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TAC2

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About TAC2

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    http://freewebs.com/laingcroft
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  1. We have a buff orp hen who was very broody, though she had never laid an egg that I saw. This went on sporadically for the first two years, then a few months ago, she started getting bigger and developing rooster type feathering (a cape and long tail feathers.) Beautiful bird, but neither hen nor roo. I think it may be some type of androgeny. This hen looks like a rooster but doesn't crow, doesn't have spurs and doesn't go after the other hens. Very odd, but not unheard of.
  2. TAC2

    Shearers?

    Several folks have recommended him. Now I have to find others in my area to book with to make the mileage workable.
  3. I'm a shepherd first and dog handler second - not a competitor or trainer either - so please take this in context. Our dog Lena had been worked and competed with dog broke Cheviots or trial Katahdin sheep. I needed a dog that could "work" our sheep and teach me a thing or two about shepherding. What I learned is that a shepherd has to work with what he's given. We can't just trade in our sheep or get a new dog; we HAVE to make it work. Our sheep (Corriedale, BFL and Coopworth) live with LGD who are submissive to the flock. That's they way we want them, but the sheep "walk all over" dogs because of it. When we first brought Lena out into the field, the sheep stood their ground and ignored her. I rec'd lots of good advice, give her a chance to acclimate, take your time, etc. etc. but what I learned to do is adapt. With plenty of trial and error, we found what works for us. The troublesome ringleader had to go - she was trouble in more ways than one. Now the flock pretty much goes where we want them and our pastures are set up to help facilitate this. Lena's job is to follow the flock and keep the strays in line; preventing them from searching for greener pastures, or heading into the trees. Gathering isn't necessary as shepherd = food in this flock's collective brain No, I haven't learned as much as I'd hoped about herding, but I have learned a lot about shepherding with Lena's help. So I guess what I'm saying is if you can stick it out and make it work, you and the dog might be better for it in the end. As a post script, we're only purchasing dog broke BFL the future and when Lena crosses that rainbow bridge (many, many days in the future) ...lookout herding world, here I come
  4. I know if anyone can help, it will be one of the folks in this group! Does anyone have a shearer they could recommend who works in central Virginia near Charlottesville or Richmond? The person I thought would be able to do our sheep just responded to my follow-up email to tell me she did not get my confirmation and has now filled her book. We have a flock of six sheep and one angora goat. I've already wasted too many fleeces shearing on my own. Really need to take classes...if I can ever find the time. In the meantime, I'm in a pickle for spring shearing with reservations for two fleeces. Thanks! Tru Laingcroft www.freewebs.com/laingcroft www.laingcroftfarm.blogspot.com
  5. TAC2

