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Tag Archives: Modesto

Over and under and on to the Red Desert

Here's Modesto's ewes, ready to head through Rodewald's gate

Here’s Modesto’s ewes, ready to head through Rodewald’s gate

 

 

Today,  the third band of sheep crossed over the UP line and under I80 at Creston Junction. They are trailing north to winter pastures on the Cyclone Rim and Chain Lakes allotments in the Red Desert. This is a long walk from the summer pastures on the Routt and Medicine Bow National Forests.

Here's the sheep topping the railroad overpass south of Creston Junction.

Here’s the sheep topping the railroad overpass south of Creston Junction.

Modesto in the mirror

Modesto in the mirror

passing the Fireworks Stand

passing the Fireworks Stand

under-i-80

heading north, past I80

almost to the gate

almost to the gate

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2016 in Animals, Events, Folks, Horses, Peruvian sheepherders, Sheep

 

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Headed for the Promised Land

Destination: the sagebrush sea

Destination: the sagebrush sea

Every year at this time, we are almost there with the final leg of our 150 mile trek as the sheep trail from their summer country in the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests to winter pasture in Wyoming’s Red Desert. Each way, spring and fall, we must cross the overpass across the Union Pacific line, and the underpass below Interstate 80–both coast to coast trails of a different sort. We make this part of the trail on WY Highway 789. For several miles, we share the highway with cars, pickup trucks and trailers, motor homes, and semi trucks hauling everything from livestock to oilfield supplies. We flag the road, ‘fore and aft, to warn traffic that the sheep are on the highway. We’ve only had a few near wrecks over the years, due mostly to inattentive or inexperienced drivers, and sometimes bad weather. Mostly we see our neighbors, who wait and wave, fellow travelers, and folks who stop and take photos and ask questions. I always send up a prayer of thanks when sheep, dogs, horses and humans have safely threaded the needle, and are on their way to the Red Desert. Then I pray for a good winter, good feed and a good living for all.

at Rodewald's gate

at Rodewald’s gate

Jean Carlos on the run

Jean Carlos on the run

 

Filo on the railroad bridge

Filo on the railroad bridge

 

headed East

headed East

FedEx

 

passing the Fireworks Stand

passing the Fireworks Stand

sharing the road

sharing the road

Prima Express

Prima Express–dos direciones

 

Under I80

Under I80

Ovcharka livestock guardian dog sees them through the gate

Ovcharka livestock guardian dog sees them through the gate

trailing crew--Rhen, Pepe, McCoy and Pat

trailing crew–Rhen, Pepe, McCoy and Pat

more crew--Pepe, Tiarnan and Pat

more crew–Pepe, Tiarnan and Meghan

Tiarnan and Modesto headed north on adopted wild horse

Tiarnan and Modesto headed north on adopted wild horse

 

 

 
 

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On the trail, with help

Rhen and Modesto on the trail on adopted wild horse

Rhen and Modesto on the trail on adopted wild horse

 

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North to the Red Desert

Sheep ready to cross onto the highway

Sheep ready to cross onto the highway

Once again, the sheep have crossed the UP line overpass and the I80 underpass at Creston Junction, Wyoming on their trek north to spend the winter months on the Red Desert on Cyclone Rim and Chain Lakes. We crossed three bunches one after the other. The first two bunches were one day apart. Fog and snow meant that bunch three had to hold up a day. Our neighbors, the Rodewalds, told us to hold up an extra day on their pasture. They had planned to ship calves that day, but had to cancel the trucks due to road and weather conditions. The next day dawned bright and clear, if bitter cold (-23 degrees) and we made the passage without incident. It is always nerve-wracking, due to heavy oil field traffic. We flag front and rear, and sometimes run into over-eager truck drivers. Luckily, this year, the truckers helped us and we crossed without any problems. On the same day, we got our first load of corn in. Corn is necessary to sustain the ewes through the cold cold weather, and to flush them since we plan to put the bucks in in a week or so. It is important that they are increasing their nutritional level just ahead of the breeding season, in order to increase the conception of twins.

Under I80

Under I80

Border collies at work

Border collies at work

Pepe, Salomon, Modesto, Christian, shadow

Pepe, Salomon, Modesto, Christian, shadow

 
 

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Dock them lambs, tote them panels!

Ladder Ranch docking crew

Once the lambs are on the ground, it is time to think about docking them.  This means that each bunch is gathered into a large pen.  The lambs are dropped into a smaller pen, then are passed along an assembly line, where they are earmarked, the males are castrated and they are placed into the Dinkum Docker, a sort of slide.  There they are vaccinated, their tails are removed with a hot knife (which cauterizes the wound), daubed with pine tar (which disinfects and keeps the flys away) and daubed with a paint brand.  Soon they are looking for Mom, who is also looking for them.

Looking for Mom

Evaristo and Cesar putting lambs into the lamb pen

Meghan on the Dinkum Docker

Eamon is running the hot tailer. Meghan is holding legs and putting pine tar on the wounds.

Timeteo and Salomon carrying lambs

David (in blue shirt) brought lunch to a hungry crew

Modesto, Siobhan and Bahnay taking a break

Mothering up

Teofilo loading panels, getting ready for tomorrow

The bum lambs are headed for the Home Ranch

 

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