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Need some pointers for working ewes/lambs.

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I'm trying to take these girls to a small paddock daily then put them back in the barn at night at least until I finish dog-proofing that paddock.

One ewe in particular is being a true terrorist. Her lamb is over 3 weeks old and she's still trying to bash EVERYTHING (except me)that gets within 20 feet of that lamb. I mean cats, ducks, other lambs, Red, you name it, she hates it! You'd think that hers is the only lamb in the world! Finally today out of frustration I got her in a corner of the barn and just had Red get a good grip in on her. All of a sudden she sort of remembered having a little respect for him but she was still a PITA to get to that field. Red is very reluctant to grip sheep (he'll grip on cattle fairly easy) the few times he's needed to grip he acts like he thinks he's done something wrong. He's awfully kind to the lambs and will nudge them along with his nose so long as mama ain't trying to kill him.


I'm just not sure how I should be handling this situation. If I have Red get back off the ewe a bit then she just ignores him and won't move at all. When I have him walk up even a step or two then she's ready to fight. Do I need to have him get nasty with her and set her straight? Or is there something else I can try? Another ewe that has twins is much easier. As long as we read the pressure just right we can keep her moving although it's slow because she has a hard time keeping up with both babies and they're ripping around like they have rockets tied to their tails.


Is there anything I can do to make this go more smoothly or is this just going to be a difficult project for a while? There's days I feel sorry for Red. He went from a professional handler for 9 years to lil ol' me, the novice that still sometimes whistles come bye when I really wanted away to me.


Lydia and a very tired Red

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Hmmm.... Inci, you could be onto something there. She did come from someone that works dogs and I think she had some pups working when I got the sheep. It could be entirely possible that she's gotten the bluff in at some point. She's never been a problem at my place until now but you just never know.


After having Red get a fierce grip on a rear leg she did much better, but I'll be willing to bet that she'll try it again tomorrow morning when we go back out. This morning as we were very slowly making our way to the paddock, she ran over to one of my Pyr's and just flat out butted him full force right between the eyes. Poor dog has never been treated like that by his friendly sheep. He was just standing there minding his own business, wagging his tail, looking like a proud grandparent watching the lambs go by and got sheepwhacked by Osama the Mama!


I think it might be easier to have more ewes going so they'd have a harder time focusing so much on the dog trying to drive them. But right now I only have the two ewes with 3 babies going out every day. My third (uh huh, I got a BIG flock) ewe is still in jail for lamb abuse.


But we'll keep plugging away at this. I gotta learn how to handle these girls at some point.

Poor Red.



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