Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Who Stays and Who Goes
Today I am going to spend the afternoon sorting through the sheep. The yearling flock has been separated from the ewes and the rams all Winter and I have been fattening them up. The only problem is my Mother insists on keeping her "special" ones mixed in with the yearling lambs and will scream murder if I try and take one to slaughter or to market. There is actually a yearling lamb she calls "Ittybit" I am going to try and get into the slaughter group but I doubt she stays there. The little lamb might make a sandwich when cut up so it isn't like we need the meat but she will eat tons of grain and fodder as a pet and in a grid down situation that could mean life or death for more than just one useless lamb.
This is another little luxury I tolerate for the time being as it eliminates a bit of strife but the truth is it is something that is going to become more rare as things continue to decline. Sentimentality and turning food animals into pets is a modern day practice that there simply will be no resources for if things take a dive.
My guess is that once readily available pork roasts and other cuts of meat are not just a handy trip to the grocery store away this problem will work itself out. Of course one could say my loading up 10 or 11 yearling lambs to have them conveniently dispatched and returned in wrapped packages is a luxury I won't have either. This is probably true and although a distasteful (at first) job I know between myself and my Step Father we can do it ourselves. We have done so a few times over the years and we have the equipment. Dealing with the pet issue I am hoping will come down to nature making the argument for me and saving me from having to be the big bad guy ogre.
The Mrs. almost completely ignores the yearlings because she knows what is going to happen.
I know the old saying that on a farm everything has a use or it is gone kinda thing. I also know several large scale farmers that live a stones throw away will tell ya that's how they manage things and yet they got an old steer standing out in their pasture that has been there for six years and acts like a dog named Spike. Believe me I know of a few cases like that. We are all guilty of sentimentality when resources are abundant and easy.
I am only saying it is important to be honest with yourself and realize what may have to be done and the changes that may have to be made as the decline continues.
My guess is that a couple of meatless nights combined with her not having to do the dirty work would put in end to the "Ittybit" problems pretty fast.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!