Browsing Sheep

Post date: Dec 23, 2015 6:39:9 PM

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.