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David Sparks Ph.d Running Lambs 1
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: March 08, 2019

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Idaho’s Schertz Sheep Company owner Frank Schertz runs thousands and thousands of sheep on his allotments in the high deserts of the Northwest and he also runs dogs who are trained and anxious to protect they're woolly charges from the menace of predators. We learned yesterday that their constant threat to the young lambs impacts the way they graze. That takes precious pounds off the animals and costs producers money at market. Frank Schertz: “just like those guys running cattle in those mountains. if you have a pack of wild running around they aren't going to stay up there. When it gets hot in the summer in order to feed the best places down in that brush. Those lambs scatter out in that brush and sometimes you can't even see them. You will hear them blatting in there calling out to each other and they will slowly work their way to the top of the ridge. A Herder has to stay with them because sometimes they go out too fast. Those lambs become vulnerable and the wolves are like kids in a candy store. They have all of those lambs in that brush. The wolves change the whole darn thing.” After battling the annual grazing issues, Schertz will start his move to market at the beginning of August. “Starting the end of July and first of August, they will go into the Colorado feedlots. They will come off the mountain weighing in that 130 pound range and they will feed them until they weigh 170. They are right there by the packing house. We have a co-op owned packinghouse.” The remaining thousands of sheep will eventually return to the lambing sheds in Wilder, Idaho and start the annual cycle all over again.

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