8th Sep 2008
We have finally finished our mulesing. Although it was only about 8 full days it seemed much longer as they have been big days indeed. The sheep are fat and the weather was warmer than usual so they were fairly difficult to work. Thank the Lord for my dogs though, they certainly put in the hard yard this year. I had to call on Caleb too as I wore out the other dogs. Rio and Driftz has just helped yard and draft out the most stubborn lot of ewes and lambs I have ever seen so were pretty tired. Dolly had helped muster a mob in in the morning and as she is getting older now I save her a bit. I am also getting older and am fairly tired myself. LOL
I had to shift another mob of sheep that afternoon. After the lambs are marked they can be reluctant to move and their mothers tend to race around looking for their lambs or try to run back the way they came. I had a fair way to take them and had to get them out of the way quickly before they let the other sheep out of the yard, or they run back to the fence and there is always a risk of them mixing up.
I needed a dog with a bit of push. It was with some trepidition though that I let Caleb out, as he has never worked ewes and lambs before and only worked a big mob in the paddock once before. I took Lara as well and tried to keep Caleb on the bike for a bit but he was too hard to hold so in the end I let him go. He hooned for a while then did excactly what I wanted him to. He was gentle with the lambs, kept both sides of the mob tucked in and worked in any sheep that were hanging back. He was a bit full on but settled quickly, working out what needed to be done. There was no point trying to stop him as he was not really listening, but there was no need. I just let him work. I was quite impressed with him. He worked independly of Lara which I like. Dogs that follow one another can be a problem.
The next day he helped draft out the mob and once again was quite impressive. I had to stop him at one stage and make him drink. He is so mad to work he does not want to stop, which is why he can be hard to control. Age and work will settle him though.
Angel was used a few times to help move the marked lambs back to their paddock. She is an easy dog to use and can be left unsupervised to just bring the mob along, as does Rio. She still lacks maturity, and does not take command very well yet but by the last day was a lot better.
Lara did a fabulous job. Although she lacks strength she can still manage to to turn a large mob of ewes and lambs. She saved the day a couple of times when the sheep bolted the wrong way. Rio and Lara have such great cover that they prevent any lamb breaks. They are much faster than us or the motor bikes.
Drift did a fair bit of the yard work as well as moving a few mobs. She is good at just keeping the sheep moving along. She is such a workaholic though. Once I took her for a swim after a really hard two hours in the yard and she ran back up to the yards to round up the lambs that were running around as they were marked. So I couldn’t be cross with her. Such a work ethic, we humans could learn something. In fact the day after I just took the dogs for a quiet walk and Driftz was really lame. I checked her feet and she had sore pads, something she gets when the ground dries up every year as her feet are white. Poor dog, she never showed any signs of it while working.
It is still very dry here and we are really praying for rain to keep the grass growing a bit longer.
Tonka and Zinc are ready to start. They are very active dogs who need to do something soon. My neighbour who bought the full brother tried him the other day and was very pleased with him. Had him working in the yards for a while and he was keen and strong.
So I will start them both but Zinc will be for sale. I cannot keep them both.
Balto is going well, a lovely fearless pup. His biting is improving and he is learning some restraint.
Yindi and Mango also need work, so hopefully all these things will happen when I get time.
I survived my Daughters 10th birthday party. She had 3 friends stay for a sleepover and they were pretty good.
The peacocks have started their mating calls already, early this year. Always frightens strangers but luckily we are used to it. Although when they scream right outside the front door it is a bit much. I think they come up to look at their reflection in the glass. Funny things.
Hope to get to another two trials this year as I have missed the last two. We will see.