RSS

Monthly Archives: December 2013

Farewell, 2013!

Sunset on Squaw Mountain

Sunset on Squaw Mountain

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Nature and Wildlife

 

Tags: ,

Romance in Winter

ram face-plants

How NOT to impress the girls!

We want to have lambs in the spring. It is a fact of life that in order to have lambs in May and June, the ewes must associate with the bucks in December and January. The bucks have a cushy life, which involves hanging around most of the year–eating, drinking and looking forward to mid-December. They do have the occasional worries about bears and fertility testing, but generally lead a pampered life. (Think of the ewes, who experience a brief liason, spend almost five months pregnant, then raise a lamb for another four or five months. They trail from summer country to winter country and back, some 150 miles, while the bucks are trailered in and out.)

Bucks ready to roll

Bucks ready to roll

Tiarnan and McCoy supervise unloading the bucks

Tiarnan and McCoy supervise unloading the bucks

Looking for love

Looking for love

Eureka!

Eureka!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 20, 2013 in Animals, Events, Family, Sheep

 

Tags: , , ,

Merry ChristMoose!

We saw this moose on Tennessee Creek in the Routt National Forest the other day. We haven't seen moose in the area before.

We saw this moose on Tennessee Creek in the Routt National Forest the other day. We haven’t seen moose in the area before.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Animals, Nature and Wildlife

 

Tags: ,

Corn and sheep getting ready for romance

plenty of snow

plenty of snow

The bucks will join the ewes on December 15th so that they will start lambing on May 10th. We want both the ewes and rams to be fat and happy for this occasion. We need snow (but not too much snow) because the sheep depend on it for winter water. They can survive by eating snow, and there’s not much live water on the Red Desert, especially during the frozen winter months. We also depend on feeding corn during the bucking season, which will last until the beginning of February–two heat cycles for the ewes. The government-mandated corn ethanol program has been devastating to the livestock sector, as it drove prices to new highs in 2013. Corn prices are down some, due to a bumper crop. In any case, there is no substitute for corn as a nutrition-packed supplement to support the ewes as they survive often harsh conditions, conceive lambs, and grow next year’s wool crop. It is amazing that they can convert desert grass to food and fiber for people!

I80 behind, winter pasture ahead

I80 behind, winter pasture ahead

Guard dog on the move

Guard dog on the move

Where ARE those bucks?

Where ARE those bucks?

Al the trucker opens the pot

Al the trucker opens the pot

Corn ready to bag and feed

Corn ready to bag and feed

Tri-State delivers!

Tri-State delivers!

 
 

Tags: , , , ,

North to the Red Desert

Sheep ready to cross onto the highway

Sheep ready to cross onto the highway

Once again, the sheep have crossed the UP line overpass and the I80 underpass at Creston Junction, Wyoming on their trek north to spend the winter months on the Red Desert on Cyclone Rim and Chain Lakes. We crossed three bunches one after the other. The first two bunches were one day apart. Fog and snow meant that bunch three had to hold up a day. Our neighbors, the Rodewalds, told us to hold up an extra day on their pasture. They had planned to ship calves that day, but had to cancel the trucks due to road and weather conditions. The next day dawned bright and clear, if bitter cold (-23 degrees) and we made the passage without incident. It is always nerve-wracking, due to heavy oil field traffic. We flag front and rear, and sometimes run into over-eager truck drivers. Luckily, this year, the truckers helped us and we crossed without any problems. On the same day, we got our first load of corn in. Corn is necessary to sustain the ewes through the cold cold weather, and to flush them since we plan to put the bucks in in a week or so. It is important that they are increasing their nutritional level just ahead of the breeding season, in order to increase the conception of twins.

Under I80

Under I80

Border collies at work

Border collies at work

Pepe, Salomon, Modesto, Christian, shadow

Pepe, Salomon, Modesto, Christian, shadow

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Guard sheep

Powder Rim with sentinel

Powder Rim with sentinel

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Animals, Sheep

 

Tags: ,

Lambs on feed

The lambs looking reflective at Drake's feedlot near Pine Bluff

The lambs looking reflective at Drake’s feedlot near Pine Bluffs

In October, much of this year’s lamb crop climbed onto trucks and headed to Pine Bluffs, Wyoming to eat corn and other rations on Richard Drake’s feedlot. In the coming weeks and months, they will fulfill their destiny to become lamb chops. In the meantime, they are happy and healthy!

King of the Mountain

King of the Mountain

 
5 Comments

Posted by on December 4, 2013 in Animals, Sheep

 

Tags: , ,