Tag Archives: sheep
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.
Sorry for the long hiatus. . .I’ve continued to have computer issues, but I hope they are resolved and I can now return to offering glimpse into the life and times of the Ladder Ranch and its crew. I will do some backtracking because of course, I’ve been taking pictures!
When we trailed out of the Red Desert last April, a couple of ewes snuck off and have been hanging out near the Continental Divide Rim energy production facilities. We’ve seen them, and received some phone calls from folks working in the area. In the meantime, they each had a fine lamb, and avoided shearing. We knew that capturing them would be difficult, since they were clearly independent. A few days ago, Pat took Tiarnan, 8, and Rhen, 6, and a couple of horses with the mission of capturing the errant ewes and lambs and bringing them home. It was an adventure, but they returned home with two ewes, two lambs, two horses, two boys and Pat.
July 1st brings the on-date for the Forest grazing permits. We worked Modesto’s bunch at the Johnson corrals, in the Routt National Forest. We not only counted the ewes and lambs, but put numbered paint brands on the “marker” ewes, and gave Rhen an opportunity to practice his mutton busting.