Was I Baaaad?
Photograph - Photography--greeting Cards Or Notes Are Cheaper By The Dozen!
"Was I Baaaad?" was a photograph I couldn't help but shoot as my husband and I were out for a drive one day and I saw this sheep laying out by the side of the road in front of a house. The animal was tied to the nearby tree right next to a stack of pipe and other junk type items. I couldn't help but feel sorry for this poor sheep. The look I got as shown in this photo was like "Was I Baaaad?" What did I do to deserve this? Why am I in East Texas in this sultry, humid heat? We didn't understand and I wondered if the sheep didn't either.
When I decided to post this sheep, I googled Sheep in Texas. I was surprised at what I found. Being used to seeing horses and cattle, goats, and chickens, among other animals, I just wasn't that familiar with Texas sheep. And especially ONE sheep being treated like this. One article I found said there are over 7,000 sheep and lamb operations in Texas and over 68,000 in the United States. They produce over 194 million pounds of lamb and mutton (meat) per year worth nearly $175 million.
Sheep and Goats are called ruminants because they are hooved, cud-chewing animals that lack upper incisor teeth and have a four-compartment stomach. These compartments are the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum, and the abomasum. When grazing, plant material is chewed a little before being swallowed. Part-digested food is stored in the rumen where it is broken down in to cud by bacterial action. Other ruminants include cattle, buffalo, deer, elk and giraffes.
Predators are animals such as coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, dogs and other types of meat-eating animals that hunt for food. For preventative measures, ranchers often use guardian animals such as dogs, donkeys and llamas to protect their herds from predators.
In Texas, landowners are using sheep and goats to control unwanted vegetation and brush, such as broadleaf weeds and cedar. This helps the environment by controlling wildfires, improving grass pastures, and adding fertility to the soil.
Since biblical times, sheep have provided three basic human needs: food, clothing, and shelter. This enabled early civilizations to explore and inhabit colder regions of the world.
Sheep are grazers, preferring to eat short, tender grass and clover. They like weeds and can graze very close to the soil surface. Sheep have a strong flock mentality that provides the best defense against predators.
Called by different names, the Female Sheep are Ewes; the Young Sheep are Lambs; and the Male Sheep are Rams. Some of the best wool in the world is grown on farms and ranches in Texas and then loomed into fabrics of the finest quality.
June 29th, 2013
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