Monday, February 29, 2016

Judas Goats at a Sheep Sale, 1955

A Disney production, but still interesting.

The locals appear to be using Judas Goats instead of dogs for herding.

Sheep are not very bright, while goats are brilliant, and the sheep know it, and so will follow them pretty much anywhere.

A Judas Goat is goat that has been imprinted and trained to follow a human. The imprinted goat follows the human, and the sheep follow the goat.

Judas Goats were once routinely used in sheep sales and slaughter house situations, where mixed flocks were put together for a few days.  A few Judas Goats established quiet order.

When a Judas Goat is led up a slaughter house ramp, the sheep follow, but just before the blade shows up, a door is opened in the side of the chute, and the goat is turned out. The sheep are no wiser, and keep moving forward, one following the other to death.

 Is this a metaphor for quite a lot? You bet!

1 comment:

TEC said...

The dog handler (sheep buyer in video) is Arthur Allen, an icon in the history of development of sheep dogs in the West. See his dogs Rock and Nickey, and more about him here at the Border Collie Museum:

He lived during a time when it was acceptable to demo/perform his dogs and perform himself, but he was genuine. Moreover, he founded a major Border Collie registry, imported dogs, trained and bred. He was an important competitor in Sheep Dog Trials. -- TEC