Thursday, February 5, 2015
Market Day - Calm is the Key
We were up bright and early this morning before the sun came up on what I think has been the coldest morning we have had this Winter of course. The thermometer read 5 degrees with maybe a half inch of snow dusting the ground from last night. I already had the stock trailer in place and hooked up all we needed to do was separate the yearlings into the keep (for now) group and the going to market group.
I had my Mom bring out her records and I started grabbing a yearling and read off it's number and she replied with stay or go. We kept six of the largest yearlings for slaughter next month, two new breeder ewes and the rest got loaded. My son was the back gate keeper into the stay paddock while Mom operated the out to market gate.
Before we were halfway finished my son and I fired grandma from record keeping. Her system (if you could call it that) was totally inadequate to our needs. Now that we no longer have to mess with her ex and his nearsighted temper tantrums things went pretty smooth even with the lack of detailed record keeping. By the time we were finished my son was already designing a database in his head to program and we had decided on a new ear tag coding system that starts with right ear girl, left ear boy and get's more complicated from there. We also plan on color coding the tags with the same scheme as we use for marking honey bee queens for year. A five year color coding should fit our needs perfectly.
The key to the entire operation is to not get carried away, don't chase a runner as that just upsets everyone, no yelling and making sure the groups are separate but can clearly see their friends. Oh and doing it before you feed em. They are much easier to move when they think they got grain at the other end.
I know I been saying we were going to market the lambs for a while now but last weeks prices were really up so we decided to jump today. Of course not that it means much as prices maybe down today you just never know. Judging by last weeks prices we should be getting around $3500.00 to 4K out of this batch we took in plus another $200.00 per head for the six slaughter yearlings we kept which we won't take in until next month. I think we are back down to 30 ewes, six yearlings and two rams now. I think.....
That's counting the two yearling ewes we kept to add to the flock.
Market day is always a bit aggravating because it seems there is always some type of confusion, mostly an eartag or two that didn't get recorded properly. Most of this was because of Mom's Ex who would start screaming and not paying attention to the details that matter.
As it turned out I had to unload the little flock as well. They had a kid who was having fun unloading but he obviously didn't know sheep very well as he was attempting to drive em like cattle. I just reached down and grabbed the first yearling by his neck and moved him along so the rest would follow.
We should know tonight what they brought and the feed bill will certainly fall off now for a few months.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!