Monday, April 14

Monday Farm Photo: Scuffle In The Barnyard

Chick Fight

Chick Fight Referee

© Copyright 2008, the award-winning blog where you're encouraged to make friends with everyone and talk out your differences - but some of us are more hard-headed than others.


  1. You go, Lucky Buddy Bear! My unbred yearling ewe picked a big fight with my first lamber of the year when I tried to put the latter and her twins back with the flock. It sure would have been nice to have Lucky Buddy Bear around here for that. My Aussie pup Jackson would have thought it was a big happy brawl and tried to play with everyone. Hmm, that probably would have broken up the fight, but as a "wolf" he would have really stressed the mama ewe if I let him near her babies.

  2. Oh boy. Do they really butt heads or is that a rumor? I'm glad the referee was there to calm them down.

  3. Now the question is, what were they fighting over? Our ewes only scuffle over the Shepherd's 16, but maybe yours are concerned with things besides food. And can I just tell you again, I LOVE YOUR DOG. I feel the need to give him a hug. But I guess you'll have to do it for me.

  4. How neat your dog responded that quickly! We've done a lot of reading about an allround good farm dog and found mention of English shepherds, and then I remembered your dog's half that and half Australian shepherd. What a neat fellow!

  5. What a GREAT dog! We currently have Golden Retrievers (which we love) but my husband longs for a Blue Heeler. Perhaps one day!

    Thank you for sharing the pictures1 I never get tired of seeing those darling lambs!


  6. I expect them to go into the West Side Story sound track. :)

  7. I love that dog!!!

  8. I love these pictures! Your captions make them all the better! Thnaks for the greats pictures....they always provoke an emotion in me!

  9. Hi Everybody!
    Thanks for all your great comments!

    Hi Michelle,
    Yeah, Bear is great for breaking up fights - and he just loves doing it. This time I alerted him to the scuffle, but most of the time he'll notice it himself and head right over and make them stop. That guy lives to work!

    Hi Jean
    Oh yes, sheep definitely butt heads - and not just the rams either. Their heads are extremely hard - sometimes I cringe when I hear the thud! when two heads make contact. Apparently no damage is usually done (their foreheads literally feel like rocks), but sometimes one won't play fair and they'll butt the other sheep somewhere a lot more tender, like the stomach. Ouch!

    Hi Kristin,
    Sometimes I have no idea what the sheep fight over, especially the girls. They all get a little frisky and uppity when there's a big change in the weather, and sometimes a couple of girls will just not leave each other alone. I'll yell at them, which alerts Bear, and he'll run over and break them apart, and then as soon as he turns his back they're at it again. This can go on for four or five times. Fortunately if it's happening on the way out to the front field in the morning (which is when I usually see it), they eventually get distracted by all the food under their hooves and lay off each other for a while.

    I do, however, think I know what this little tussle between Annie and Amy was about. Amy and her daughter had been penned up in the barn for several days because Amy is battling mastitis (which is doubly sad because she is - or was - my very best ewe). It's like what Michelle mentioned above - someone is returned to the flock and one or more sheep doesn't accept them right away.

    But in this case that doesn't completely make sense since all my sheep know each other really well, and Amy was right next to everybody at night in the barn. So it was probably the fact that she smelled strange since she had Bag Balm on her udder. When the sheep are sheared everybody starts fighting everybody else because they all smell like strangers to one another. Or it might have been that Annie was just mad that Amy was eating her little stash of hay! ; )

    And one Bear hug from you coming right up! He loves hugs.

    Hi Robbyn,
    Some of the stuff Bear does is truly amazing, especially considering he is totally untrained. (We bought a book when he was a pup called something like How Train Your Stock Dog Even If He's Smarter Than You Are but we ended up just giving it to him to read.)

    I don't think English Shepherds are as popular in the U.S. as they once were - you see and hear a lot more about Australian Shepherds. But apparently some of the older farmers around here used to have them, which is why the friend we got Bear from went out and found an English Shepherd to start breeding. She wasn't actually supposed to be bred to an Australian Shepherd, but I'm sure glad she was!

    Hi Lacy,
    I have a soft spot for Blue Heelers myself. When I had my little bakery cafe in Northern California one of the guys who worked around the corner had a Blue Heeler, and he used to bring her by. She was such a sweetheart - and I just love their faces.

    Hi Daisy,
    That's too funny - I love it.

    Hi Anne,
    Me, too! Every night when we come back up from the barn I thank Bear for all the work he did that day and then I usually crouch down and talk to him and pet him - and of course give him the tummy rubs he loves so much. It's really interesting because the kind of 'rewards' Bear loves the most are praise and pets. It took him ages before he figured out what an edible treat was!

    Hi Jeanette,
    I'm so glad you're enjoying my photos - and the captions. Thanks for taking the time to write and let me know. : )


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