Our latest trainee is Anica our upcoming on site dam. She is kept in a 30×30 kennel next to the stock at night and roams free during the day unless we are away. She is 7 months old and has started to want to hold chicks at times. She can not get in the chicken pasture fence. We harness her and train her with the chickens as we can. We have an 2 year old male, Vidar (Piper) who is our new sire. He was cabled by the sheep and lambs at night with a 3 year old female (Rita) who taught him the ropes. They successfully monitored lambing this past season. After the first birth he stayed in the pen with the sheep, prior to that he was jumping out. He is great with the stock following them around (off cable now). We have one other Maremma Vidar’s father (Rolo), that guards the property outside the stock area at night. He helps train up the younger ones.
This year was very wet and lambing, calving and whelping were challenging. Our Helga whelped 8 pups and due to flooding on the farm pups were moved several times. She then got mastitis and had to stop nursing for 5 days. Some of the pups got ill during this trial of Helgas and she lost 4 of them. After the pups were about 5 weeks they were weaned and Helga was back in the fields full time. She then became very interested in lambing and calving. When we were not on site during a birth she would assist with cleaning and the sheep got confuse rejecting their babes. We discovered this when our cow calved and we saw her preventing the mama cow from doing her full cleaning and nursing job.
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