Movin’ Critters

I was a bit apprehensive about moving the sheep, goats and dogs (Kitty and Rose) this morning because (1) it was to a brand new location; (2) there was going to be a lot of pressure getting the livestock into where I placed the gate; and (3) the two new goats were pretty wild and woolly when we moved them yesterday.

Sheep tend to flock pretty well.  If one breaks away from the flock, usually if you stop the main flock and not allow the dog to chase the single, it will usually return to the main flock.  With goats, on the other hand, it’s every goat for him or herself.  Interestingly, the two new goats have been hanging with the sheep rather than other goats.

I left Fern up when I went out with Gel to move everyone.  I sent him into the fenced-in area for the sheep and goats and Kitty and Rose came bounding out on their own.  Gel had to merge the two flocks together before bringing them all out.

Kitty and Rose happily went along with me and were even more happy to provide additional obstacles to getting the sheep and goats into the gate.  It took a few tries, but we managed to get them all in there.  Then I needed to walk around and find out where the short was in the ElectroNet.  Found it, fixed a few sagging areas, then turned the fence on and tested it.  All is well.

I only used two rolls of ElectroNet this time because I want to force the stock to graze more of what is there rather than allowing them the opportunity to pick.  Because I know the fence is working well, instead of moving them back up to the fenced-in area tonight, I’m going to leave the whole crew where they are.  The puppies need the opportunity to stay with the stock 24/7.  When I’m home, I usually let the sheep and goats out to free graze.  When Kitty was alone, she would stay with the sheep and goats, but now that she’s got Rose for companionship, they tend to drift off on their own.  I don’t want that to become a habit.  I will be able to hear any alarm barking that may go on at night from my bedroom window.  Really, better than I’d hear it if they were in the fenced-in area.  They are in more of a danger zone where they are because they are close to woods and the pond, but if the ElectroNet is working properly, all should be well.

KItty and Rose tortured the new goats for a while last night.  They were trying to meet the new goats, but the new goats were having none of the dogs.  Kitty and Rose didn’t give up though and eventually the goats figured out the dogs were not a threat and settled down.  It is still fascinating to me to see the sheep and goats accept Kitty and Rose running around them and sniffing them without alarm.  If it were Gel and Fern in there, they’d be in high alert.