Sunday, June 19, 2011

Back to Work

After having last weekend off, I was recharged and ready to work this Saturday. Right now there are sheep spread out over 2 counties, so checking up on them all can be time and gas consuming. However, everything went smoothly this day and we finished early!

Ewes at the Old Chinese Cemetary

Ewes at Sierra College campus

Herding ewes at Whitney Oaks subdivison
There are also lambs in Grass Valley and rams, goats and guard dogs in Auburn!

No sense of personal space
During the summer when the grass is dried out there is not much protien or energy for the ewes to gain from it, so we supplement it with these tubs of molasses based, easily digestible protein and energy. The ewes all end up looking pretty silly with brown splotches from the molasses on their faces.

Taff the hot dog
 Getting enough water to the ewes is extremely important in the summer, for them to stay hydrated enough to keep eating the grass, as well as to continue moving around enough to trample what they don't eat.  When the sheep are out contract grazing, getting water to them creates all kinds of interesting logistical issues, such as:
       How do you haul a large amount of water? (a big truck and a big water tank)
       How much water can a truck hold (a gallon of water = 8 pounds)
       Where do I get water (fill up at home, look for spigots that aren't on lockdown near the sheep)
       How do I get the water from the tank in the truck to a barrel the sheep can drink out of (a series of gravity flow hoses, generally)

It's very easy to take water for granted in this counrty, but having livestock forces you to realize that the lives of all these animals depend on your ability to provide water for them. That is a lot of responsibility and if you are their shepherd, you don't get a day off.

Water is also a lot of fun, if you are Ernie
And to all the Dad's out there who work so hard and love their families so well, Happy Father's Day!

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