It can kill them

Willful and stubborn sheep polluting their land

200 hungry sheep and no sheepdog makes it crazy difficult to push them into their prepared paddock.  To safeguard their health and also from getting out onto the road they have to obey my voice.  But their heads are down, each doing their own thing.  The majority are not heeding my truck horn, the slap of the whip, or my voice.  This occurred after moving the water, the security cameras, unrolling 1000 feet of electric twine, setting up the posts, vaccinating all 80 plus lambs.  I’m so tired.  

I drive my truck across the pasture to herd them, they move only if the truck is about to bump into them, then drop their heads to the grass.  Others decide to trot off in every direction except into their safe enclosure.  I have to jump out of the truck, snap the whip/flag, but they wait until I’m gone and return to the just cleared area of their field.  An hour later the last renegade is inside and I can stop chasing them.

They cannot understand they polluted the pasture grass with their droppings, which holds tiny barberpole eggs. These hatch into larvae which crawl up to the top of their grass in as little as three days later.  At a certain tipping point these larvae will cause a lamb or a ewe to bleed to death if the infestation is too high.

To prevent this the electric fences divide the fields into a just grazed area and an area ready to receive mommas and babies onto grass not grazed for two months. This helps keep just hatched larvae from being ingested.  All to say that keeping their head down in the stolen grass will be their downfall unless the Shepherd persists in making provision for their safety.

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