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Category Archives: Peruvian sheepherders

To lamb or not to lamb, that is the question

If it’s March, it must be time to pregnancy test. We breed the best of our Rambouillet ewes to Rambouillet rams, thereby ensuring a new crop of replacement ewe lambs, as well as their brothers/cousins. Since purebred whiteface lambs are more vulnerable at birth, especially the twins, we pregnancy check the moms so that the ewes carrying twins can lamb in the sheds. The rest of the Rambouillet ewes are bred to our Hampshire rams. Their lambs have hybrid vigor and usually do fine with drop lambing on the range. Our friend Geri Parsons from Optimal Livestock Services comes up each March at mid-pregnancy to check the ewes and call out “single”, “twins”, “open” and even “triplets”. Meghan and her crew appropriately marked the ewes with a paint dab on their heads to signify their status for later sorting. Geri usually braves chill winds and long drives for several days to accomplish this task. Here’s some photos of this year’s pregnancy checking.

Ewes, waiting for the verdict

Pepe at the chute, Geri’s office in the tent

 

It was REALLY MUDDY!!!

Chris bringing up the ewes

Pregnancy testing crew–Sam the Border collie, Modesto, Maeve, Meghan, Pepe, Tiarnan, Geri, Chris

 

the view from Eagle’s Nest, looking east

 

 

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Bucks leaving

Pepe, Meghan and Sam with the bucks

Pepe, Meghan and Sam with the bucks

 

Mid-December brings true love to our ewes and rams. The rams, at least, have been waiting in the wings since, well, last winter. Mid-January brings rest to the bucks, who have been working hard for a month. It is time to bring some of them home. Here are Pepe and Meghan loading bucks for the trip home. You can see that it is deep winter on the Red Desert. We were worried about not having enough snow for the ewes to eat for water. Now we are worried about too much crust on the snow for them to graze. Pepe and the other herders feed them corn every day to keep them strong. And pregnant.

Waiting to go home

Waiting to go home

Meghan hooking up the horsetrailer

Meghan hooking up the horsetrailer

Dos Amigos

Dos Amigos

 
 

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Winter at Powder Wash

Powder Mountain

Powder Mountain

Not all of the sheep trail north to the Red Desert for the winter. The yearlings and the old ewes trail west to the Powder Wash country. All of Wyoming was buried in snow and chilled by sub-zero temperatures. I read that of the world’s ten lowest recorded temperatures, last week, five of them were in Wyoming. Our winter country in Powder Wash lies in both Colorado and Wyoming, but it was equally cold and snowy on both sides of the state line. The elk are on the move, and we are feeding extra hay to the sheep. Winter is well and truly here!

Elk on the move

Elk on the move

Eamon and Eamon and Edgar unrolling a bale

Eamon and
Eamon and Edgar unrolling a bale

Winter sustenance

Winter sustenance

 

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Guardian Dogs on the job

Livestock Guardian Dogs on the job in the Red Desert

Livestock Guardian Dogs on the job in the Red Desert

Modesto is also on the job!

Modesto is also on the job!

two noses are better than one

two noses are better than one

 
 

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Tres Amigos

Pepe. Eamon and Modesto on the Red Desert

Pepe. Eamon and Modesto on the Red Desert

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2016 in Family, Folks, Peruvian sheepherders

 

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Scenes from Almost Solstice

Rainbow over Powder Rim

Rainbow over Powder Rim

Feral horses on Racetrack

Feral horses on Racetrack

Yemerson with his sheep near Upper Powder Spring

Yemerson with his sheep near Upper Powder Spring

Guardian dogs chowing down on whole kernel corn

Guardian dogs chowing down on whole kernel corn

Filo with guard dogs

Filo with guard dogs

Yearling ewes and old ewes

Yearling ewes and old ewes

Unloading the bucks

Unloading the bucks

Bucks spot the girls

Bucks spot the girls

Horse on the Red Desert

Horse on the Red Desert

 siobhan and Meghan with Siobhan and Meghan with Rhen photo-bombing

Lambs on Harper feedlot

Lambs on Harper feedlot

Almost Solstice sunset

Almost Solstice sunset

Sunset over Sandman Mountain

Sunset over Sandman Mountain

 

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Over and under and on to the Red Desert

Here's Modesto's ewes, ready to head through Rodewald's gate

Here’s Modesto’s ewes, ready to head through Rodewald’s gate

 

 

Today,  the third band of sheep crossed over the UP line and under I80 at Creston Junction. They are trailing north to winter pastures on the Cyclone Rim and Chain Lakes allotments in the Red Desert. This is a long walk from the summer pastures on the Routt and Medicine Bow National Forests.

Here's the sheep topping the railroad overpass south of Creston Junction.

Here’s the sheep topping the railroad overpass south of Creston Junction.

Modesto in the mirror

Modesto in the mirror

passing the Fireworks Stand

passing the Fireworks Stand

under-i-80

heading north, past I80

almost to the gate

almost to the gate

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2016 in Animals, Events, Folks, Horses, Peruvian sheepherders, Sheep

 

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