Cull Ewes

We selected and sorted the cull ewes out from the main flock a couple weeks back (an-univiting-job). The culls were put together with the rams and market lambs. Today was sale day and we had to deliver the cull ewes to the collection point by noon. We did the quick sorting last evening and set the culls in a holding yard, then picked up the stock trailer we borrow when we do the hauling.

This morning all we had to do was load and deliver. Good thing to because loading was a beast of a chore this go round.  Our ewes are not familiar with loading onto trailers so it’s brand new to them each time. Plus, Allen and I were...., well, let’s just say we were not working well together this morning.

After the dogs and I moved the ewes up to the alleyway I put the dogs away. Sometimes it’s just better to put them aside so that they don’t receive the brunt of the frustrations going on between the stock handlers :) I’m not sure what Allen and I struggled with the most; each other, or loading reluctant ewes. Knowing how well animals read the energy of a situation I’m sure one negative energy rubbed off on the other. Sometimes it isn’t all sunshine and roses.

In the end, we were able to fit all but four ewes onto the trailer.

Culling sheep is both a physically and emotionally taxing job (without being frustrated with how it’s going). I read about how culling needs to be merciless but it’s distressing to be that dispassionate. Truth is there are always favorites in my flock and I have plenty of sentimental moments. Watching a couple young green-tag girls, Blackhock, and That-Ole’-Bag step off the trailer at the destination point, I felt plenty of emotion.

At home this evening, some sad news added to the mixed and heavy day. The famous stockman, Bud Williams has passed away. Bud is well known for his livestock handling techniques, but is also well renowned for his low key approach to using stock dogs.