Saturday, February 18, 2012

Walking vs. Driving - what's a shepherd to do?!

Actually, the answer to this question is pretty simple - a good shepherd will always choose to walk sheep to a new pasture if he (or she) has good dogs!
Red line - our walking route today.
Blue line - the walking route to our loading facilities.
Yellow line - the route we'd have had to drive to move the sheep.

Today, we moved a group of about 100 ewes onto a neighboring property.  We walked about a third of a mile - through 4 gates and up a fairly steep hill - but not a bad walk.  In the aerial photo above, our route is represented by the red line.  The ewes nibbled on grass all the way to their new pasture, and the dogs (as well as the shepherd) enjoyed the work.

If we'd had to haul the sheep to this pasture, the day would have involved a longer walk (nearly a half a mile) - represented by the blue line on the map.  Then we'd have had to put the ewes in the trailer - about 25 at a time in their current pregnant state - and drive about .9 miles to the new pasture (represented by the yellow line).  Our 20 minute walk would have turned into a half-day worth of work!

Thank goodness for excellent border collies and helpful neighbors!

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