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Life on the Farm
by Diane Morris - 2008
We live on a 27-acre farm in the northwest of England. On our farm we
have a fold of eight Highland cattle, a flock of 94 Herdwick and Hebridean
sheep, seven native ponies, geese, chicks, peahens, pot bellied pig, cats,
and the most valued member of the team, Pip, our working Bearded collie
bitch, who manages to keep all our livestock in order.
Pip was bought before we lived on the farm; she was initially a house
dog who was from an excellent bloodline of working parentage. This proved to
be valuable when we moved to our farm. Considering she had never worked
livestock before, it was amazing to see this young dog's instincts to herd and
pen the chickens without any training. The chickens were the first to arrive
other than the horses which we already owned. Next came the sheep and Pip
could hardly hold back; she knew what she had been bred for. She
instinctively knew what she had to do. At first her stock management was a little out of
control due to her sheer excitement. As the weeks progressed, with some
training for Pip and myself from a good friend who has his own sheep, our
shepherding improved with a much more controlled attitude towards work. This
little dog progressed on to larger livestock—our fold of Highland
cattle. We hope you will visit our Working pages.