Saturday we worked sheep. We got all the sheep in -- the ewes and lambs-- and brought them to what we call The Shearing Pens where our sheep corrals are. The big dilapidated shed in the background is where they used to actually shear over 1000 sheep back in the Good Old Days. Mexican shearing crews came here and camped for several days. Their women cooked for them and Grandpa said that they usually butchered a mutton or two to feed themselves during their stay. This was before my time here, but I do remember two shearings when we still had the Mexican shearing crews, and after that we went to the "White Crews" that were made up of Australian shearers who were teaching American men their methods of shearing which were far different from the Mexicans'. Nowadays we employ local shearers who learned from the Australians. During the busy times, our locals pick up some Australian chaps to join them which makes for fun dinner conversations. Actually, all conversations with sheep shearers tend to be very colorful and interesting.
Our mission on Saturday was to run the ewes and lambs down the alley and then sort the lambs from the ewes down the sorting chute which is a little wooden gate that swings between the narrow alley. Ewes run out and the lambs sort sideways into another pen.
Medicating the lambs
We gave the each lamb a dose medicine to de-worm them. It will keep them healthy and allow them to gain weight without hindrance on our lush spring pastures. We could have wormed the ewes, but we didn't. Actually, the sheep didn't look "wormy" at all.
click photo to enlarge