How Far Would They Graze

More photos of the flock moving out, in this case heading out in the morning to begin grazing.  


The gate at the entrance to this narrow pass remains open so the ewes can come and go however they do not volunteer to enter this pass on their own. I have been moving them up every few days to remind them the water bowl is available here and by now I am sure they know that it is. Now that we are feeding hay they are settling and bedding down just over the rise and the trip to the water bowl is not far at all but with snow on the ground again I doubt they will brave the pass and come for water. 

Even though we are regularly feeding hay now the ewes are still traveling during the day. Today they traversed the whole east quarter section and then moved southward to the weedy patch before returning to the hay that is rolled out on the ground for them.

It causes me to wonder how much or how little domestication has toyed with their instinct to migrate. Have they merely developed the habit of traveling this ground since the loss of our cross fencing? Or, if we dropped our perimeter fences, would this flock show any inclination to head south as the grasses here waned? 

I really don’t want to find out how far south they might go but it is a marvel how much they travel the land that is available to them. The weather makes a difference too. On cold days they stick around the hay feed but on warmer days they put on the miles, and we haven’t received enough snow to hamper their travels yet.




Comments

  1. SO FLUFFY! They look warm huddled together in that snow. Wonderful picture.

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  2. I continue to be amazed that so many sheep are moved daily..and it seems so easily..when they roam a lot do they not lose calories?I guess if they are finding food as they go it would balance out.

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    Replies
    1. Except for when I move them up for water, they move on their own accord. They may lose some calories but yes having enough feed can balance it out. When it turns cold they won't travel and waste the calories needed to stay warm; right now it is unseasonable warm here. They also stay very fit and keep good feet. They gain various minerals from the soil and dormant plants which they would not get if restricted to a corral like the rams are at this time of the year.

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