    Blogs

    I know there are several folks who have really funny blogs that follow their BC trials and tribulations (Crooks & Crazies comes to mind) as well as some with general farm pages. We've just started a blog on our farm too -- http://www.laingcroftfarm.blogspot.com/ If you read, write, or follow one of BC or farm blogs, why not post your favorite links here too.
  6. This video was on our sheep list - had to share! ~ Tru
  7. I've been looking for a 2009 Border Collie Calendar, but I can't seem to locate any with sheep! Puppies, Agilty, Rescue, Goofy up close head shots...all available; but where are the calendars showing the BC herding? Please tell me if there are any regional clubs with HERDING calendars. Thanks!
  8. Sounds like a fine adventure to follow. BTW, love the second picture!
  9. A couple of things to add to what has already been said: Will the sheep be at your place or a rented field without supervision? If you predator load is pretty low and they will be kept in the same pasture as horses, then the horses should help keep them safe. Ditto if someone is around during the hours of dawn and dusk when most predators are active. Depending on where you live, that could be between 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Also, make sure the horses and sheep will tolerate each other. We had a problem goat (with horns) that we had to worry about either the horses getting a let stuck between horns when bucking or goat rearing up to butt the horses. Sheep on the other hand get a running start to ram, but it might still cause problems. If you have horses, you know they are injuries waiting to happen. My personal preference is for polled animals --- I've already had enough with horn related bruises from the goats. We only get health certificates when our animals will be shipped inter-state. The person selling the sheep down the road may not have them or any that are current. You can ask if you can have a vet inspection before purchase. We allow this for any stock we sell, but it is at purchaser's expense - usually farm call fee and $35 for the certificate. Electric tape or rope is a pretty good option for horses with other critters. It even kept our goats in; however, we have recently discovered that woolie sheep have ways of getting past/through electric. This might not be an issue for hair sheep, something to consider. I have also recently learned that sheep already "dog-broke" are a definite advantage, unless your dog is already well trained, tough enough for stubborn sheep and/or ready for more advanced herding on such sheep. Hoping to save you some aggravation here. Good luck!
  10. Chose the new Scrimgeour DVD. Thanks to everyone for all of the advice and recommendations! Perhaps I'll catch up with some of you at a clinic, then you can meet Lena.
  11. While I can do without the holiday hoopla, songs and decorations, I actually don't mind the holiday sale prices too much. This is when I get most of our winter clothes shopping done...when it's both on sale and actually needed, not in August. Wish we got snow We mostly get ice, freezing rain or slush. Snow is usually here one day and gone the next.
  12. Really glad to hear you are okay. Having taken a number of spills over the years, I "feel" your pain! It could have been really ugly (like you could have punctured something on that snag. Don't think about all the stuff that needs to be done, just get yourself healed...do you have help?
  13. I feel your pain Our location is tough in the winter. Winters here range from freak 70 degree days in December or February, to an ice coated world (picture #1, Valentine's Day 2007 everything coated in 1/4" of ice; 2nd picture snow on Easter in April...really uncommon here!) and everything in between. What we don't get is consistency. In our particular location the southeast pasture gets Venturi affect wind gusts that can make it feel like North Dakota. I'm not a jeans kinda gal so I most often wear sweats or old riding breeches. For boots it is muck boots or my Ariats with or without half chaps. If it's really cold, my failed felting projects wrap around my legs under the half chaps. Tops range from T-shirt topped by flannel, quilted flannel shirt jackets, an old army jacket (the heavy kind) or rarely, a down parka. Of course when breaking ice out of stock tanks or sloshing buckets of water around in the darkness, I usually end up needing to change at some point during chores.
  14. I don't think it matters and I too like a black faced dog. We had the same issue with our black GSD. Most people associate GSDs with the tan/black or red/black with saddle, but they also come in solid black, sable (agouti) and bicolor as well as various recessive dilutions (white). I do have a preference for B/W BCs (over reds and merles) but then again, I must have a b/w hang up because all my recent dogs (14 years) have been black (GSD and Portie), white (Westie) or b/w (BC)
  15. Evening all. Point taken about others learning from information posted. I certainly don't mind constructive criticism, but everyone will eventually reach a point where enough is enough (and I mean in anything, not this thread specifically.) I also don't believe that anyone reading through all the messages in this thread will fail to understand the issues raised and addressed unless they are cheating and skipping most of it. I'm really surprised that my comments even generated a response...I'm long over it and it really wasn't a big deal, but I am sorry if anyone took my "annoyance" as a personal criticism. We all read internet information through the filter of our own "bias" or subjective opinions/experiences so it does happen that written words can mis-communicate a thought. I am really sorry Bill if my irritation seemed directed at you personally (as indicated by the phrase "in my own defense") when in fact, I was not directing the comment to anyone in particular, but trying to convey the information that I get it already, so if the next person to post is intending to add more of the same, as in "I agree, you shouldn't work the dog" then please don't. I certainly did not intend to insult anyone or disparage the advice already given --- which advice IS appreciated as I've also mentioned previously To 'pick on' Bill again you (personally) have given honest and sound advice on this and other topics and others have been as forthright and helpful here and elsewhere - thank you. And just for general input, for those that missed it earlier, I indicated I won't be working the dog near the end of message #10 and again at the beginning of the second paragraph in message #15 Julie: I will contact the trainers you recommended this week. I will also cc: you on my emails unless you would prefer I do not. And now one last little bit with respect to training. I am almost done with Mr. Holland's Progressive Training book, have ordered Bruce Fogt's book and will add a training DVD to my Xmas Wishlist. Based on reviews I have read, I am leaning toward the Scrimgeour (sp?) DVD set, but which one - old or new; OR is there something better for novices? Once again - Thank you to everyone for their comments and assistance.
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