Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Working sheep...

This morning we got up early, had pancakes and bacon and headed out the door to worm the sheep. Hubs and I had got the ewes and lambs in last night so they could tromp down the tall grass in the shearing pens and corrals, but you'll notice by the pictures that they didn't finish the job so we had lots of grass to wade through. The picture above shows Eldest and Youngest sons actually worming the sheep with the medicine and a gun that measures and squirts the deworming medicine into the mouths of the lambs. One man douses and the other man holds the treated lambs back in the pen.

We had a few ewes that lambed late so we docked the long tails out of the pen and branded them with red branding paint. That brand is a Lazy Y J

Hubs and the visiting cousin are counting sheep out of the pen once they are done. One thing you learn to do when you live on a ranch is count. You count everything.... ewes, lambs, cows, calves, bulls, eggs and fence posts. Everything gets a number so you best count or measure everything in sight because sure enough, just when you think you didn't need a "count," someone will ask you.

"How many staples ya got?"
"How much paint is left in the bucket?"
"How many eggs did you get tonight?"

Hubs says that his Uncle Edwin counted the steps from the house to the barn and from the house to the chicken coop. I haven't done that yet. Maybe I oughta.

Lambs are all treated and it's time to turn them out with their mothers and herd them on up the hill to Chuck's....the "new" pasture they will spend a few weeks in.

Sue would be glad to take them out to pasture. (And she did) It's important to always turn sheep out to a new pasture after you worm them, otherwise they can get re-infested when they go out to the same area to graze and bed down where their droppings lay. I think it takes about two weeks before the worms in the droppings die.

I found the tally on the side of the pick-up truck.
Final tally: 209 lambs with the newly docked lambs added in.


  1. Thanks for taking us on this tour, Jody. Liked the note about counting. Of course! I guess that's where the sleep aid came from ;-).

    Also, is paint branding common, and does it replace the other kind? (Thinking it comes off with the wool, right?)

  2. The lambs are beautiful! And that's interesting about the counting--even the staples. I don't know if you guys get big winter storms where you are, but it seems like it might come in handy to know how many steps it is from the house to the chicken coop, just in case you're collecting eggs when the big blizzard blows in. Or you could just rope yourself to the house when you go anywhere in winter ... didn't they do that in Little House on the Prairie?

    Just a little advice from out here in the suburbs ... :)


  3. Now that's a new angle to counting sheep - you wouldn't want to be falling asleep would you?

    Love your new banner and your song. So sweet! and fits for me this morning - since our (only) car just broke down . . . :)

  4. Although I'm not a rancher, I know what you mean about the counting thing. After working on a knitting project, I catch myself going about the house counting things constantly. It's as though the habit to count stitches translates over to everything else and I have to remind myself there's no need to continue my counting. LOL

  5. I love this little tale. Your way of life sounds so pleasing to me. I've never lived on a large farm but my grandparents did and I was fortunate enough to spend something there. Work is hard.. but it's yours.

  6. Very interesting. I love learning about others lives. Work is so good for the soul.
    We never had any sheep but hogs and cattle while we were raising our family.
    Miss it all.

  7. How do you cont sheep and not go to sleep (especially 200 and whatever of them!)!! lol. They are SO cute!

  8. Ok, I just have to add... the " three little birds" song is SO CUTE.


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