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When dogs attack penned sheep…

It’s a pretty ugly sight. I’m going to warn you straight up that some of the images and text are disturbing and graphic.

It’s now five days later. We’re still treating wounds, but I’m taking time out to tell our story both for other sheepherders and for dog owners.

Thursday,  June 27, 2013 Bev and I left the house for St. George about 7:15. We did so without checking the barnyard, as it was “all quiet” to the north of us.

Shortly after we left, Cindy went to check a young goat that had been off her feed, probably because of the high heat. She noticed our ram was standing outside his shelter and intently watching “his girls” through the two fences. He hasn’t really been paying much attention to them since moving into his bachelor pad.

Being an observant shepherd, Cindy followed his gaze and saw a problem.

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Posted in Sheep
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We’re no longer rookies, newbies, or city girls

This week marks a major milestone.

We’ve graduated in the eyes of several of our mentors.  We’re no longer rookies, newbies, or city girls.

Fire at our neighbor's houseIt all began when one of our neighbor’s house burned. We were on scene very early and got the only pictures for the fire investigator. Another neighbor is the real hero as he broke down doors to see if anyone was inside. Thankfully, no one  was home. He also turned off the main propane supply valve.

Something we may never have mentioned last year, was that one of our mentors, “Flip” the guy who shears our sheep, and is the source for our breeding stock, told us “we’re smarter than he thought” when we told him we’d gotten rid of our horses.

This past week, we’ve been “apprenticing” at another sheep ranch. We get “paid”

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Posted in Sheep
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Rough start to lambing season

After a warm winter, with very little precipitation, either rain or snow, right at the start of lambing season, winter has returned.

Our season began prematurely when the gal who gave us quads last year, had a nearly full-sized, but underdeveloped baby, followed by another clearly aborted. Next up is a really wooly gal, who had a single boy. He’s a big boy, but being a single, he will be a market lamb.

Another ewe we bought last year had twins with our help. I had to lightly pull on the head as it was fully exposed, with one foot. For whatever reason, the ewe just wasn’t pushing effectively. By grasping the head at the back of the neck, I was able to apply enough pressure that when she contracted, the lamb remained in position, rather than slipping back into the birth canal.

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Posted in Sheep, Uncategorized
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You know you don’t know sheep when…

As I’ve said before, Mom, Bev, and Cindy are from an island in Lake Erie. Both Bev and Cindy were police officers, and many years ago, Mom owned a fish business on the mainland. Bev had also grown up on family farms with some sheep and harness horses. When they decided to move to Beryl, it was going to life-changing… just how life-changing was yet to be discovered.

Shari moved here from Oregon. She at least had some “agri-business” background, having grown up in the Portland suburbs, and later in western Washington County, where she raised rabbits commercially and also owned a USDA-inspected rabbit processing facility. She joined the party in Utah in late 2006, shortly after the others acquired their first lambs.

Around here, most folks have livestock of some sort. They either have chickens, sheep, goats, cows or horses. Only a few are truly retirees,

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Posted in Farm Tales
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Two weeks ’til lambing and kidding time

After a very mild winter, it’s now raining and snowing, with more in the forecast, just in time for lambing and kidding… wouldn’t ya’ know it!

This year, we have 4 pregnant does (goats), and at least 12 maybe 13 pregnant sheep. The ram and buck went to breed on October 14 and 16, 2011. That means that somewhere between 145 and 155 days later, we should be very busy with the newborns.

The past weeks have been dominated by getting things ready, inventorying what we have, and purchasing what we need. We’re upgrading our supplies and have also been retrofitting the horse barn to prepare for the larger flock of sheep.  Who knows, maybe the goats will take over the sheep pan. If they do, we’ll have to rearrange the milking stand, as it’s a long walk from the sheep to the goat pens.

We’re busily preparing for the inevitable bottle babies.

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Posted in Custom Meat Program, Goats, Sheep
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  • Goats helping photographer
    Hey, we'd love to help you take your pictures.
  • Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014
    Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014.
  • Cindy feeding Chaffhaye
  • working in the kitchen
    Bev recording milk weights, Shari stirring the Cajeta
  • The first two little doelings.
    The first two little doelings.
  • Mom with Thor
    Mom is cuddling our new buckling, Thor.
  • cargo trailer
    Our Farmer's Market cargo trailer.
  • Hand digging trench
    Shari pitches in and digs up broken water line.


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