About 2 weeks ago, Hayley woke up to see a fox being chased by Bill and Ted over a fence. She went down there with Lightning, but by the time she got there the fox was well gone. Then Hayley noticed that Ma had some blood on her tail and legs and so thought she had been bitten. Turns out she wasn’t bitten, so we all thought she was going into labour, her udder was full, she was laying down all the time and her rear end had really dropped away. No lamb to date, so she most likely had a miscarriage which Mr Fox probably induced. Damn those foxes…
Fast-forward a couple of weeks and the sheep paddock is looking pretty exhausted! Time to move them into their new grazing area. Instead of herding them into the bottom paddock, we decided to rest that paddock a bit more and move them into the narrow strip between our paddocks and our neighbours. I have no real idea on how long they will stay in this small area, maybe 2-3weeks? We will be needing to water them by hand using buckets as there is no tap along this area, something that will have to be remedied by next year.
So today it was Lightining’s time to show us how good she really was. I filmed a little bit of her working, it is shakey sorry, but does show how good our Coolie dog is! Keep in mind that what you see is only the last little bit of the herding, she had already helped me get them out of the paddock and down and around about 75m in total. Rufus, Ma and the rest of their flock and the alpacas Bill and Ted, decided to try and escape around the back of the dam. Me with my still bung knee, couldn’t chase them back, but Lightning had them covered. She stopped a complete escape, by covering a pretty large area (made harder by being dotted with trees), to push them back to the correct side of the dam.
On a few occassions, Bill, Ted or Ma tried to get away and push through behind us, but Lightning was on the ball! Not letting them get through, and on the one occassion Ma made it past, Lightning lived up to her name by cutting her off and herded her back. It is great to see Lightning work, she is definately a quiet worker, and in many ways, I need to learn from her example! We are slowly getting the basic terminology worked out, come around, away, slow, easy, stay (well she does “stay” when she is not working, but when she is, she tends to come running to me… gotta work on that one). Other ones I am working on is “keep back” – when I want her walking with me, “up front” – when I want her at the front of the herd and, “to me” – when I want her pushing the herd towards me.
Anyway, here are the clips: