Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Technological Shepherd

In ancient times, a shepherd would pen his flock at night and lay near the gate to the pen to protect the sheep from predators.  These days, I use guardian dogs and llamas to serve the same function!  However, there may be a more technologically advanced way to address the problem of predators.  The following note appeared in this week's edition of American Sheep Industry Weekly:

"Meanwhile, sheep got in on the texting action, too. Biologist Jean-Marc Landry of KORA, a Swiss carnivore research group, connected heart rate monitors to text transmitters. When sheep in a research trial were scared by wolf-like dogs, their triple-speed heartbeats triggered texts."

I started thinking about how I might use social networking and modern technology to improve the efficiency of my sheep operation:

Each ewe should have her own twitter account.  This way, I can figure out when they need to move to fresh pasture, when they're about to lamb, etc.  Here's a sample tweet from a ewe who's ready to wean her lambs:

"If they head-butt my udder one more time, I swear - I'll call the coyotes myself!"

Perhaps our rams could have their own Facebook page.  In the interest of equal opportunity, maybe the ewes could go on!

One of the downsides to new technology is that my border collies are smarter than I am.  God help us if they develop opposable thumbs!  They'll take over.

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