Thursday, February 20, 2014

Market Day



Today was market day. Time to take the excess lambs away to make room for the new batch that will begin arriving soon. This year there were 18 of them and I broke them down into two groups of 9. I do this because the stock trailer we use can actually be divided in half and I have found that the sheep seem to handle better in groups of around 10 or so. They seem to be more what I call flock conscious and stay together better in their overall nervousness. The larger your group the more apt you are to get a stray as they feel more comfortable. Smaller and they are just plain scared.

If you look closely you can see the blood on the middle one's ear. I really hated that I ripped his ear like that but that's what I get for not tagging him when he was younger.

I didn't feed these guys as much last night as usual because I wanted them a bit hungry this morning so they would focus more on the floating grain bucket leading them into the stock trailer than on the trailer itself. It worked perfectly both batches loaded easily and not one stray or nervous sheep ramming the temporary chute I made for them or escaping into the wild.

These sheep are a mixture of breeds with no bloodlines or anything special to speak of. Mostly Chevoit, with some Merino and Rambouillet mixed in, not sure what else. These are also the runts of the crop honestly. We keep the good looking ewes to add to the flock and the big boy whethers will go to slaughter in a week or so. A couple of the ewes were actually looking good but we don't have a ram to breed em too since the two rams we have are now grand dad and dad respectively. Those would have been the ones I would keep out for special buyers but no one contacted us this year so they went to market too.

Thems the breaks....

They will all more than likely sell as feeder lambs but there were a couple large enough to go straight out as slaughter ewes. The reason I don't know how they sold is because my mother refuses to stay for the actual auction and insisted I bring her back home before it begins. The sale barn will mail us a check which is fine we have used them before and they are trustworthy. My partner just cannot watch her sheep ran around, poled and prodded etc. Other than that she handled the whole thing rather well I must say.

I did notice something rather odd today at the sale barn though. There were at least three different younger couples looking over the sheep and goats obviously as buyers. That isn't what was unusual although there usually isn't so many. Today the place had more out of state license plates than in state in the parking lot and this isn't a large enough operation nor were they large enough transport vehicles to be actually coming from the states they had tags for. One of them was an Alaska plate. I also saw Oregon, Utah and New Jersey.

I am wondering if Missouri isn't seeing an influx of prepper/sustainable minded homesteaders? There is no way someone from any of those states would come here to buy or sell they have to be transplants.

Just an interesting tidbit.

Tomorrow it's back to normal operation stuff.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!





27 comments:

  1. Preppy..Do you ever shear the sheep for the wool?

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    1. MB - Oh ya we shear em, or rather we have a professional come and shear em it's actually a much more complicated process than you would think at first blush. My mother actually spins and knits the yarn and does many demonstrations of it all over. Mostly though the wool anymore is already sold before we get it bagged up locally it is in high demand.

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  2. Transplants? Perhaps so. But a lot of retired folks here spend their winters driving the Alcan & heading to the States for warmer weather. But you might be right. It's also a fact that a lot of folks love Alaska, but after 30 or 40 years (or longer), they get tired of shoveling snow.

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    1. RP - The guy from Alaska was driving a new shiny F350 but pulling a trailer with some small goats and sheep in it for auction. I was thinking maybe a seasonal oil worker or something for him. It is certainly not a sight I see at the sale barn often to say the least.

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    2. Oh he was older as well I wanna say mid to upper 60's.

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  3. Maybe these folks go around and buy/sell sheep?? Buy in Missouri and sell in another state.??

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    1. Rob - The margin is too low for the size of the transport vehicles they had. It just wouldn't pay and prices are set pretty much nationally with little if any regional variance I have ever seen.

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  4. I am wondering if Missouri isn't seeing an influx of prepper/sustainable minded homesteaders?

    Hopefully, as long as they aren't know it all Yankees coming down to teach us how to live. :)

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    1. BT - Well the Jersey plate could be. Utah and Oregon could go either way. The Oregon couple were sure trying to look the country part but the girl seemed a bit upset she was getting sheep and goat poo on her tassel cowgirl rodeo boots. I always forget what that brand name is but all the goatropers wear em.

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    2. the girl seemed a bit upset she was getting sheep and goat poo on her tassel cowgirl rodeo boots.

      Oh, boy. :)

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    3. Wish I could remember the actual name of them. The guys wear em too and they look identical but they are quite popular around here.

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  5. I am wondering if she thinks she is going to get zapped if she doesn't cooperate:)

    Sorry, every time your Mom comes up, I think of that story and laugh.

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    1. Russ - That was funny. I never thought those things would build up a slight charge like that. :)

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  6. Maybe all those new people will run the price up. I see very few sheep around here though we have a few at work and they were getting hooves trimmed the other day.

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    1. Sf - I have not seen where we would get below or above the "range" when sold in a group kinda thing. We did sell a ram a few years ago that got bid out as a stud ram and he got more than the average. I suppose it could happen though.

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  7. I have never touched a sheep...saw a few out in the wilds of Eastern Washington and Idaho....fascinating. You might have something on the out of state folks. If true it's a good trend.

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    1. Stephen - I hear those Florida sheep all know you by name man :)

      It's just not your real name...

      Seriously though I would have never thought of them myself. I owe getting into sheep entirely to my mother as she picked up a bottle baby years ago and started the whole thing. She is a master at getting everyone to help her and as she kept adding sheep we kinda figured the whole thing out. Now we have a flock and continue to grow.

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  8. like i said, choosing up sides. won't be long now.

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    1. RR - Ya it looks that way a lot doesn't it.

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  9. My sheep story. :)

    Farm Animals At Dixieland
    http://www.namsouth.com/viewtopic.php?t=3265&highlight=sheep

    When we were in Vietnam last time, wild dogs killed about 12 of my sheep including lambs I had just bought. Our third night back, they returned, I edged towards the barn with my 12 gauge and stood waiting for a clear shot at one of the two as they were amongst the sheep. They never even saw me. When I had a shot, I pulled the trigger, saw two "bodies" fall and thought I must have hit a sheep also, but lo and behold, by some miracle I had hit both dogs!

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    1. Nice shootin!!! We have never lost a lamb or sheep to predation but we keep em in some tight pens and the lambs are kept in the barn until they are a couple of months old. I have seen the coyotes come up close hoping a time or two however.

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    2. Neat forum too BTW. I will register (if it's permitted) when I get done working. Just in for a quick break right now.

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  10. Thanks, but that's really just to save my family and Vietnam stuff. Not much goes on there.

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  11. PP,

    I've never raised sheep, wouldn't mind doing so later in life for their hair and meat. I'm wondering if you mom leaves because she's attached to her sheep. This way it's easier on her emotionally?

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    1. Sandy - Oh that's exactly why. But here's my problem it's mostly all in her imagination. There is no way she can form some kind of physical attachment to that many sheep. I'm sorry hell she can't even tell who is whom on 80% of them. It's just some kind of silly emotional umbrella like attachment. Almost along the same lines the Liberals use to get more welfare money and simply put I have no tolerance for it in general.

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