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About fpbear

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  1. This bump developed on our 2-year old Dorset ewe's ear a few months ago and I'd like to get an idea if this is something we should treat (such as a tumor) or if it will go away by itself (like a wart or delayed reaction to a vaccine). At first it was more like a small bump, and lately it is showing some changes. Otherwise she is strong and active.
  2. I might have found a solution. I used a dog training collar on each sheep and gave one a shock using the remote control as soon as it started nibbling the dog food. Now they slowly approach the bowl but are afraid to go closer than a foot. I think the unique smell of the dog food is a strong association with the shock. It took about 5 tries each. They are very well behaved right now.
  3. Is there maybe something I could mix in with the dog food that would make it taste bad for the sheep, but still taste good for the Maremma? Since one of them is a meat eater, the other a vegetarian?
  4. In the earlier message, I gave the sheep some feed because I thought the forage was running low. I thought maybe there was not enough grass and weeds was because they like to eat the Maremma's dog food! So I gave the sheep a tub full of feed, and after tasting the feed, they turned to the dog food and started eating that instead. I'm totally perplexed. They have salt licks and a huge variety of plants in the field. Are they going to get sick if they keep stealing the Maremma's food? It is Kirkland Signature Chicken and Rice kibble from Costco. I found that "Sheep of all ages and preruminant calves accumulate copper in the liver when dietary copper is in excess of 30 mg copper / kg dry weight of feed consumed." Then I was reading on another web page that typical dog foods contain around 0 to 18 mg/kg copper. I am not sure how much copper there is in the Kirkland Signature dog food, but probably shouldn't be more than 30 mg/kg The other ingredient is chicken, I'm not sure what chicken is going to do to their rumens. It would make the feeding routine impossibly time consuming if I had to separate the Maremma during feeding. Here's a camera capture. The tub in the front is full of goat feed. The sheep is inside the dog house. I put the dog food in there thinking that it wouldn't be able to go inside but it's really loves Kirkland Signature Chicken and Rice. Our Maremma is also confused, it thinks it is a sheep, but that is another story... Now, caught on camera, after the sheep stole the dog's food, our Maremma is eating the goat feed.
  5. thanks Julie, so I could still use this bag and I don't need to throw it away? The feed stores in my area are focusing on horses and dogs and they don't know much about sheep. Next time what kind of grain should I ask for? (they probably won't have sheep grain, just general types like corn or general-purpose for other animals)
  6. i just went to the feed store and asked for feed that is suitable for sheep, because I want to supplement their forage which is getting low. They recommended goat feed and said that their customers use this all the time for sheep. The store owner sounded like an expert. So I purchased a bag and I look on the label and it says it contains copper sulfate. Copper is toxic to sheep. I wonder why is the store telling me it is ok? Is this just in a tiny harmless amount or did they say something misleading?
  7. Julie I like your idea, since a babydoll southdown doesn't eat that much, maybe the meadow will support all three. Also the other tips about the auctions are good, but I would feel bad taking it for slaughter when these are "helpers" for mowing the grass.
  8. I have two Dorsets (about 1.5 years old) and they're used as lawnmowers/brush clearance. I'm thinking about replacing one of them with a Babydoll Southdown just because we always wanted one of this type (my wife thinks they're cute). I'm not sure if the pasture can support 3 so it would be better if we have just 2 sheep. Before I get too far in this idea, how would I go about selling/trading the extra Dorset? It is in perfect shape. We're in Orange County. Is there some kind of livestock selling website somewhere for individuals? I'm not looking to make much money on it, just enough to help a little to buy the other one.
  9. We had him penned with the sheep for the first 6 months. I think that helped a lot. We got the puppy from David at Field Stone Border Collies. I guess part of the reason he's so good at guarding and staying with the sheep is because David raised them along with lambs since he was born. Also David gave us a lot of good advice, he is a real pro.
