Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Shepherd's New Year

We breed our ewes to lamb when the grass is coming on - we like to have the lambs start to arrive in late February.  This schedule allows us to match our greatest demand for high quality forage (when the ewes are lactating) with Mother Nature's greatest supply of grass (at least in a normal year).  Since ewes are pregnant for 150 days, this means we turn the rams in with the ewes on October 1.  For me, this day has always felt like New Year's Day!  And after three years of drought, this year's New Year's feels like a defiant act of optimism!

Enjoy these photos of our day.  We sorted the ewes into their breeding groups, and moved them to another property near Auburn.  It's been a long but productive day!

The ewes have no idea what awaits them!

Purple Needlegrass at Blue Oak Ranch - love these perennials!

On the bus to Ewe-ville.  This ram's new name is Horton - we'll see if anyone gets this!

 Sorting our breeding groups.

Looks like the girls are happy to see the boys!

Stepping off the trailer - into new pasture.

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