Saturday, October 31, 2009

Holding Out...

...for Breeding Season to begin.
S'more Courante
This is the time of year when I want to throw the girls in with their designated boyfriends and just get it all over with. But no...later March or Earliest April is NOT the best time for lambs to hit the ground at my farm. I'm still working at my seasonal job...the world is still cold and frozen or cold and mud...and the grass won't show up for another month. I tried it once, and it wasn't worth it.
So I hold out a little longer. Sometime after Thanksgiving I'll match everyone up. After that I keep an eye out for "evidence" in the pens. Guesses and suspicions get scribbled in my sheep date-book. And I long for that run of three tolerable warm days after the first of the year to tear down the breeding groups and put the rams into some sort of squeeze pen. I don't want them to kill each other with space to fight, or freeze to death from lack of room to bed down properly.
Why do I do all this work? By January I've forgotten. Sometimes the only reason I keep going is because it would be a crime to let these sheep starve in the dead of winter. Keep it all going until spring when I can sensibly sell out.
Nature has her tricks, though. About the time I start crying at the slightest provocation during the daylight because I've been sleep-deprived from doing 2am barn checks since the beginning of April, there comes a perfect lamb. And if it's not perfect, the next one might be. One whole create this promise of hope that carries enough momentum to perpetuate my love of being a shepherd.
Ram Lambs
early October
As it happens, my ram situation is still in flux and might change dramatically before Thanksgiving. My original published breeding plans have been thrown out the window. I'll need the next few weeks to come up with new ones. But time to reflect and consider is something I have.


Gail V said...

I ditto the sentiments on breeding pens and timing. I'd LOVE to get it over with this early-- the hauling of hay and water buckets to five or six different fields and pens, checking on them twice a day--
and then the fearsome recombining when there's snow everywhere and electronets have frozen into the ground-- it's painful.
But the lambs, the lambs.
Nice to see handsome young Ash cohabiting peacefully with BIG-horned buddies!

Theresa said...

Hi Sabrina! Courante looks great and so do the rest of your boys! Been meaning to post but kept getting interrupted.
Sent someone your way regarding the spectacular Jchen. I REALLY like that boy! If I didn't have Bramble McDreamie I would have snatched him up long ago.
Hang in there!

Michelle said...

Oh my! Sounds like big news/big changes, and you only gave us a tease!

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Ash is doing just fine. He doesn't challenge the horns. The hornies fight each other for position but I've never seen them take a swipe at Ash. I like him more and more each day. And I can hardly wait till all the rams around here are polled like he is! Thanks for letting me use him. I hope the ones I sent you are doing fine too.

Thanks for the referral! Maybe something can come of it. We've already spoken. Courante is doing great too. He's so gorgeous out there.

I don't mean to tease. I'll try to post soon and dish. :)