As the year grows ever shorter, and the days wax with the passage of the winter solstice, the sheep are on their wintering grounds. Three bands are north of I80, where the ewes are keeping company with the bucks. This brings the promise of spring lambs, and gives particular meaning to the phrase “animal husbandry”.
The sheep are under the constant care of our Peruvian sheepherders, who make sure that they have fresh pasture (grasses left over from the summer), water, protection from the constant predators, and that they remain within the allotment boundaries set by the Bureau of Land Management.
We have been blessed, finally, with winter snow, which solves the water problem. We have mortgaged our future in order to buy corn to keep the sheep strong during the breeding season, and for the cold weather, present and future. As my Dad always said, “You can’t starve production out of an animal”–(not that I can imagine why one would consider it).
Today, Pat, McCoy (2) and I took supplies out the the sheepherders, and to Richar, the camptender who is responsible for feeding corn each day and making sure the herders have all they need. We took hay, firewood, coal, dog food, groceries, mail and new calenders.