Monday, February 9, 2009

I promised....

OK. So I promised Mom Id catch up my blog seeing as Ive been a bit slack in writing recently. So what have we been up to here at That'll Do Farm? Lambing! So far I have 6 little darlings on the ground, all twin sets, though I'll never figure out why we call them twins, as most don't look any thing like each other, but for the sake of proper terminology, that's what I'll go with.
I have a couple of more ewes that need to lamb, but so far everyone has had nice healthy lambs, easily birthed, and no problems. I like that! So far I seem to have chosen rightly in my decisions as to whom stays and goes to make my life easier in the lambing and good mothering skills department.

Bruin (the Great White LGD) has done a wonderful job his first year with new born lambs and hasn't made squeaky toys of anyone.

I still keep a weather eye on him, but so far so good. He apparently is learning his job well. The sad part of this years lambing so far is, that all the lambs are ram lambs! I was really hoping to get more ewe lambs this year, as I am trying to build back up the herd, as Id sold so many the year we had the drought, and would like to increase my numbers of breeding ewes. Although I already have a wonderful ram in Jack, I am seriously considering keeping 2 particular individuals intact, and keeping them. Which means I wont be banding lambs again this year, and will choose to allow them to grow a bit more and watch their personalities and to some degree their characteristics before making any lasting decisions. Maybe this year I will have gotten the hang of the burdizzo.

On the dog working/training front, everyone is doing great. I took Chris, Bear, and Hank out to JP"s yesterday and I have to say, I'm very pleased with their progress and especially with Hank. For such a young dog, he was showing some nice things out there yesterday. I asked Julie to work him so I could see how we had been doing with what he has learned working at home. Its hard some times when training, to see what is going on, (especially with Hank) and it was nice to see he is settling into doing a little work, and actually learning the ropes. Paying attention, thinking, and starting to read his sheep.

I took Bear out on the big fields,and we worked on driving with him. He seems to be taking to it like a fish to water, which Id really had no doubt he would, and walks straight on to his sheep and has plenty of power and push. He wasn't squaring off his flanks like like he normally does, so Im not quite sure whats up with that. I'm wondering if he hasn't gotten so use to me using terms like way back and come out, as commands for squaring his flanks,and if I don't use that command, he just simply flanks. He is still a bit one sided, and this week since the weather is suppose to be so nice, I can see there are a few things we will be working on before our next lesson with Robin. Other than that, Bear is a fine young dog, and I can see that he will make a nice trial dog. Already he is proving to be a wonderful chore dog around the house, he is very sensible and always reading his sheep and thinking.

Chris, oh my little Chris. She is always making me think. I asked Julie to work her yesterday in the round pen, as our last session in the round pen was such a disaster. Chris and I do great in a larger area, but working in tight spots with her, has become a source of contention between the two of us. I am slowly coming to the realization, that Chris and I may never be ones that are able to work up close together, and be reliable to keep a cool head. Some dogs can, and some dogs cant. She did pretty darn good for Julie, and they worked through a few problems quite nicely, though I had a bit of a problem keeping myself quiet when I would see her (Chris) start to do some thing stupid, ( I can be such a back seat handler!) and was grateful for Laura's conversation to divert me. In between working dogs, we went out to lunch, and came back and Laura and I helped Julie vaccinate and worm a bunch of sheep. Pip was designated chore dog for that, and made life very easy for us. He is such a fun dog to be around. So full of expression, and his expressions while working are hilarious! He just has so much fun. On the drive home, I was happy to see that all the dogs were exhausted, which is a state I rarely get to see Hank in, it was rather refreshing. Things we will be working on with the dogs this week, are getting Chris to come straight in when called, driving with Bear, and continuing to get him going better on his away side, and getting a actual down on Hank. Right now he has a standing stop, but needs to learn to lie down. I think he can handle that. All in all I was very proud of my dogs, they really are coming along well, and because of that, we are all building confidence together.
Work at the shop is finally starting to pick back up some, and I actually worked a whole 4 days this week!
That, is a good thing, as I was really starting to freak out about it. Course I have been in the biz long enough to know, that it is a seasonal job, and that the months of January and February are always the slowest, and the recession sure hasn't helped any. Seeing as pretty soon, I'm going to be having 3 dogs for lessons, my clients had better get on the ball, and start getting their butts back in more regular. Looks like I may have to figure out another incentive program to get them to keep coming back. The last one was getting the 6th groom 1/2 price, if they got the first 5 grooms within a specified amount of time. It worked well, and I may implement it again, along with some 3.00 dollar off coupons. They really love those! I'm not a big fan of them, but what ever works at this point to get them to come back in before the dogs are a big walking matt, and I have to shave everything that walks in. I really hate doing that, it doesn't take much talent to shave a dog, nor, does shaving them all make me look like a very good groomer. I much prefer having some thing to work with other than a pelt.
On the downside, yesterday on my way home from JP's I forgot that I needed to pick up coffee, and so had to drink instant coffee today. OMG! LIKE YUCK!!!! I really am not liking the fact that I am so addicted to my morning coffee, that I would stoop to the level of drinking instant and forsake my taste buds to such nastiness just to get my fix! So now, I'm off to the store, cause this shit just ain't gettin it!


Anonymous said...

Ok, so you have kept your promise, about the pictures of the lambs? Three sets of 'twins'! I expected to see three separate pics, one each of the three sets of twins. The dogs are gorgeous and I know how important their training is, but (she wimpers like a child) I want to see the babies!

Anonymous said...

Boy, when you ask this gal for some get pictures. Folks, I got 27 pictures of the most adorable little lambs you ever saw. White ones, black and white ones but no little black lambs...still more to come. Maybe there will be a little black lamb??? Well, I'm here to tell you they are all precious. Thanks Darci!

Darci said...

You are very much welcome Mom. Im glad that you enjoyed them. I know I do!

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