The Collie shares the same heritage as the rest of the sheepdogs of the British Isles. It traces back to the herding mastiffs of the invading Roman armies under Julius Caesar, perhaps with a touch of Viking spitz added later on. For centuries, the Collie, or Scotch Collie, more or less resembled the modern Border Collie. These all-purpose farm dogs came in different varieties suited … Continue reading Collie
Most of the herding dogs of the British Isles trace back to a common ancestor—the big, black-and-tan mastiffs brought by Julius Caesar around 55 BC to guard and drive livestock to feed the Roman army. Of course, British and Scottish sheepdogs do not look much like mastiffs. This is owing to the influence of small herding spitzes brought by the Vikings after the collapse of … Continue reading Border Collie
It may surprise you, but the Australian Shepherd is actually an American breed, developed in the West in the 19th century. There is an Australian connection, however. Some of the breed’s most influential ancestors were various Basque herding dogs from both Spain and France, including the Pyrenean Shepherd. Basque dogs were originally brought to America by shepherds, some arriving directly on our shores, others coming … Continue reading Australian Shepherd
As far as we can tell, the Anatolian Shepherd was a fixture on the landscape of rural Turkey from the most ancient times. Its ancestors are not known for certain. It can undoubtedly be traced to various dogs of Mesopotamia, possibly including both sighthounds and mastiff-like hunting dogs. It may also have ancestors among the Tibetan Mastiffs and the Roman dogs of war. Whatever its … Continue reading Anatolian Shepherd
Many a dog lover has watched a good Border Collie at work and gone home with a passion for herding. But if you haven’t grown up with working stockdogs, training one for the first time can seem daunting. While no book can replace experience as a way to master the nuances of handling livestock, with or without a dog, Stockdog Savvy by husband-and-wife team Jeanne … Continue reading Stockdog Savvy
Scurs are horny growths that give some livestock owners concern. When a scurred animal is young, it may look for all the world like it will grow up to have horns. Fortunately, this is not the case. Cattle, sheep, and goats can all develop scurs. In goats, however, scurs are actually true horns that have been damaged in a bad disbudding job. In cattle and … Continue reading What are Scurs?
The varied livestock breeds of the world have fascinating histories and characteristics. Many country living enthusiasts have spent enjoyable hours researching their favorite breeds. One good source of information is the Breeds of Livestock site put together by Oklahoma State University. This is a handy online encyclopedia-type reference packed with facts about both popular and rare livestock breeds: Cattle. Goats. Horses. Sheep. Swine. Poultry. Exotic … Continue reading Breeds of Livestock
Watching sheepdogs at work is amazing, isn’t it? Of course, the desire to herd is pure instinct. But most of the sheepdogs that you have seen have probably been taught how to channel that instinct in the desired direction in response to spoken commands. While commands do vary from handler to handler, the following is a glossary of some of the most common words and … Continue reading A Sheepdog’s Glossary
Horned livestock can be spectacular to look at. The spread of a Texas longhorn is an impressive sight, and there is something appealing in the curled horns of an old-fashioned sheep breed. But are horns practical? Not surprisingly, there are both advantages and disadvantages to leaving the horns on your livestock. Let’s take a look. Pros Predator protection. The primary purpose of horns is … Continue reading Pros and Cons of Horned Livestock
TDN is short for total digestible nutrients. Many writers have criticized the term as being somewhat confusing, since TDN does not measure all types of nutrients, but rather the energy contained in a given feed. TDN estimates are used for swine and horses but are most common in the ruminant world. Other methods of evaluating feed values are generally preferred for non-ruminants. How TDN … Continue reading What is TDN?