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The Fall Sort

ewes trailing into the Sheep Mountain pasture

 

October 1st is the off-date for our summer grazing permits on the national forests. We spend a lot of time staging the trailing off of both cows and sheep. We consolidate sheep bunches, move them onto private pastures, and bring every ewe and lamb through our corrals and sheep chutes at the Home Ranch. We sort the lambs off the ewes. Some lambs will go to a feedlot to gain more pounds, and some will stay home and become replacement ewe lambs.

The ewes are sorted several way. Ewes with good health and good udders stay with our bunches. The “good old ewes” who are short on teeth but otherwise sound will go to buyers, usually in the Midwest, who can care for them for several more years, in conditions more forgiving than Wyoming’s Red Desert. The “killer ewes” or culls will go to slaughter.

All this involves a lot of moving parts, but when we’re done, we’re ready to move onto other late fall pastures before the long trail to the wintering grounds.

Meghan, Cora and Raul bringing up the sheep

ewes and lambs heading down the chute

 

Edgar and Cora at the sorting gate

Meghan and Leo

Meghan sorting lambs

 

ewes lambs in the corral

Pat, contemplating

Cora is a working mother. Puppies for sale!

 

 
 

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Branding Time

calves in waiting

calves in waiting

Branding season commences. We have most of our baby calves on the ground. We have to pick the right days for branding–after the calves are big enough to not be too stressed, but not so big that they will cause the branding crew too much stress. These calves have reached that “Goldilocks Moment”. In the last few days, we have branded one set of calves on the Home Ranch, and one set of calves in the desert at the Powder Flat Headquarters. We even had a photographer from the Library of Congress, Carol Highsmith, to document the great American branding. As usual, we had child labor on hand.

Nikki roping calves

Nikki roping calves

Mike Buchanan, McCoy and Rhen ready to go to work

Mike Buchanan, McCoy and Rhen ready to go to work

Cow and calf--at the ready

Cow and calf–at the ready

Rhen and Maura, on the job

Rhen and Mara, on the job

Meanwhile, back at the Powder Flat Ranch...

Meanwhile, back at the Powder Flat Ranch…

Nikki holding the calg

Nikki holding the calf

Mike, Megan and Jill wrestling a calf

Nikki, Megan, Mike Pierce and Jill wrestling a calf

Eamon with the irons

Eamon with the irons

Mike B. and Mike P. branding a calf with help from Kate

Mike B. and Mike P. branding a calf with help from Kate

Caro taking pictures of Mike B.

Carol taking pictures of Mike B.

 

Carol with cows

Carol with the cows

 

 

 
 

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Flags

Flags marking the state line at the Home Ranch headquarters

Flags marking the state line at the Home Ranch headquarters

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2015 in Nature and Wildlife

 

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Sharing the pond

cow and ducks on pond on Home Ranch

cow and ducks on pond on Home Ranch

 

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January 2013

Ranch headquarters

Ranch headquarters

Winter gold

Winter gold

Horses with hay

Horses with hay

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2013 in Animals

 

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