Herding sheep may seem like a pleasant and peaceful job, but it can be quite difficult when you don’t know what you’re doing. Help keep your sheep happy by learning how to herd them properly. Here’s how.
Sheep have an excellent hearing and visual aid. Making yourself clearly heard and clearly seen by them is essential in herding sheep.
Sheep like to go from darker areas to lighter areas, that’s why it’s usually better to herd them in areas where light and dark are clearly delineated.
Single out the herd leader, and you have the key in getting the herd’s attention and obedience. Sheep herds tend to follow wherever their herd leader goes. Herd sheep by enticing their herd leader with buckets of feed from going to one place to the next.
Make sure that you are always visible to your sheep so that you will be recognizable by them. That way, if any of them get lost, they won’t panic at the sight of you when you come to get them.
Consider getting a dog trained to herd sheep. This is especially useful for very big herds. A dog is strong and fast enough to make sure none of them gets away.
Take advantage of the sheep’s natural instincts. Since they are a prey species, sheep flee at the first sign of danger, whether real or perceived. They have a comfort zone that when you cross, they will instinctively back away from to retain the distance. Use this natural instinct wisely when herding the sheep, as you don’t want to totally frighten them.
To keep your sheep still, it’s usually best to keep them in a nice quiet place, where no unusual loud noises can scare them.
Keep your sheep protected from predators by keeping them in a pen during nighttime. The pen must be tall and strong enough to withstand any forced entry by predators. Keep in mind that predators sometimes dig their way through.
Let your sheep and cows graze together. Not only will they be protected better together, but the more obedient cows can lead the way to sheep being more obedient to you.