Saturday, October 13, 2007

Getting Ready


It's that time of year, isn't it? It's time here to put the garden to bed now that we've had killing frosts almost every night...time to watch the aspen leaves turning first gold, then brown, then flutter by in the breeze in order to make room for next year's leaves. So, too, it's time on the farm to see who stays, and who goes on to other herds of sheep.

Above are the three ram lambs who are now ready to go on to flocks of their own. Well, all except Shaun who won't be for sale for a while. But Sheep Thrills Sven and Sheep Thrills Ole are more than ready to go! Yesterday when I was working around the barn I was witness to the game of "Head Butting" between the ram lambs. I don't know if it was the wind yesterday or the chage of weather in the air, or just boys being boys. Shaun would back up and run full throttle towards Sven, who was doing the same thing on the opposite side of their pen. They met in the middle with a thonk! that shook the ground and gave me a headache just watching them. This went on for a bit until Sven, who by now was a wee bit unsteady on his legs, backed off and let Shaun win for this day. I had dreams last night of finding Sven prostrate on the ground dead. Thank heavens it was only a dream.

Apparently this demonstration of ramliness did not go unnoticed from their sire. Skit was rather upset with Shaun and the intensity of his attack against his half-brothers as he would bang his head on their pen fencing in what I could only attribute as anger at the roughness in the boys demeaner. I stood there, just thinking to myself but saying to no one in particular, "Too much testosterone."
Sheep Thrills Ole

Part of being any sort of livestock producer is that you have to let animals go...for what ever reason it may be. Whether it be new homes for breeding purposes, or off somewhere to eventually feed someone, it's a fact of life on a farm you have to steel yourself for. You can't keep them all. And some of them should not be allowed to pass on their genetics. Whatever the reason, as a breeder of any type of farm animal there comes a time when reality creeps into things and the decision is made to let some of your charges go on. And so it is here. I will do my best to find good homes for the boys. That's part of the job. And sometimes I just tell myself...

if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.


5 comments:

Leigh said...

It seems a little sad, but I'm sure those boys will be happier with flocks of their own. It's good to see the romance of farming from the side of reality. I'm just glad you have a market for them.

Kathy L. said...

Thanks Leigh...yes, they really do need to spread their genes around, all except Shaun who is going to be wethered next month due to some ? with his horn growth. That's the other side as well...it's our responsibility as breeders to allow only those with great genes be allowed to pass them along and not breed indiscriminately just because we can.
I know that someday I will have a decision to make about an animal who is not pet-material, fiber-material or breeding material.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Ole is certainly a handsome young ram. I WAS hoping to see individual shots of the other two boys, but understand that these sheep aren't great for "posing." That's why I haven't posted any new sheep photos recently! Today is our last dry day in the forecast, so I must go down and muck out the sheep fold now. Free exercise - ha!

Val said...

So the boys are really getting into it now. I remember when we were there how they had started and indeed I had the same headache feeling as they banged heads then. Good luck on finding our mates new homes and I am sorry Shaun's horn problem has not improved

shepherdchik said...

Wow, look how big those ram lambs have gotten since the last time you posted their pics!