Saturday, 11 June 2011

When you go out in the woods today...

This week we started sending our open ewes and replacement ewe lambs out into the bush to graze.
The sheep find this quite a scary experience and often spend the first day or two hanging out at the entrance to where we let them into the bush to graze.
To keep things manageable,  we place electric nets through bush paths to make smaller partitions. This helps the guardian dogs to be able to keep watch over the sheep and helps me to be able to find the sheep in the evening again. The bush is thick, areas full of young regrowth and  other parts are older wooded areas.
Every morning  I take the sheep out to the bush and every evening I gather them up to bring them home again. Leaving them out in this thick bush and with lots of predators around is just not a good idea. The sheep and dogs need to walk about a kilometer to the bush and back home again.
Here are a million pictures of this daily occurrence.

On the way to the bush:

All gathered up.
This mornings dog team:
Sarplaninac Beli, Katcha and Snowy,
Border collies Lad and Sheila.

The sheep head off.
All the guardian dogs jog next to the gator back and fourth from the woods. Here Katcha and Beli wait while I open up the electric nets to let the sheep in.
Katcha  and Snowy
Ready to go to work in the bush for the day.
Beli heads off to clear the way, the sheep like to follow him.
Katcha, is the rookie this year, so she quickly follow Beli  and copies what he does.
Beli stops to take drink, the sheep wait patiently behind him.
These nets help partition the bush areas into more manageable parcels, so that the dogs have a better chance of being able to protect the sheep.
Snowy, she is the sister to Snowy who recently died. I miss him even more now that the summer grazing season is in full swing.

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