Tag Archives: shipping
It’s that time of year when we bring in the livestock–the cows and calves, the ewes and lambs–the time when we finish our summer’s work and prepare for the winter season. We sell most of the calves, and send many of the cows to less snowy pastures for the winter. Some of the cows will go to our friends’ ranch near Laramie (where the snow is horizontal rather than vertical), Some will go to Nebraska. This means we bring them all in to the Home Ranch, work them, and load some of them on trucks.
Every fall, we have what we call “the good old ewes.” These ewes are still sound, but aren’t quite up for another winter on the Red Desert. They are Minnesota bound. Sheep producers around Pipestone can offer them a comfier life at a lower altitude, with more shelter. They will be able to produce lambs and wool for several more years.
It’s time to load the lambs onto semis so they can go off to the feedlot in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming. They will spend a few months there eating locally grown corn, and gaining around fifty pounds. It is sort of like going on a cruise, only without the tugboats and humidity. Richard Drake will look out for them and determine when they are ready to become lamb chops. It makes for noisy nights around our headquarters, since we separate the lambs from the ewes the night before they load onto the trucks. It is less stress for both lambs and truckers if they are “empty”–off feed and water–when they load. When they arrive at the feedlot, Richard is ready with plenty of feed, water and good conditions so the lambs will thrive. The ewes call for a day or so. My Dad always said that it is so the other ewes will know they are good mothers. The ewes then settle down, and get ready for the winter months.