Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ask a herder #5

When Assistant Pack Leader came for Mountain States Circuit Finals rodeo this year, she wanted to visit sheep camp, so we went to visit one of my ranchers and he showed us the ropes of his multi-state, multi-county range sheep and cattle operation.

Q: What is the oldest you will keep ewes?

A: I keep older sheep than most people around here do because I have the set up to keep them in on better ground instead of going out into the desert. If they have good teeth and are raising lambs, I'll keep them until they are 7 or 8.

Q: How often do you see the sheep?

A: In the winter, I will see the sheep (and the herders) every 2-3 days. Winter range is about 100 miles from the ranch so its a pretty big trip, especially when we have to feed the sheep because I can't fit all the supplies into one pickup load.

Q: After you cut the bucks out and make them into their own herd, do you have trouble with them fighting and hurting each other?
A: Not too often, they are usually tired and have enough space where they can spread out enough to not cause problems with each other.

Q: When you have guard dog puppies and they don't make it as guard dogs...can they be transitioned into a pet for someone?
A: Yes they can, but its hard to find people that are really prepared to care for a guard dog. They are often very protective of the house and yard, they get to be huge...which translates into alot of dog poo and expensive eating habits. 

1 comment:

  1. Great questions! Very different than our operation. For example, we've got several ewes who are 10+ years old and going strong. One we called Grandma was still spitting out some of our best lambs at age 14. Also, we do have to really watch rams fighting. One year, we had two get killed (broken necks) fighting with each other.