A herder is a worker who lives a pastoralist life gathering and caring for a herd of domesticated livestocks. Different to a husbandry worker, who works at fixed (and often fenced) grazing settlements known as ranches, herders move with the livestocks wandering around open wild pastures in a nomadic/semi-nomadic fashion.

A herdboy with his sheep in search of fodder at Chinawal, India
Shepherd sheep in Patagonia, Argentina


Usually if the person is a minor, he is called herdboy, an adult male herder is usually called a herdsman and a female herder by contrast is also called a herdswoman.[1] Because their work is necessarily mostly outdoors, they move around from place to place in the course of their labours. The possibility exists that the lands upon which their beasts graze are not claimed as any single person's property.

A number of romantic legends have sprung up around some aspects of their way of life. Some herders whose lifestyles have become mainstays of fiction include:

Other names

See also


  1. Brooks, Alexandra (2003-06-19). "26 farm workers to receive long service awards". FarmingUK. The Breezi Publishing Company Ltd. Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2007-08-20.
  2. "Pictures of campinos, from the Ribatejo tourism office". Rtribatejo.org. Archived from the original on 2005-09-15. Retrieved 2011-12-25.
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