Tricked and treated

Early on a shepherd learns how to use trickery to get the natty tasks done. We don’t have border collies to do the task of round-up so we use treats to lure them into the barn where we can take care of tasks from de-worming, hoof trimming, coat changes to vet calls. We have a well trained flock and so the task of trickery is easy. They are weak when it comes to a good treat like an alfalfa cube or an apple slice! This weekend a few of the sheep were bursting their coats. They have a fleece growth spurt this time of year. During morning chores I scanned the barn and like the judge at a dog show I pulled out 5 sheep to the winner’s circle that needed to be tricked into the inner barn for new coats. Trinity was certainly one…here she is, new coat going on. Look at the difference between the coated fleece and the weathered fleece at her neck/head and tail end! Stunning fleece it is.

That’s the fun part of coat changes. I get to check the growth and staple length, see the crimp, make sure the fleece is uniform. And then just sink my fingers into it! Here are a couple shots of Georgia. Look at those spots! And her fleece is looking mighty fine also. But without her coat on, she too looks like it is a “new coat”.

After they were set free, I tossed a few apple slices into the field and any of the sheep smart enough came to the gate for a handout. Here is Jackie, game and ready.

Yes, indeed! Please, please, please.

Pawing the gate for just another slice.

I took to the pasture to do a few handouts and here comes Peach for hers.

Treats are the best reward!

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