This afternoon Wally and I went to bring water down to the sheep and brought all three Border Collies with us. I sent Gel down into the thicket to bring out the sheep. He came out with about two-thirds of the flock so I sent him back. It took a few minutes, but soon the rest of the flock came up. I saw the hair peeling off some of the sheep so I started to pull it and asked Wally to help. As we worked, I noticed the sheep were pushing in closer and closer to us. I looked up and there was Fern pushing them in. Several times I asked her to lie down, which she did, but she soon got up and kept pushing them in. Good girl.
I’m still on the fence about breeding her. I know of a man in North Carolina who has some good, solid working farm dogs. I may give him a call and see about using one of his males. I did some checking around and I do have a couple of people who would be interested in a puppy off Fern so maybe it would be worthwhile to breed her once, then spay her. One thing I will not do is all the tests I did with Gel. I know that’s the “responsible” thing to do if you are going to breed a litter, but as far as I’m concerned, most pre-breeding tests are only worth the paper they are written on. The only inherited disease I’d worry about would be CAE, but the dogs of the breeder I’m thinking of are CAE clear and Fern would be clear via parentage. Regarding hip dysplasia, I’m quite convinced that disease is more environmental than genetic. I know of an awful lot of people who bought dogs from “reputable breeders” from parents who were certified either good or excellent and they still went on to develop hip dysplasia. Plenty to think about.
The chicks belonging to the second hen began hatching out today; so far only two have hatched. Darned they are cute and the mother hen is hell-on-wheels.