Yesterday, Glenn, Matt and Becky were separating and counting sheep. Not because they were having a particularly difficult time sleeping, but because we were selling our first Mountain Glen Farm lambs; the first lambs to be born on our farm.
The flock was brought up from the pasture into the barn lot where the ewes were separated from all the remaining 2012 lambs. This was not an easy task. Sheep and lambs are smaller than cattle, so they are able to sneak under gates with ease to the opposite side of the working area than where they belong or they huddle in tighter groups in corners making division more difficult. Some sheep go airborne; as I was able to observe quite a hefty ewe use another sheep’s back as a kind of trampoline, bounding up and over Becky’s head to temporary refuge. Matt went flying across the muddy snow as he tried to maneuver a ewe to its new location. Glenn opened and closed the gate the best he could, but those sheep were faster than his reflexes. I stayed clear out of the way; away from flying hoofs and slippery ice. I know my limitations!
The best ewe lambs were tagged. Only a few, nine, were chosen to stay on as future breeding ewes. We are hoping that these chosen few are the healthiest, most resistant to parasites, and great producers. Of course, only time will tell.
I thought sheep would be easier to move about than the larger cows and calves. Wrong!
Twenty wethers (castrated male lambs) were divided off and placed into the barn. These are the very first lambs to be sold from Mountain Glen Farm.
The remaining lambs, wethers and ewes still to sell; the four breeding rams; the’ keeper ‘ewe lambs and Ember (Becky’s horse) were combined and will spend winter in the barn paddock. Hmm….If I recall, this is the exact same location that I saw the red fox only a few days ago…I wonder if this is a safe prospect???
Polyface Inc, the farm that bought our 2012 grass-fed calves earlier this month, promised to buy 20 lambs. Today was the day of purchase and pick-up.
The 20 lambs were loaded and left our farm, the remaining sheep none the wiser; a bittersweet moment, yet an appropriate end to the year.
|truck leaving with the 20 lambs|
|truck rounding the bend in the driveway as the remaining lambs look on|
As I reflect, I can honestly say that we had another good year at Mountain Glen Farm. The ups far outweighed the downs. We learned a lot and utilized new found knowledge. We made a positive difference.
Now, we will converse about the upcoming year; decide on our direction and any changes to be made; and how best to follow that course. We want to continue to thrive as a family and as a farm. We want our efforts to be constructive and beneficial and mindful.
Well….we best get moving as tomorrow is 2013!