cancer survivor) were exposed. negative test result!
  4. Last month we took lambs to market. The checks from the auction typically come in 3-4 days. The last time the check didn’t come within 2 weeks. They canceled the first check and sent another. We got this check in 1-1/2 weeks. Here’s the warning. We were told when the check was mailed. The postmark (placed on the envelope at the sorting facility) was 1 week later than when the check was mailed.
  5. It’s been a while for everyone to adjust to the new “normal”. How is everyone doing? Ive been at work most days of the week; it’s hard to do lab work on the computer at home. My employer is very serious about safety so I feel safe there.
  6. Will a puppy buyer with no stock work experience be able to tell if the sheep being used to demonstrate the working ability of the dogs are self fetching or not? Its the same type of argument as really good handlers can mask the faults in dogs; the right sheep can also mask the faults in dogs. At a farm one only sees those dogs; at a trial one sees many different dogs and can network with more than 1 breeder at a time.
  7. The right sheep can make many dogs look good; they’ll follow their shepherd (or another handler) as long as the dog stays off of them. The point of buying from working breeders is to support those preserving and improving the breed. If the job on the farm only entails gathering “self fetching” sheep and that is the breeding standard is that really preserving or improving the breed?
  8. Buyers looking for dogs bred to work can either go to where multiple breeders from across the country will be at one time (trials) or they can visit multiple ranches/farms around the country. Which is easier? The definition of “dogs that do the job that he or she needs them to do” can vary greatly between farms and regions potentially masking the true working ability of the dog or affect the standard to which the dog was bred. The job required to manage a flock of 1000 sheep grazing on range land in the west is different than the job required to move 10-50 sheep from one fenced fiel
  9. I found this review article while doing some “light” reading. It is a comprehensive review of the studies that have been published. I found it very informative and I thought I’d share. Pathophysiology, Transmission, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)A Review Journal of American Medical Association July 10, 2020
  10. Here is another video after a few more training sessions. Hattie training session 23 May 2020
  11. Here are videos of Renee’s Hattie (Wyatt Fleming’s Mirk x Jen) at the very beginning of her training. Hattie was the puppy pictured sleeping in the grass during the 2019 finals handlers meeting. Hattie’s first time on sheep Hattie’s second time on sheep Hattie after a few more times on sheep
  12. Having spent time picking cockleburs from rough coats and tangled in long britching on rough coated dogs my preference is smooth coats.
  13. There are 54 positives and 2 deaths in the county where we live and 566 positives and 9 deaths in the county where I work.
  14. Here in the Washington DC metro area we’re under stay at home orders; however, I am an essential employee and am driving into work several times a week. Other than work we are limiting our trips off the farm. At least we have acres to ourselves unlike many of my coworkers who live in apartments or townhomes closer to DC.
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