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Welcome to HighTail Farms, LLC! We're a small farm located in Greensboro, North Carolina. We are dedicated to providing people with ethically raised and humanely processed pastured poultry and sheep, fresh eggs, and raw meat for pet food. We are currently not producing any products for sale.

Please follow the links in the top bar for more information on our products and their availability. Continue reading below for our blog where we detail the adventures of raisin' animals and whatnot.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rialey's First "Sheep Day"

  About a month ago Rialey got to help with her first "sheep day." This is a time we set aside about once a month to do health checks on the flock including checking to see who needs worming and trimming hooves if needed. As you can see, the pup was thrilled with the new challenge...




  I have to mention that since the puppy came on the scene, Luna has been trying extra hard to be the perfect farmdog. Any time I ask her for help, she's there with no talking back or funny business. She and I had to retrieve the sheep from the back pasture and herd them all the way into the goat yard for health checks. She moved those spooky sheep with an ease and grace I have never seen her exhibit. Since our sheep are so spooky they have to be herded very carefully to avoid wild chases and often the dog needs to be 30-40ft away. Luna got those sheep across the big pasture, over two bridges, through the poultry pens and into that yard in a calm and orderly fashion. Nothing like a young upstart looking over your shoulder to keep you on your best game!

  Big Onion checking Patch's FAMACHA. Patch and Nina are both very pregnant right now so we had to take extra care in handling them. Patch gave us our very first lamb on the farm a couple years ago and judging by her size we are very hopeful that she will give us our first set of twin lambs.


  Little Banana, our youngest lamb, is doing great.

She has lots of aunties and uncles looking out for her.

  While we do health check, the dogs' job is to just hold them in the corner. These two are so good at their job they can do it in their sleep!

  Big Onion hamming it up with one of the lambs. I think that's either Bumble Bee or Bean. Either way, these photos crack me up!

Anther shot of Rialey asleep on the job. I have to point out how remarkable it is that a six month old puppy with high herding drive can hold her stay and even feel relaxed enough to sack out with 20+ sheep looking over her shoulder. She really is a remarkable pup.

   Most of the time, we try to trim hooves with the sheep still standing. Some of the more difficult in the group get laid down on their side. Here Big Onion is doing his best impression of a sheep deck chair with our ram, McLovin. This position actually worked pretty darn well for trimming the big guy's hooves.

  Little Basil getting a mouthful of NutriDrench. She's just to the age where parasites are starting to bother her so it was time for worming and a mouthful or two of vitamins to keep her healthy.

  Before we let the sheep out, Rialey get to do a little practice herding.

  It was a bit chaotic, but overall she did very well. I was using my clicker and giving her treats for calmly moving the flock. Any herding with our sheep in a confined area can be a little chaotic so the fact that she was still listening to me, taking treats, and calling off the flock when I asked was very good for a pup so young.

  I'm happy to report that the general health of our flock seems to keep getting better and better. We had a few problem feet here and there. No surprise with our nasty, wet winter. Very few of the adults needed worming and most of our nursing moms are putting their weight back on.

3 comments:

  1. Mine start grazing like fools when they are barely 2 weeks old. Silly . Your ram lamb is looking good.

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    1. Our will start nibbling that young, but they usually don't start really grazing until they are a little older. We also don't wean. Just let mommas do it naturally. Have not had a problem with it yet, and mothers and daughters stay bonded and help raise the grandbabies.

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