Saturday, May 05, 2012

Wool harvest

Yesterday was shearing day for our herd. First, we crowd the sheep up the loading chute and into the shearing plant.

My lead sheep, named Assistant Sheep, sticks her head over the top of the chute to let me know of her displeasure.

As the crew of shearers work, each fleece is kicked out the front of the plant.

And freshly shorn sheep are pointed out the back of the plant.

Luv's Girl is always grumpy on shearing day (as am I). Neither one of us like anyone else bothering our sheep.

But a few hours later, our naked sheep are back safely on the range, ready to begin lambing.

Hud the herding dog watches the sheep go to their bedground with their guardians.


Anonymous said...

sheep ranching is fast disappearing here in arizona. this past year the last "hold out" to driving sheep overland threw in the towel. it was "live theater" to watch the dobson family still drive their two herds from the phoenix valley up to the high elevations in the white mountains, and in reverse. summer/winter pasture. two herders with each herd. one on foot, the other on saddle horse (he the camp tender/cook). herding dogs and guard dogs. using 5-7 burros to pack the trail supplies. cooking trail meals in dutch oven. traffic congestion, gov restrictions, land development probably did more to knock it out than the economics.

Yvonne said...

Just found your blog after borrowing a book from a friend. Querencia is wonderful! Very good reading. I look forward to reading more.

Bjarne´s aquarium blogg said...

Is there any problem to use a herding dog when you have LGD.Do they acept
the herding dog doing it´s work?

Cat Urbigkit said...

Welcome all!
I'm disheartened to hear about the loss of migratory sheep traditions. Transhumance is a wonderful practice, and it's something I defend fiercely.

Yvonne, thanks for your kind words. We're glad to have you.

Bjarne, sometimes there are conflicts. One of my adult LGDs must be kenneled so she doesn't beat up on the herding dogs. But for the most part, they learn each has a specific job and leave it at that. A strange herding dog would be killed though. All of our dogs (herding and LGD) are raised in close association, and our herding dogs are not overly aggressive with their sheep.