So the much neglected Ziggy Stardust Sheepdog Blog kind of stopped just at the point where it was getting started. The story got as far as explaining how and why we started to keep sheep and showed you all the very first steps of training then jumped forward to bitter and twisted lambing horror stories. In order for me to post shorter and more up to date stories as 2016 develops I thought it only fair to bring everybody up to date.
The short version then:
- got 2 border collies – 2010 & 2011
- tried to work out how to keep them busy and happy – 2012
- did some sheepdog training – 2012
- got some sheep – 2013
- did some more sheepdog training – 2013
- had unexpected lambs – 2013
- Learned to shear (clip) sheep and got a certificate to prove it 🙂 – 2013
- got more sheep and had expected lambs and some horror stories – 2014
- got more sheep and had expected lambs and a fairly easy year – 2015
- somewhere along the way forgot that this was supposed to be about training dogs!
- bought a pedigree Kerry Hill ram and two ewes to prepare for lambing in 2016
So the current status of the flock is:
- 4 Texel X Ewes that successfully lambed in 2015
- 3 Mule Ewes that successfully lambed in 2014/2015
- 3 Mule 2 year old ewes from 2014 lambing season
- 2 Kerry Hill pedigree ewes with an unknown lambing history
- 1 Kerry Hill ram who has served the above and will be Dad to all our 2016 lambs
And the current state of the sheepdogs is:
Ziggy, 5 years old and still too excitable to be of much use with the sheep. He tears around in circles flanking in both directions and will just about stop on command. Can be difficult to get him to come away from the sheep and as lambing time approaches he creates too much stress in the flock to be trusted. Can be useful when stubborn sheep need a firm hand to convince them to get in the pen or trailer and you cant fault his “who cares” attitude to life.
Stardust, 4 years old and still a star. She responds well to commands and in better hands than mine could have been an excellent sheepdog. Still room for improvement since she can be a little sticky and can lose confidence if the sheep (or the shepherd) get stroppy. Loves to work though and also still drops herself into the water trough as soon as work is done.
Sorry this is a bit dry but I couldn’t sit and wait for myself to fill in all the gaps and what I want to do is write more regular and short updates of life with the dogs and the sheep so I have a record of what happens.