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Monday, September 14, 2015

Life with the lambs

Another summer is coming to a close and I realized I haven't reflected much on our time with these four boys. Spoiler alert: the lambs are for meat  and we have a little over a month left with them. It's been a pretty relaxing summer on the farm after we processed the chickens. The lambs are easy - they take about 5 minutes each morning. One minute to freshen their water and four minutes of some love, petting, and attention. We haven't been feeding them grain this summer which may be why they aren't as noisy as the ladies were last summer. They've been enjoying a smorgasbord of grasses, leaves, and apples.

A difference that I forgot to expect between ewes and rams was the horns. While most of the horns haven't grown in, a few have broke through which has made for a couple bloody mornings - nothing a little Googling and some cornstarch couldn't fix though. The rams have grown a lot faster and are now much bigger than even the girls at the end of last season. 





 



Remembering what it felt like to send last year's lambs to slaughter puts my stomach in knots. I remember crying as we loaded up the livestock trailer, wishing that we could just keep them as pets. But they aren't pets, they are meat. They nourish us and our loved ones and we are so grateful for that. Sharing the meat with family and neighbors over the last year has brought us a lot of pride - especially when we know how much love and respect we give the animals for the short time they are with us. So a few more cuddles and pets for the boys and then it's on to the next season. Cheers to them!

4 comments:

  1. Nice pictures and I'm a bit sad for the sheep. I like the one on the right (the slightly blurry one) on the second and third last picture.
    I have to admit that I'm a bit in awe of people who manage to love their animals and slaughter them anyway. Don't get me wrong: I love sheep and lamb as meat and I understand fully the necessity for hard decisions. However, I don't think I'm cut out for it. I had to put a few animals down for medical reasons - these were very hard (and wet) decisions on my part). I don't think I could make it regarding the slaugther. Chicken - yes. But bigger animals? I'm just not cut out for it which just goes to show the advantage that everyone is different.
    Nice pictures and wish you a nice autumn!
    (p.s. I'm breeding llamas and alpacas since appr. 20 years.)

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    1. Hi there,

      I totally agree! It's very difficult and I could never have imagined raising animals for meat, but we made a personal decision to raise and be very close to the meat that we do eat. It's a constant reminder that with life, there is death.

      Thanks for stopping by! I loved checking out your llama photos.

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  2. I cried when we loaded our first beef steer onto the truck.... mainly because our other steer made such a fuss after the truck drove away! When we got the meat back it was wonderful! Actually I find it less upsetting to have them butchered on the farm. At least I know how their life ended and that they were not stressed. I admit to having to turn around and wipe my eyes when they are first shot, trying not to get Pete started too, in front of the butcher and all! I think that shows that we respect the animals and appreciate their sacrifice, we couldn't raise them if we didn't care for them. I have made the mistake of getting far too attached to our dairy cow, but that is another story....

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    1. I wish we could find someone to come by and do it on our property! It was nearly impossible to find someone to come and do our chickens (which is why we spent 20+ hours in man/woman-labor doing it on our own anyway). Ideally we would be doing it on our own and even closer to the process, but baby steps!

      I can't imagine how close you could get to dairy cows - they are such sweet animals. I would have a very hard time when it was finally time to say goodbye! I felt that way with the layers versus the meat birds.

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