Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Wandering Shepherd 4

Moving the Sheep

I love moving the sheep. It can be calm and slow or fast and hectic. This depends both on the nature of the move and the will of the sheep. Sometimes they do push the limits.

So, we can be moving just across the way, or across a busy road that needs to be navigated carefully. Dogs can push sheep into the traffic or sheep can lead dogs into the traffic. It requires skill and preparation. You have to organise the flock and know before you start how you are going to handle their movement. It is not an occasion to "wing it".

One problem is that the roads curve and visibility is not always great, so Georg has been able to use my help to stand and stop the traffic on the most vulnerable side.

Here the sheep leave the road at Magerkingen and climb up to cross the railway crossing.

Travelling the back way into Magerkingen
Not the same railway crossing, but the same line

Moving the sheep along forest trails on the other hand is a leisurely delight. Bear loves moving the sheep. It has immediate purpose and I think it appeals to the bossy side of his character.

Preparing to move on
Bear moving sheep along a country road

Young Lambs

While we have been up here lambs have been born. They can either be born during the grazing day or overnight in the pens. Usually it goes smoothly but there can be times when Georg needs to give the ewe a hand. Normally Georg will take the twins and triplets home to the barn in his trailer. The single lambs and their mothers go into a nursery pen until the lambs are strong enough to travel with the flock. Usually a few weeks.

This is what you can find when you arrive in the morning.

A temporary pen alongside the main pen

Nursery pen

Looking after the stock

Naturally care of animals and their health is an ongoing job. The main tasks are foot care; thorns being picked up by the sheep grazing among thorny bushes and foot infections due to the wet soil.
As well there is the usual parasite prevention needed.
Georg uses the old shepherd skill of catching a sheep with his Schippe (crook) to look after the feet or to check on a sheep's condition. For the parasite and foot infections he sets up temporary yards and, often with help, he will treat the whole flock.

This guy knows what he is doing
This guy doesn't

On this occasion the Vet helped with injections


  1. Wow Alexa what a life experience, absolutely stunning

  2. Lovely to see the photographs of the placesyou showed me.