Our intrepid friend, Geri Parsons of Optimal Livestock Services, is once again making her rounds to make sure the bucks are ready for their annual duty of impregnating the ewes. They have one job and most winters they are with the ewes from mid-December to mid-February to make sure the ewes are exposed through two heat cycles. Usually, we take them out after a couple of months. The winter of 2022-2023 was so severe that we didn’t take the bucks out until shearing in early May–not because that is a new normal for management. It was just so cold and snowy for so long we didn’t want to further stress the sheep by working them, and we didn’t really have a better place to care for the bucks separately, since every critter was on full feed anyway. Our weather prognosticator friend assures us, using very complicated explanations, that he expects the winter weather in our neck of the woods to be fairly normal whatever that is. El Nino will strike elsewhere, according to him. No matter what, we want the rams to be in tip-top shape. Any buck with less than optimal testicles or sperm has gone to the “train station (see Yellowstone TV show). Sorry guys, but that’s the way it is in the ovine world.