Thanks for visiting my blog. It's rather flattering to have someone read your minds meanderings. I hope it's entertaining and sometimes educational.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


    Well I caved and moved them to the barn. Cupid and George appear to be cold in the calf huts and I know there is not much bedding so they are almost on bare ground.  Too cold for little babies and I'd rather they not die in the first week.

So you might ask how to move 2 baby cows that don't lead and weigh a lot.  Just use a bucket of milk and apparently they will follow you into the wolves den.  It wasn't the wolves den , just the barn but it was dark and I thought they would be afraid but they could only think of the milk.  In a couple of weeks they are going to be able to knock me over to get to it. This morning George hit my hand and ended up with milk splashed all over his head. He didnt' care, but I dumped a bucket of water  on him to wash him off anyway. I figured it would dry up in clumps or turn sour.

The dogs are still interested but not crazy over them.  Cow poop Mmmm

Monday, February 27, 2012


    Dare's eyes bugged out of his head when he saw the calves in the back of the truck.  You could see him saying over and over OMG " There are cows in here!" "my cows" "my cows" "my cows" " I wonder if I get to bite them?""my cows" "Yay"

 Ed came over and unloaded them for us. They weigh about 90lbs I would say.  And then we banded the little suckers(thanksErin).  And then I taught them how to drink milk out of a bucket(not hard) and they settled in for the night. I haven't been out there yet this am and they are in their calf huts. I hope they aren't cold .They kinda looked cold last night but darn it they are cows and they better get used to it. NO cow coddling here.

So I bought 2 bull calves and left the heifer there, but will get a 3rd next time he calves.  I bought them from a farmer in Norther Mass almost into Vt so it took us a while to get there and back and we had to stop on the way and "borrow" a calf hut from one of Amy's friends which is why my back hurt last night. Those suckers are heavy and we had to pull it out from under sombody's porch and load it onto the back of a pickup. It's where the calves rode on the way home.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Inside flanks

   I worked both dogs in between lessons today in the control pen.  Dare did some nice up close and personal flanks both with the sheep near me and in the far corner. He obviously knows his flanks and is soooo much better at taking them.

Dually worked on short inside flanks in the same pen.  I got him to take them facing me (I was outside the pen) with sheep inside of course.  Then drove  them into the far corner and got him to take a flank facing away from me.  Really nice---  He's coming along.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


    I don't do much of this, but I had worked on it on ducks last summer with Dare and he just didn't want to do it. I did it today and he did it pretty nicely. I'm trying to figure out if it was because I had the shake can in my hand or if he finally figured out what I wanted him to to.

Last summer getting him to come thru the hole to me was really hard for him. Today was easy.  He didn't understand that we were then going to work one group but that was mostly my fault. I was unprepared for any part of easy and when it happened I didn't react. Every time I was late on my here this group command. Oh well , it's a learning experience for both of us.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Training inside flanks

Darn it's muddy here today but warm and I can't complain or is it I can't stop complaining. Not sure which.  

I worked Dare first today because he was going to jump the fence to get to  me if I didn't.  He jumped onto the calf pen and over the cattle panel as  it was to get to me.  So I put him by himself in the control pen with 3 goats and he worked them with me on the outside which I do frequently but today I had some goals. I wanted to make sure that he would take the OUT correctly no matter where I was  or where the goats were. It took some convincing and redirecting but he got it.  I also insisted he back up when I ask and square his short flanks too. That will take some more work, but he is getting better. He is SO much better at not blowing into the pressure when I walk him into the stock in the corner. I can walk him right up to them and still ask him to flank around them and take them off the fence. I'm still pretty close working in this pen though. I need to do it from 100ft min away.

Dually did the same exercise but we worked on flanking him all the way around which he didn't want to do. He tends to fall into fetch mode and I wanted him to continue the flank. So to fix that I stopped him and gave him and out and a flank at the same time and he was much better.  I only did short flank when the livestock was right in front of me and he had to come into me to get behind them.  His short flanks with me behind him are a work in progress.
I am happy with both dogs today and Dare (because he was worked a bit) has not jumped out of the dog kennel since I put him up 2 hrs ago.  There is still time though.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Doodle Bug

    Since Dare has hurt himself and doesn't seem quite healed, I have been doing more of the day to day stuff with Dually who needs it anyway.   So I send him out to get the sheep  including all the ewes and lamnbs and frankly he is better at it than Dare.   Dare tends to run out like his tail is on fire and then he runs them back like he lit their tails on fire. Dually is much more kind and thoughtful.

At first he had a hard time going away from me that distance, but I insisted he go and he went.But we spent a few days with me forcing him to go get them. Sometimes he would go from the control pen thru the barn open and then stop and if I tried to make him go he would walk  straight up.  Of course that is not what I wanted but that is what I got when I said Get Around.  I don't understand why because I have done that command since he was a baby and it always means the same thing--go get the sheep.Anyway he wouldn't do it so I threw in Away to me and it was like the lightbulb went on.  OHhhhh you want me to go get them?  No more problems now and since the pens are not in a straight line I get to flank him off balance to get them thru the gates.  However, he has been leaving recalcitrant ewes behind(ignoring them).  That will not do and I am telling him in no uncertain terms that is not acceptable.  He will get it. He is a very smart dog and wants to please desperately.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Just got dusted.

Well most of you know what that means.  Yesterday when we were supposed to get  a bit of a snowstorm , all we got was a dusting of snow. Fine with me. It's gone already and I still have clear ground to work my dogs .  Howevah,,,   it's too durn cold out there for me.  It's 15 at 1:30 and windy windy windy.  cold as heck out there and although the dogs want to go out--too bad.

So I baked a new kind of bread. It was supposed to be onion and poppy seed but the poppy seeds were rancid to I used dill .  I'm waiting for the 2nd rise although not sure why it rose the first time since I accidentally dropped hot butter into the yeast.  Aghhh --well seems no harm no foul. I actually made it into a braided bread. I will take a pic.  That's a first for me(braided bread)

I am also working on the ASCA farm trial that we will be having in July.  Laura was here on Wed and we went thru the whole thing and made a course up that should work quite well. It will be sheep and ducks in Maine. It's a multi stock trial so anybody who has a sheep title or leg can still get a leg under Jan because it's a different title than just the sheep one.

I'm starting to get a little of the winter blahs so I am thinking about my next trip. Might be Canada in May and Pa in June. We'll see. Canada will be a clinic with Roger Stevens and no trial and June would be an ASCA trial and Dually needs advanced cattle legs and 1 adv duck leg.

*** Bread update.  I didn't hear the timer and instead of cooking for 1/2 hr , I think it was in for 1 1/2 hrs.  So it was like a big thick cracker and by the time it was cool , it was inedible. Even the sheep had a tough time with it. Of course they don/t have top teeth, but seem to do ok on hay and grain which I couldn't chew with teeth.  It didnt' taste that good either. Back to the recipe book.