Thursday, March 12, 2015

Vlog Update: Adult Diapers & Lambs!


Blogger crashdown said...

Jenna, why did you need to remove the lamb completely from the mother? She wasn't rejecting him, and you said that she had a working teat. Why not leave him with his mother and just supplement? Bottle ram lambs grow up to be terrible, dangerous nuisances.

March 12, 2015 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Monday was a bottle ram and isn't a nuisance at all? He hasn't ever hurt me and has lived on this farm for a long while. He is still a ram, and occasionally will get rambunctious but no more than any other ram I had here.

I kept the lamb with the mother after very feeding but little Vic left the mother for the farmhouse. The fencing I have is 3-strand wire. He just walked under the lowest electric wire and slept right by the front door in the snow after I went inside. The choice was either install new netting/fencing or bring him inside. He wanted to be with the animal that fed him. Since I hold the bottle and he wasn't staying with the sheep - I kept him inside. This is my choice.

March 12, 2015 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Hum, I am wondering why you don't purchase the kennel pads made for dogs? Is there a difference in expense, or are human pads just better?

March 12, 2015 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I think the dog pads are more expensive and some are scented? But also, I live in a small town without a petco or target or anything like that so I can buy 50 for something like 11 bucks?

March 13, 2015 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger Matt_Middleton said...

Good luck with your black belt test! :D

March 13, 2015 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

We've also had to bring bottle babies into the house. And it's fun...until the reality of having livestock in the house actually hits.
We would put adult diapers on the lambs (because they would cry and fret if they couldn't be right with us), but the ram lambs stretch out to pee and they would just stretch right out of their diaper. We ended up having to rig a set of suspenders and a chest strap to keep the diapers in place. Needless to say we were always thrilled when they finally made the move back outside.

I'm glad your little guy is doing well.

March 13, 2015 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Thanks Matt - it isn't for a few months, but it has been a lifelong goal.

March 13, 2015 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger crashdown said...

I'm sure bringing the bottle lamb into the house does work fine for you--I certainly respect your choice. But it's lucky that you don't really work Gibson on sheep, because nothing messes with the head of a working sheepdog more than a bottle lamb does. They don't act like sheep, which is why I think they're ultimately dangerous both to people and to working stockdogs. They also never are able to bond with the other sheep in their flocks, because they don't consider themselves sheep. If I were you, I'd set up a jug for the mother and lamb, and keep the two of them there until it's time for weaning. But I'm not you, and we all gotta do what we gotta do!

March 13, 2015 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Gibson works with the sheep. He interacts with them nearly every day. We don't trial, but he holds them back when I am carrying in grain, gets them from the back field, etc.

Crashdown, may I ask you you are, please?

March 13, 2015 at 1:20 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Also, Monday was totally bottle raised and is now totally invested in the herd? I wonder why people think this? Maybe for the first few months they act odd, but he's been out there 3 years now? And his offspring are going to non-sheepherding farms.

March 13, 2015 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger crashdown said...

Sure, you can ask who I am--I thought you knew who I am. I'm Heather Nadelman. I'm an Open sheepdog handler, and I've had sheep and trialed border collies for about 15 years. I'd never call myself an expert by any means, but I can pretty confidently say that there's no faster way to wreck a border collie than to ask it to work a bottle lamb. "Wreck" is a relative term, of course--obviously, if you're just asking a dog to hold sheep off a trough and such, he'll be able to do that. But he'll never be able to drive the bottle lamb properly, for the simple reason that bottle lambs don't know how to move off dogs the way normal sheep do. In my opinion, bottle lambs are poison--I'd never let my dogs near one, and I'd never let my other sheep near them either, because they can ruin the behavior of the whole flock. But again, that's just what I've found is important for me and my goals with my dogs--your goals with your farm are different, and there's nothing wrong with that at all.

March 13, 2015 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger crashdown said...

I consulted my various sheep friends, and everyone is in agreement that bottle raising a ram lamb is playing with fire--because they never learn to be afraid of people, they can be very aggressive when full grown. You’re going to be selling this lamb to someone, and you don’t want to put them into a dangerous situation. I really think that you ought to wether that little guy as soon as possible. Here’s a link to a good source about raising bottle lambs, which also advises never to do it with rams:

March 13, 2015 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Oh! heather! HI!

March 13, 2015 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

So I agree, 100% that bottles lambs aren't ideal for training a sheepdog on. And the places the sheep are going is to a friend's lamp chop farm and the other is going to a place that wants a breeding animal. None will be used for training dogs. The bottle lamb is going to the meat place, not the farm ram place. And I am certainly not keeping the lambs bottle feeding a secret, not here or on Facebook or craigslist. So it's not like the buyer doesn't know. When it comes to bottle lambs I think it is up to the buyer and the seller. The sheep dogging community is wise and clever, but this case doesn't fit these standards.

I'm so glad this is you!

March 13, 2015 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Also - the bottle lamb is being castrated soon. And again, no one is going to be training dogs on him.

So, good wisdom and I agree but this situation is what it is. I think it is safe, everyone knows what is up, and he'll be on a plate before there is any curl to his balless horns :)

March 13, 2015 at 10:36 PM  
Blogger crashdown said...

That all sounds great to me--he'll be a wether, not a ram, and he'll end up going to the butcher before he's past the "lamb" age. Sounds perfect! And you'll get to enjoy him until then, and give him a good life. That's about all we can do for any of these animals!

March 13, 2015 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Su Ba said...

Jenna, I wouldn't be so quick to condemn bottle feeding, even a ram. Maybe it has to do with the different breeds, but I've found very little problem working my bottle fed flock with my dog. When my dog is "turned off", the sheep will not react even if he walks among them. But when turned on to herding mode, they react as though he's a predator. The rams have at times challenged the dog, but a wool grab or nip makes them change their minds and respect the dog. I've heard of many a mother reared ram seriously injuring a dog, but quite honestly my bottle rams have never tried to kill my dog. Decline to move, yes. Bash him into a pulp, no.

I've worked both my small flocks as mother reared and bottle fed, and as I described on my blog, I now only want a bottle fed flock for now on. I sold off or slaughtered all the mother reared sheep. The flock is now 100% bottle fed except for one. I can call my sheep daily and they will come right to me for inspection. During rainy times I need to look for flystrike every day and deworm every 19 days. Being bottle fed, they give me very little hassle and I can get the job done quickly with no stress. The only hassle is that they will tend to crowd me on deworming day, so I have to use the dog for crowd control. When I had the mother reared flock, it was a drawn out pain in the neck process. Plus I was getting bashed and drug around a lot. I'm getting too old to be bashed around.

I haven't seen bottle feeding make a ram any more aggressive than mother reared. Some rams are gentlemen, some are bastards. And some switch back and forth. Again, perhaps it's a breed thing. But I prefer my rams bottle fed.

If I lived near you, I'd like to buy your little ram. But importing into Hawaii is an expensive hassle.

March 14, 2015 at 12:06 AM  

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