Sunday, March 15, 2015
Sunday Reading - A Busy Week Ahead
This is going to be one of the busiest weeks around the Small-Hold for a while. Tomorrow afternoon I have to separate out the slaughter lambs and load them up. I finally asked at what point a lamb becomes a sheep and was told if they are under a year old and 150 pounds they are still considered lambs for meat processing. Then another expert said it was under a year and a half. Anyway I decided to research this and found out there are many different explanations for when a lamb becomes a sheep most of which depends on the incisor growth inside the mouth. After so many explanations I decided to use the less than one year old method. After that they are mutton. No way I am wasting time on milk fed only lambs that just seems wrong for some reason.
After the slaughter lambs are pulled out of the mix it's then time to bring all the ewes together and begin this year's lambing preparations. The birthing stalls must be made ready with new bedding and emergency heat lamps plus all the other birthing accessories. We should have the timing set to where the lambs won't start showing up until next week at the earliest but ya never know.
All this is really in preparation for shearing day that is scheduled for Saturday. Currently there are three yearlings out there earmarked as my shearing practice victims. They were members of the escapee group that ran into the cockle burr patch so there is no saving their fleece anyway. The perfect candidates for my inept shearing practice.
Between now and then I also have 60 square bales of hay to pick up from the neighbors and throw up into the hay loft. I imagine it's going to take me at least two trips to get em all and I am not looking forward to tossing them up into the loft by hand. I need to look into buying one of those conveyor things for the hay. We used to have one but got rid of it when we switched to round bales. Not my decision at the time but now I need one again.
After the sheep are sheared and preps are in place it's going to be work around the barn and checking the girls often so we don't miss a birthing. Since we leave the ewes in with the rams for so long we could be delivering lambs from now until June. The ewes will be kept inside the barn with only a small dry lot available to them until the lambs are ready to go outside. As each ewe shows signs the birthing is starting we will move her into a birthing stall so she can spend the first couple of days alone with her new ones and bond then it's time to introduce the lambs to the flock.
The cycle begins anew once again.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!