Anyway, While we worked inside we talked about the lambs and how many we have been blessed with. Mom at one point was singing and dancing around to an old 80's song called "It's Rainin' Men" but she was changing the words to say It's rainin' Lambs ...I guess if you were a teen in the 80's you would think that was funny. I, however, was not amused.
So where was I? Oh yes, the many lambs we have. First, let me back up and explain a couple of things to those that don't know. Normally Shepherds don't keep any rams that are born on their farms. As common practice, they band them at the same time they dock their tails and then only keep them only until shearing (if they are a fiber farm), Farms that don't harvest the wool sell them at weaning time (which it about 3-4 months old depending on breed, health and size). That way they get the fleece (again that is only If they harvest for wool) and the price of the weither (a fixed ram) by selling it for meat or show. Ewes stay because that way you can grow the herd to the size your land can sustain and each year sell the Weithers for cash income. They do this until the herd grows to the correct size, keeping only Ewes from each years "crop" Then when they reach the right size they start keeping the younger ewes and selling the older ewes. For example in one year a shepherd gets 4 ewe lambs and 5 rams. If his herd is the size he can handle he would sell his oldest 4 ewes and keep the baby ewes. Then he would band the rams and sell them after shearing. With this way of operating you also have to get a different ram Every two years because you can't breed father to daughter. The first year of the new Ewe's life she won't be bred but by the second she will so the Ram has to change. Does any of this make any sense at all to anyone???
With most of our many blessed lambs we have many Young Rams. So that leaves me to worry. I know I can't keep them all but as most of you know I am a different kind of Shepherd ... (Really? You didn't notice? How sweet of you to be so kind ... LOL) So I have talked Mom into letting me keep a select few. First, I know I am going to keep Pickles. He will probably be Momma's last Baby because she is about 11 years old. Besides he is Black and fits in with our colored flock so nicely. Also I will be keeping Both of Seneca's Babies because one was a girl and the other is a beautiful full blooded black OE Southdown Babydoll. I will be keeping Cheyenne because not only is she Momma's Baby but she is a girl. So out of 11 lambs so far I am definately keeping 4??? But I dont' want them to go to be eaten ... Mom says either all the rest better be girls or I have some deciding to do ... I know I can't keep them all. We struggle to pay the feed and hay bills as it is now. Not to mention all the electric it takes to run those large heat lamps. The money I make from selling shares covers the shearing bill and the mill bill with just a little left over to put in my college fund. I am not getting that fund to grow as much as I would like. I know I have to be realistic but I want to keep them all.... any Ideas on who would love to have a lamb or two that wouldn't eat them?? I have on 4-H family that wants one just as a pet for the kids to play with because they stay small so I know another one will be safe but really how do people do this, make money AND not be broken hearted??? Any Ideas??
I am trying to hash a plan and get it going to assure that all the quads will live full, long, lives but so far I haven't heard back from my partner in crime. If it works out that will be 4 more that won't be eaten. That leaves 2 that I have now and any unborn rams that I am unsure about. A little help here Please ... LOL
Now I just have to show you this ... Jethro actually thinks Cheyenne is his buddy. We take her out at least once a day and today Jethro gave Cheyenne his "Buddy" Jethro loves that teddy bear and he carries it everywhere. I can't believe he let her play with it. Half the time he won't even let me have it ... Check it out ...