  10. We have an 8 month old Maremma puppy protecting the Dorset sheep. He is growing fast so it is hard to tell how much to feed. We give him Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice twice a day and he eats all of it (not free feeding). But the amount is just a guess. We can feel the ribs behind a small layer of puppy fat. He is not very active because he follows the sheep everywhere. When the sheep are grazing, he sits around on watch. When the sheep are laying down, he's sleeping. Anyone else with a LGD know how much to feed these things and encourage them to be active?
  11. That is a good idea. My electrostop fence is also 164' and 48" height, but the larger Dorset jumped over it several times! It jumped over very easily, always on the first attempts. So I had to double- and triple-up the fence to prevent jumping, creating a small area to graze and restricting the type of terrain where I could put it so the slope won't let them have any height advantage. I guess the key is how to prevent the sheep from jumping over. If I can solve that, I can use the whole fence area in any location and them just let them graze. Maybe it jumped because it was their first time with electrostop. Now, they have learned. I wonder if I should try again or if they are still at risk for jumping over (once a jumper always a jumper?).
  12. I have three Dorsets. The pile I have available fresh in the shed is 1 full-size bale of each - bermuda and first-cut alfalfa (easy to get more from the feed store if needed). Why I wouldn't let them graze while I'm gone - I am worried about coyotes (saw one chasing around the sheep one time) so I keep them inside electrostop electric net area every night, until we get a Maremma guard dog (puppy arriving in October). We have arrangements with our next door neighbor to check on them every day. I have an auto-top off for the water pail that has been quite reliable keeping the water replenished. I am leaning toward putting the bermuda bale in the fenced area to be safe on bloating, or should I use alfalfa? I read conflicting articles; some say that sheep will never bloat on any kind of hay, and other articles say that sheep can bloat on alfalfa hay.
  13. We currently have electrostop fence and are soon getting a Maremma guard dog to keep coyotes away. While searching the web for info on sheep predation, I read an abstract of a study that says 0 sheep were lost to coyotes in the study when the sheep wore a bell. So if I add bells as an extra measure, will this provide any help? If it is so effective as claimed in the study, why is this not more common practice?
  14. This is my first year with a small flock of Dorset sheep, and going on vacation for a week in October. They normally roam the field eating a wide variety of grass, leaves, and weeds. While I'm gone I plan to put them in the electrostop fenced area, but I'm not sure what is safest to feed them unattended. I'm afraid of all the stories I hear about bloating. In storage I have fresh bermuda hay, alfalfa hay, and grain. I could change the diet gradually but the week prior to the trip will be very busy for me, so the simpler the better. 1) A pile of Bermuda hay. Enough nutrition to survive a week? 2) Include a pile of Alfalfa hay? Any chance of bloating? 3) Feed them grain? Bloating? I wouldn't want to find a bloated sheep when I return but at the same time don't want to starve them either.. Thanks
  15. After doing a little research on the web it appears the reflection is from the tapetum lucidum. In some dogs this can reflect blue. I am not sure though why one eye reflects different, when they both look brown. Maybe it is also affected by similar pigment mechanisms that cause the black/white markings. As far back as 8 weeks old we noticed one eye reflects a flashlight, the other doesn't. So I wonder if she has a missing tapetum lucidum or reduced blood vessels in one eye. The tapetum lucidum changes at around 4 months: When you photograph a dog or cat with a flash, you will see a reflection of color from the tapetum lucidum. You can also see this effect when your headlights shine into an animal's eye. The tapetum lucidum (or "bright carpet") is a layer of cells behind the rod and cone layer of the retina. These reflective cells serve to intensify light in nocturnal situations. This layer acts as a mirror, reflecting light back to the rods and cones. In dogs this layer is present in one third of the back of the eye. As the dog matures, the color of the tapetum changes from slate gray to violet to red-orange at about 4 months of age. Some dogs, like huskys and collies with blue irises (subalbinotic) lack a tapetum lucidum. Rick Huneke, D.V.M./M.P.H. Faculty, Division of Comparative Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine
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