I used Split to bring in Buster (the calf) yesterday evening. Holy shit! That dog has more grit than any I’ve ever worked. She’s either brave as can be or stupid. I’ve never seen Buster move so fast. Split has been awfully quick to use her teeth on anything these days. I’ll have to get on her for that as soon as I’m able to put more consistent time into her.
Needless to say, I won’t be using her to move Buster any time soon. I don’t want all the weight run off him. Crazy thing. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can work her on now. I don’t want to put her on ewes with lambs, pregnant goats or even poultry at this point. She’s way too ramped up. I’ve been keeping her up in a run for most of the day. She still gets a lot of exercise, but not anywhere near as much freedom. She simply can’t be loose around any type of livestock. All she has on her mind is working. I have two roosters up in one of the runs and watching them has probably not been a good thing for her. The roosters are going to their new home today so maybe she’ll settle down a bit.
Ah Split, I almost sold her, but I think I would regret it. It seems like there’s no happy medium in Border Collies these days. Either they don’t want (or have no talent) to work or they are working fools (and I use the term “fool” with full intention). Split is a working fiend (worst than fool) and I guess that’s a good thing, but she’s really, really, really hard to live with. She just won’t settle. Gel has more than enough desire and talent to work, but he has an off switch.
Angel, one of my Saanen goats, had triplets yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) one was stillborn. Triplets is a lot for any goat to feed so I’m just as glad there are only two. She has one buck and one doe. We are still waiting on Addie, then Billie and last in February will be Fennel. I’m going to pick up Fern (the goat) today. Hopefully she’s bred this time.
Fern, the dog, is doing wonderfully in her new home. I’m very glad that all worked out.
The bottle lamb (we named her Nutmeg) continues to do well. I put her out with the sheep and goats during the day and bring her in at night. She’s seems to have imprinted on animals other than sheep. I tried to pawn Nutmeg off on Angel after Angel delivered her babies and I think Angel would have accepted her, but the lamb didn’t seem interested in suckling on an udder. She kept coming back to me and sucking on me. I guess I’m her mother now. When she’s outside, she spends more time with either the guard dogs or the goats than she does the sheep. As soon as I have goat kids old enough to put up at night (so I can milk their mothers in the morning); I’ll put Nutmeg up with them. She slept through the night last night, when meant I slept through the night.
We have been rotating guard dogs. I leave one with the goats and sheep during the daytime hours with the other in a run and then switching them out for the nighttime shift. That seems to be working okay. Yesterday, we built a shelter intending it for the sheep. It is now in the poultry pasture. We were hoping that we would be able to move it with the ElectroNet, but it’s too heavy. I think what we are going to try to do next is to build four six-by-four free-standing shelters. We can put them in the ATV wagon one at a time to move them and once we get them in the new location, put them altogether so we’d have a twelve-by-eight covered shelter. This may work in the summer for shade as well as in the winter for inclement weather. The shelter that is in the poultry pasture will be useful as well.
The next building project on the hit parade is a run-in for the horses. Merlin won’t let Dream into the ShelterLogic shelter. The plan is to make them a 12×12 covered shelter with a divider in the middle. We’ll put rails around the outside and entry gates that can be closed if necessary making twelve by six stalls, which is a bit small, but they are both small horses. Then we’ll bring the ShelterLogic shelter up close to the house and use that to feed the cats in. That will be a rude awakening for the cats. We’ve been making good use of the free tin I got several months ago. We’ve been using rough cut lumber which is about half the price of regular lumber.
Until later …