Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LGD Puppies and Sheep Work

Vegas' puppies are now 3-1/2 weeks old - their eyes are open and they are becoming much more mobile!  Vegas is proving to be a great mother, although I suspect she's looking forward to the day the puppies are weaned.  The hardest part about rearing these pups is avoiding over-socializing them.  Now that their eyes are open, we hold them and pet them as little as possible - we want them to bond with our sheep.
Vegas is a great mama - she's very concerned about what
Sami's doing to her puppy.

Puppy pile-up!

Daddy Boise - the ghost dog!
Last night, we de-wormed all of the pups and clipped their toenails.  Our friend Kerry Williams, who raises working Pyrenees, suggested this.  Their nails can grow long and sharp before they start to walk, which can injure their mother's teats.  We clipped the sharp points off - it doesn't hurt them, but they don't like being held (which is probably a good thing, given their future occupations).

When the puppies are 10-12 weeks old, we'll begin selling them to other sheep and goat producers.  Based on their parents' guarding abilities, we think they'll be outstanding guard dogs.  In the meantime, they are awfully fun to be around!

Sheep Update

The first group of ewes in the footbath - the sheep enjoy a pedicure!

Today marks the end of breeding season for the sheep.  After setting up our homemade portable corrals and footbath, we brought both breeding groups in and sorted off the rams.  One of the groups went through the footbath (to prevent/cure foot scald and foot rot).  The other group seemed to have a fairly heavy internal parasite load, so they were de-wormed.  We combined both groups and turned them out together onto fresh pasture.  We'll put them through the footbath 2-3 more times in the next 3-4 weeks, culminating with feet trimming and preg-checking in early December.  Then we wait - the first lambs won't arrive until the third week of February 2012.
The reward for a long day's work!

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