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Lambs on feed

Hampshire-Rambouillet crossbred lambs

Our lambs are happily ensconced at Harper’s Feedlot near Greeley. They are eating corn and growing every day. Pat, Tiarnan and I went to visit them recently. The weather is warm–too warm for this time of year–so all the lambs on the feedlot are doing really well.

lambs enjoying the sunshine

Tiarnan surveying the lambs

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2017 in Animals, Family, Folks, Sheep

 

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Adios, old year

from our Christmas tree

from our Christmas tree

New Year’s Eve morning dawned bright and clear. We had a huge pile of wood to burn from an old building we had taken down. We had livestock to tend, bucks to work, and resolutions to make.

 

Ewes on winter pasture

Ewes on winter pasture

Adopted wild horses eating hay at sheep camp

Adopted wild horses eating hay at sheep camp

Hampshire buck saying "Put me in, Coach!"

Hampshire buck saying “Put me in, Coach!”

Bringing the bucks up the chute

Bringing the bucks up the chute

The All-Girl sheep moving crew--Taylor, Siobhan and Meghan

The All-Girl sheep moving crew–Taylor, Siobhan and Meghan

Meghan and Pat sorting

Meghan and Pat sorting

Rambouillet ram out the cutting gate

Rambouillet ram out the cutting gate

Meghan, Siobhan and Taylor with the bucks

Meghan, Siobhan and Taylor with the bucks

McCoy checking things out

McCoy checking things out

Pat, with his fire-tending assistants--Seamus, McCoy, Tiarnan, Rhen and Maeve

Pat, with his fire-tending assistants–Seamus, McCoy, Tiarnan, Rhen and Maeve

Sharon with the fire-tending crew (McCoy un-photo bombed)

Sharon with the fire-tending crew (McCoy un-photo bombed)

Maeve, Seaus and Meghan

Maeve, Seamus and Meghan

Out with the old, in with the new

Out with the old, in with the new

Horses grazing with the last sunset of 2016

Horses grazing with the last sunset of 2016

 

 

 

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Sorting the buck lambs

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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Almost Spring lambs

Pregnant ewes waiting

Pregnant ewes waiting

We have started lambing the purebred ewes at Powder Flat. They are the moms of our future bucks and many replacement ewe lambs, and we lamb them earlier so these lambs will be older when it’s time for them to become working sheep. Our hard-working crew of Peruvian employees are supported by frequent visits from Meghan and her crew.

 

Rambouillet ewe looks after her twins

Rambouillet ewe looks after her twins

Here's looking at ewe.

Here’s looking at ewe.

Tiarnan with a Hampshire lamb

Tiarnan with a Hampshire lamb

Hampshire ewes and lambs hanging out by the heifers

Hampshire ewes and lambs hanging out by the heifers

Tiarnan and Siobhan playing in the corn

Tiarnan and Siobhan playing in the corn

Antonio, Meghan, Siobhan and Oscar

Antonio, Meghan, Siobhan and Oscar

 

 

 

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Siobhan the photographer at Powder Flat

 

Purebred Rambouillet ewe with five--count 'em five!--lambs

Purebred Rambouillet ewe with five–count ’em five!–lambs

We have an amazing birth announcement. The Finn folk may brag about their multiple births, but, for the first time ever (for us, at least), we have a Rambouillet ewe with quints. They are doing well (with some supplemental milk) AND she gave us a 64’s spinning count fleece!

This Hampshire ewe doesn’t want to be outdone, but I suspect only two–maybe three–of those lambs are hers.

Hamp ewe and LOTS of lambs

Hamp ewe and LOTS of lambs

Ewes and lambs enjoying the sunshine

Ewes and lambs enjoying the sunshine

Meghan checking out the new lambs.

Meghan checking out the new lambs.

still some snow on the ground

still some snow on the ground

young bulls at the feeder

young bulls at the feeder

Meghan likewise checks out the bulls

Meghan likewise checks out the bulls

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2015 in Animals, Cattle, Family, Folks, Sheep

 

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Buck lambs bound for Iowa

Buck lambs, wet but eager to be chosen

Buck lambs, wet but eager to be chosen

 

Each year, our friends Rodney and Janet Fleming come for a visit from Iowa. It is a true busman’s holiday. The Flemings raise sheep in Iowa, and they come to see us so that they may visit sheep camps, participate in general ranch work and visit about dogs and sheep. They also pick out a couple of ram lambs to take home to their ewes in Iowa. We raise both Hampshire and Rambouillet rams to breed to our own commercial ewes. This gives us the opportunity to select for the traits we want, and that the rams, who have never been pushed on grain, are hardy when it comes time to go to work under sometimes tough conditions in Red Desert winters.

Meghan and Rodney bringing up the Hamp buck lambs

Meghan and Rodney bringing up the Hamp buck lambs

Jean Carlos coming to help with his entourage of guard dog puppies

Jean Carlos coming to help with his entourage of guard dog puppies

Jean Carlos and Pepe with more puppies

Jean Carlos and Pepe with more puppies

Rodney with his top choices

Rodney with his top choices

 

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