Welcome To Smokin J Border Collies

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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
I've trained working border collies for over 14 years and trialed in USBCHA, WCDA and AHBA events. My partner, Mike Franklin and I work dogs in Calico Basin, Nevada. This blog is solely for the purpose of sharing my love of working border collies. I do not have stud service or puppies available. Please contact me at smokinjbc@msn.com and I will be happy to share my recommended working breeders. If you are interested in teaching your dog to be a sheepdog in the Southern Nevada area, please feel free to contact me.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Final Countdown

Since lambing season is upon us, I thought I might take this opportunity to introduce you to the sheep. I really was not expecting lambs till early summer, but as the bag above illustrates, it's going to be a bit sooner than that. No complaints to the ram department this year! Busy young bugger....
I thought I'd start with the oldest sheep, Timex.
She's the only "original" sheep left from the small flock I bought in 2001. That makes her, I think, about 10 years old. She got her name from an incident that happened soon after I purchased her. A group of dogs got in and attacked my flock, killing two sheep and the one sheep left had several puncture wounds over her body. That one lone survivor I placed in a horse stall, thinking she was safe. Came out the very next day to doctor her and just in time too, since I found a dog attached to her throat. I came very close to putting her down, her injuries were catastrophic. But my friend noted that she was still able to stand and breathe, and said I should give her a chance. She not only survived, but thrived over the years, giving me the best lambs every year and the only lasting effect was that she lost her ability to baa! The name? Well... she took two lickin's but kept on tickin'...
I learned valuable lessons about making sure your sheep are in a dog proof area and I preach it to every new owner of sheep I hear of. Nothing is more important with sheep than good fences.

The other "senior" member of the flock is Gretchen. If Gretchen looks a little stretched, just ask yourself how you would look if you'd twinned or tripletted every year for 7 years. She is a bit short legged too, so gravity has not been kind.

Poor Gretchen, I just realized when I was putting this together, that she is my only older ewe with no family. I just haven't held onto any of her daughters. Pretty sure she's got a granddaughter or two in there too, but it's not the same as a ewe lamb she raised herself.

Here are Timex's daughters- Moo and Moolita. Both of them are a good example of what Timex throws. No matter what ram I put her too, she always has big (for scrubby hair sheep), frame-y lambs that have good leg. She and her daughters also stay fresher longer than the soon to be introduced Dorper family. You can count on Moo to keep a dog honest at the pen, she will squirt around it if given even an inch of an opening. Moo's on the left, Moolita the right.

The Dorpers are my favorite. The best mothers, the calmest sheep in the universe. "Dorpers" might be a misnomer. Only Maggie, who is my best ewe overall, is 1/2 Dorper. But she puts such a stamp on her kiddos that I just automatically think of them as the "Dorpers". The lambs come out dog broke and none of them cause a spot of trouble. They are ideal puppy sheep, but can make fetching long distances a bit tortuous for dog and handler alike.


Susan- Mike's Favorite (see the post on Mike/Brice- she's the little grey lamb he's holding)

Bracelet- She's got these cute little white marking on her feet. I'm also laying money out that she's first up to lamb this year.

All three of of these are just the sweetest girls imaginable. Which is a real problem- might be time to get fresh sheep when you have all your training sheep named!

Watch this blog for play by play action of lambing season. Knock on wool... this year should be twins galore!

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