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Tag Archives: sheep wagons

more of Still Winter

Icicle and Battle Mountain

Icicle and Battle Mountain

I spoke too soon when I said the winter was just about right, and that we wouldn’t need more additional feed on the Red Desert. We have since had lots of snow and wind. In the mountains, where we live, we have had LOTS of snow. On the Red Desert, where most of the sheep are wintering, we’ve had snow and wind. This is usually a good combination, since the wind  opens up the underlying grasses, but this year we’ve had enough snow to cover up the feed.  At the Home Ranch, we’ve had enough snow that the tractors have been getting stuck, making it hard to feed the cows. Today, Eamon hauled extra feed to the ewes, and we’ve had folks in to unstick the tractors. All the animals have been fed, thanks to lots of time of effort on the part of family and valued employees.

Sheep Mountain

Sheep Mountain

Guard dog looking out for elk

Guard dog looking out for elk

feeding the Central Boiler

feeding the Central Boiler

You can see where the elk have been lovin' our haystack!

You can see where the elk have been lovin’ our haystack!

summer wagons under snow

summer wagons under snow

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2016 in Dogs, Events, Nature and Wildlife

 

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Dry season

The days unfold–one warm dry sunny day after the next.  The neighbors gather and talk of only one subject–when will it snow?  We all have tales to tell.  Only two years ago, we were lamenting because we had to start feeding hay two weeks before Thanksgiving.  This year, some of us still have some rough feed we can use for the cows and horses–the tall dry grasses left under the trees that couldn’t be reached by the mower during haying season.  Some have been feeding hay for months, after the summer pastures came up short and the fall pastures were used early.  Some have shipped animals out because of the lack or expense of feed.  Drought in the corn states and demand from ethanol have made corn–the staple of livestock feed–prohibitively expensive.  The government’s mandates, and lack of action on disaster programs mean that the livestock sector has been sacrificed as farmers are being encouraged to grow fuel in place of food.  Cattle and sheep, but also dairy (especially dairy!), poultry, hogs, and even catfish are being driven into loss as corn prices soar.

We continue on, unhampered by storms or ice or cold.

the Hampshire bucks at Powder Flat

Bucks drinking from the tank at Powder Flat

Filomeno and Antonio with horse they are breaking

Dunkin with ewe friends

Maeve, ready to load truck

wagons at Cottonwood

 

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Sheep wagons on the move

Peroulis’s team, sheep wagon, and supply wagon

Often folks ask about the sheep wagons.  In my view, they are a perfect example of form following function.  The wagon has a 3/4 bed at the back, with storage underneath and a table that pulls out.  Two bench seats are built along the sides, with more storage underneath.  On the right front side is a wood burning and/or gas stove and on the left side is a low cupboard with a shelf for the water bucket on top.  Hooks are located strategically for lanterns, and shelves behind the stove hold cooking pots and other utensils.  Additional storage on the outside hold items like grain and horseshoeing tools.  That wagon behind is the supply wagon, which holds firewood, hay, oats, horse blankets and other bulky items that are needed in the winter months.  They are usually parked at ranch headquarters in the summer.

Above is a wagon being pulled by a team of horses.  Less picturesquely, we move our wagons with pickup trucks, which calls for more fuel, but less labor.

Pulling our wagon (very slowly!) with a pickup on the Battle Pass Road

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Animals, Sheep

 

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