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Sorting the buck lambs

03 Jul
Purebred Hampshire and Rambouillet sheep, waiting for the sort.

Purebred Hampshire and Rambouillet sheep, ready for the sort.

Much of our lives revolves around reproduction…sometimes encouraging it, sometime avoiding it, but always managing it. Sheep reach sexual maturity at a relatively young age, so in July we must remove the buck lambs, born in March, from their mothers and the ewe herd. The conventional wisdom, at our latitude(about 41) is that ewes can be bred in any month with an “R” in it. It’s a bit more complicated than that, depending on factors such as the breed and nutrition, but we have learned not to overthink it. Suffice it to say that if you don’t want to be lambing at Christmastime or so, it’s a good idea to remove intact buck lambs from their mothers in July. We don’t want to wait until “AuRgust”!

Since we raise our own bucks, and they are getting to be pretty big guys, we put them into the corrals at the Johnson Ranch, where they summer north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The buck lambs who pass the test to be replacement rams are weaned and taken to the Home Ranch, far away, we hope, from any ewes.

 

These guys will miss their moms, but they get to grow up to be Dads.

These guys will miss their moms, but they get to grow up to be dads.

Which one of these is not like the others? Pepe, Adolfo, Apolinario and Max are taking a lunch break.

Which one of these is not like the others? Pepe, Adolfo, Apolinario and Max are taking a lunch break.

 

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