Saturday, October 10, 2009

Counting sheep

So how do you count several thousand lambs? You put the herd onto one side of a corral, with a line of men standing in front of them to hold them there. The counters stand in the middle of the line, and step back a little as the men on the ends take a step forward. This puts pressure on the edges of the herd at the same time the counters have eased up, providing a path for the lambs to escape between them.

The counters stand in place as the lambs trickle between them, and if the lambs start running too fast, they put up an arm or step forward to slow the line of sheep down. It's an ancient way of doing things, but these days it's also called low-stress animal handling. It's the way the Arambel sheep family has done things for 100 years here on their outfit in western Wyoming.


Chas S. Clifton said...

I met an Arambel farming in SE Colorado some years back. Distinctive name -- maybe a relative.

Anonymous said...

Don't you get SLEEPY counting all those sheep? :)