Serious Sheep Session

estalice11This photo says it all in terms of why we loved El Calafate.

These were taken on a tour of Estancia Alice, which we had the joy (and luck) of experiencing on a rare warm and windless day that featured dramatic skies due to rainstorms that were on the way. (The ranch is the red-roofed property in the first photo below.)

In advance, we had some fears that the tour might be a bit, well…touristy! But, it was actually quite interesting. We had the privilege of seeing a sheep denuded (which resulted in the single blanket of wool shown on the sheering floor below), we took a nice walk to the lake, we observed some herding dogs in action (gaucho is pictured below), and most importantly to the girls, they got to pet the sheep in their pens for what seemed like hours!

Fun sheep facts. Argentina is the 3rd largest wool producer behind Australia and New Zealand. 50% of the wool produced in the world goes to China. For those of you hoping to open a sheep estancia, you will need about 4,000 to 5,000 animals and 20,000 hectares of land (49,421 acres) to have an economically viable operation. A professional can sheer an animal in 2 to 3 minutes and will usually finish about 300 animals a day.



3 Responses to “Serious Sheep Session”

  1. Sara King

    Wow, sounds like a great experience. I love watching dogs herd and petting sheep and goats – so tactile. This sounds better than seeing them at the Clackamas County Fair.

  2. Kieran

    Wow, what a coincidence. I just discovered your blog as I am researching a move to BA with my wife and 2 kids. I started from the beginning of the blog and got hooked. Imagine my surprise when I spot myself in the photo above at the sheep shearing (i’m in the blue t-shirt). Then I remembered I was on the bus with you guys back to Calafate (a very wet night). Your youngest daughter was trying to translate all the names of the places you had been to. Small world.

  3. Mich

    Wow! I heard “It’s a Small World” playing in the back of my mind as I read your comment. I can’t believe you’re in the shearing picture. Too crazy!

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