Our part of Ohio had a fair amount of rain and the temperature has been in the low 50s during the day this week, and it helped greened up the pastures a little bit. In between the rain we were able to build temporary fenced-in paddock to hold the 2012 lambs. The sky was clear on Saturday so Beth and I were able to bring in all the sheep and check them for health and weight, and separated those that were going to breed and the 2012 lambs that won’t.
We were about finished and ready to move the lambs when some folks that are buying our lamb stopped by. It was good opportunity for us to show them the lamb they are going to purchase and explain a little bit about our operation. If you are going to buy fresh food, be it vegetables or meat, I highly recommend going to that farm and checking out the operation and seeing for yourself how the farm business enterprise is managed.
After they left we finished moving the lambs. Lambs are a little tricky to move without established lanes across a farm. It’s a bit like moving with a group of teenagers at the mall. As we moved from the sheep sorting area the group broke into two and one group stayed with me and the other broke for our house. But like being with teenagers, the key is to stay calm (I can hear the laughs from my sons right about now). Beth was able to get them at least moving in my direction, so once I got my group into the paddock I was able to head back and help Beth with the aid of cracked corn. Cracked corn is to sheep like candy is to 5th graders. Once breeding is finished we’ll move the lamb ewes back in with the flock, where they’ll be together until the spring. We’ll separate them during lambing.
After church we got our ram ready for breeding. That meant getting him from his holding area and traveling pretty much across the farm to where the ewes are located. But all went well and he cooperated. This isn’t always the case; some can get pretty aggressive especially at this time of year. But we are fortunate to have purchased a fairly gentle ram from good stock. Close to where the ewes were I had positioned the marking paint a head of time I apply to his chest. The marking paint lets me know whom he’s been with; from there I can have a good idea when the lambs will be born.
Next week we send our first group of lambs to the butcher, and we are also lining up the following week too.
The week before last I brought in all of our egg layers (Rhode Island Reds) to an Amish family to butcher for us. We got them back Beth has been cooking them, and since the chickens are two and half years old you have to cook them a little different, actually a lot longer. In case you don’t know the chicken you eat at home or in the restaurant is about 12 to 18 weeks old. Beth has made some chicken potpie and chicken dumpling soup, and the flavor is very noticeable; nothing gamey, really a stronger chicken flavorful.
I'll be updating the weblog as winter sets in, which has been well over due. I plan on posting some pictures too.
Well that’s it for now. Have a good week.