Monday, January 3, 2011

Counting Sheep

I would like to wish you all a warm Good Monday Morning! For a lot of you, it is the first day back to work for the new year. Many of our long time visitors have found that work is one of the best places to read OPOD. In order to maintain your good standing with your employer, we suggest that before you open OPOD, you have a spreadsheet open. Then open OPOD in front of the spreadsheet, and listen for footsteps. If you hear anyone coming, pop the spreadsheet back up to the top of your computer screen. Also, be cognizant of any reflective surfaces behind your computer screen, which might show a reflection of what you are looking at. With these simple techniques, you should be able to enjoy all the wonderful pictures, while still at work. Just a little way you can stick it to the man.

But I digress. Lets get back to Goat Roper week. If you are going to have sheep, you are going to need a good way to count them periodically. Shown above is a way NOT to do it. Standing in the middle of a flock, waving a burlap bag rarely results in an accurate count. The way sheep are counted is to put them in a pen, and then let them out of a narrow opening, one at a time.

I have found this to be the ONLY way to get an accurate count of a flock of any meaningful size. It looks like this guy is just counting them as they walk out, which will work, but it is easy to lose count. I have seen others who had a long cord with knots in it, and as each sheep goes by, they move their hand up past the next knot. Then, after all the sheep have passed by you can calmly count the knots  you went past.

One of the things you will find is that sheep, especially lambs, have a tendency to jump when being counted, which can make things more confusing. As one sheep is leaving the pen, the one behind him will jump over him, potentially throwing off the count.

This next picture looks like the man outside the pen is potentially a buyer, and sheep are being let out and counted to be sold to him. Note again the jumping sheep right at the gate.

We will be examining more advanced sheep handling procedures, but today, I wanted to start with the basics.


  1. No comment this morning, not much of a sheep man.

    Just wanted to greet you back to a decent time of the morning.

    You will have to keep your eye on Handsome Jack now that Christmas break is over.
    But I still think a trip to the chopping block with an axe will loosen his tongue a little.

  2. By the way I see you have really increased your followere list.
    GOOD JOB!!!

  3. Counting sheep:

    There was a blonde who was very tired of blonde jokes directed at her intelligence.

    She dyed her hair and got in her car driving around in the country.

    Suddenly, she came to a herd of sheep in the road. She stopped her car and went over to the shepherd.

    "If I can guess the exact number of sheep here, will you let me have one?" she asked.

    The shepherd, thinking this was a pretty safe bet, agreed.

    "You have 285 sheep," said the blonde.

    Surprised, the shepherd told her to pick out a sheep of her choice.

    She looked around for a while and finally found one that she really liked.

    She picked it up and was petting it when the shepherd asked, "if I can guess your real hair color, will you give me my dog back?"

  4. Kariav
    Love it, love it, love it

  5. Yup, jumping makes counting difficult, but you didn't say anything about the audio effects - there's a whole lot of baa-ing going on.

  6. Is it true that if sheep are going down a trail, that if one jumps over something real or imaginary that the ones following will also jump over the same spot

  7. not a baa baa bad picture .

  8. Well, you've got your way of sticking it to the man and the burlap bag sheep counter has his. I'll bet it took him a good month or more to just do the counting. "Sorry boss, can't do that today, still counting those sheep. Have you seen where I left my sack?"

  9. In tough times like these, "sticking it to the man" can be risky. A young fellow where I worked tried this to such and extent that he finally got caught. The guard helped him pack up his things before escorting him out of the building.

  10. Sheep have to make you smile! Jumping in the would swear they are running for their lives:)

  11. Oh if they could only cook.

  12. They are SORTING sheep, not just counting them. There are two openings and the one gate swings to either side. It looks to me like they are sorting lambs from the ewes, maybe for docking and castrating but in the one photo the tails looked healed so maybe they are weaning. Tis Me, the only and only qualified Goat Roper who has sorted many a sheep/lamb with this arrangement. I LIKE sheep.

  13. Ha ha! I'm counting on Meredith in Wyoming to keep you honest this week, PJM!

  14. Thanks for such great photos. I adore sheep, though--outside of petting zoos--have not had the privilege of spending time with them. It was a fun and informative way to start the new year, thanks! Happy New Year to all.

  15. Well, GRoper week is off to a leaping start! (I apologise for that, I was far too amused by the phrase GRoper).

    It is odd that we don't romanticise Goat Ropers as much as Cowboys - I suppose shepherds where all the rage in biblical times, now is the time of the cow!

  16. PJM I am delighted to follow your Goat Roper week! I have been debating getting a milk goat or two. So I can produce my own milk. I hope to see pictures of the guardian dogs that watch over the sheep and goats. Great Pyrenees are fabulous dogs.



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