Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring has sprung and the sheep are comin home!

My mother in law was always so happy when everyone was home at the ranch and I never understood why. Well, last fall I learned why and now I'm right beside her with a big grin this time of year.

Everyone and by everyone I mean all of the sheep, all of the dogs and all of the herders are home only two times a year - in April for shearing/lambing and in September for the 'loading of the trucks'!

The large herd of ewes, our two herders (one was away for the winter and the other was on the winter range with the big herd) and 5 dogs (Wito, Embre, Gringo, Sage and Chili) will be home from the winter range on Tuesday evening and I have goosebumps thinking about it. Their trip home will take about 5 days total and these mamas are going to be so tired. All of the ewes are pregnant and due in May so Pop and J make sure the trek home is spread out and as peaceful for them as possible.

When the sheep came home from the summer range it was a wonderful event! It’s a feeling of accomplishment - another season of success. It's also nice to know everyone is safe. A large part of this success is owed to our wonderful and hard working herders of course. Our herders stay with the sheep for months on end working from sun up to sun down and they always have a smile when we see them. I'll be blogging more about our herders soon.

I’ll be working at my office job 2 of the 5 days of their trek home but I'll be getting at least one good day of trailing in this weekend which I'll be sure to report on! I'm actually quite sad (believe it or not) that I can't help trail like I did in the fall when the sheep came home from the summer range. For those of you that missed my post about the summer trailing you can read about it here, but you have to promise not to laugh. 
This is from fall trailing last year.

So the next few days are busy ones for J and Pop. It's 7:40 pm on Tuesday right now and they are still out working on things. This is a huge event I tell you!

On top of everyone coming home J and I are participating in a Senior Field Studies program. This is a program that allows a Denver area high school senior come help out on the ranch.  Our student will be with us for a week and he will learn all there is to know about the operation. I emailed with him today and he's excited to be here during one of our busiest times of the year - shearing!

Needless to say I'm excited for everyone's arrival and I think I'll make a celebratory cake! Woo hoo!

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Here are some questions about "trailing" I'll be answering in the next week...

If you have any questions please let me know via the Contact Me tab! 

Are the sheep actually on the road? 
Have you ever had a sheep get hit by a car?
Has a Ewe ever gone into labor while on the road?
How long is the trip?
How many miles do you trail in a day?


Cambodave said...

Holy cow, that seems like a lot of work! We'll have to give it a go and see if we're man/woman enough to help on the ranch!

Marisa said...

I feel like I'm on a big ranching adventure when I come to your blog! It's awesome :-)

A Rancher's Wife said...

@Dave - anytime! We would love to have you!

@ MArisa - So glad you enjoy it!!