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Browsing Sheep

posted Dec 23, 2015, 10:39 AM by Lynn Moody
We are moving our mixed flock of Santa Cruz Island and Navajo-Churro ewes (plus two wethers) around, using electric fencing, to enable them to utilize the natural forage on the ranch. 
In the photo above, they are eating buckwheat, the sticker-y looking shrub, and in the background you can see some of the sheep reaching up to eat pine needles.
The photo above this shows Sam, a wether, eating buckwheat which he dearly loves (and all of the sheep agree with him).  Sam is a pureblood Navajo-Churro sheep (his mother is an excellent example of the breed and his father was pure N-C also) but Sam is huge, and his wool is crimpy.  Go figure.  The veterinarian looked at him once and said, "Corriedale."  So Sam is definitely a throw-back to when the US government mixed other sheep breeds in with the N-C to "improve" the breed (and it did not improve the breed, which was very well adapted to conditions in the Southwest US).  You can see a little of the electric fencing behind Sam.
Three photos above showing sheep browsing.  Notice the size difference between Navajo-Churro sheep (big) and Santa Cruz Island sheep (small). 

More sheep browsing.  On the left is Tyra, the gorgeous Navajo-Churro bottle lamb from 10 years ago.  On the right are a white Santa Cruz Island ewe, brown Santa Cruz Island ewe lamb Ponyo, and a little bit of Isabella, another Navajo-Churro ewe and full sister to Tyra (though 8 years younger).

In some of these photos you can see the electric fencing.