Thursday, February 20, 2014
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!!!