Monday, March 16, 2015
We Knew You Were a Traitor!!!
Today was the day. The last day of easy living for the (mostly) whethers who by now thought that life was just their oyster. Up until today they have been given plenty of forage, a little extra grain every day, all the lounge and play time a young sheep could ask for. A dry roof over their heads. Some big two legged sheep would come by and fork hay over to them and even play with them when they got a bit over excited and tried headbutting a bit. Life was just grand. It was great being a sheep.
When I ventured into their pen after I had the loading chute all set up they came running up to me looking for food. It was really no big deal to stand by the gate and open it for a slaughter lamb while pushing the ones we are keeping aside. We had one that got a bit jumpy and was a somewhat of a problem but eventually got him in with the others. Even once they were separated they didn't catch on. They eagerly ran up the chute and into the trailer following the sound of grain.
Then the door of doom closed behind them.
When I got them to the slaughter yard and unloaded them they all turned to look at me like I was the most despicable traitor that ever walked the face of the earth.
Oh well such are the facts of life. A mans gotta eat.
Before taking the lambs to slaughter and after morning feeding I had another load of that green Oak to split up and haul back. That job is blessedly finished. Since it was in a friend's yard I had to wheel barrow the wood about 20 yards to the truck. I took my son along with me this morning to do that part so I could finish up.
The first row of the firewood deep reserve is now pretty much filled once again. This green Oak is going to take at least a year to cure so I emptied my reserve spot of the old wood and am now refilling it with this green stuff. Should give it a long time to cure and longer before it get's so dry I have to burn it so it is perfect to begin replenishing my deep reserve with.
After the last load of this particular tree it was time to unload about 25 square bales into the loft.
I had my son stack them as I tossed em up to him. We don't normally buy hay but since last year was such a bumper year for hay around here and our neighbors had this left over and really wanted to free up some space they sold us 78 bales at a dollar each. Can't beat that with a stick as it's pretty good quality. I figured what the hell the loft was sitting empty anyway might as well fill it. At that price I can use it for straw or bedding if nothing else. It won't really fill the loft anyway, we have had well over 300 bales up there years ago but it looks better to be in use once again.
While we were in there we discussed putting up one of those old time bale pulley systems. I think it would be a cool addition to the old barn. I know it used to have one years ago and we could use it for our small Alfalfa bales. Because I ain't tossing Alfalfa bales up there let me tell you. These bales weighed in at about 40 or 50 pounds and my arms are feeling it right now as it is. Alfalfa bales will go 100 easy sometimes. I don't mind man-handling them around on level ground but I ain't tossing em 15 feet into the air.
Before all this sheep moving and hay throwing could get underway I had to move the 8N out of it's home. The 8N didn't mind one bit, it likes being out in the sun, but the barn cat was not happy I stole his nap spot.
This guy is named Braveheart. He was born down in the loafing shed a couple years ago from a dropped off stray cat that was pregnant. We found him a home but by the time we had discovered the litter was down there they were almost completely feral and he never fit in with the family that took him so they brought him back. He is actually quite tame now but he totally disappeared until this Winter so that we thought he had either found another home or had met with an accident. About January though he showed up in the barn and hasn't left since. I suspect that he joined the local cat population that wanders between our barn and the neighbors and then this Winter decided ours was his home again. We had him neutered two years ago so there wasn't any wild oat sowing going on or anything. Funny thing about this cat he is the exact opposite of his name. He is literally scared to death of his own shadow. His mother was the meanest cat I ever met though. She wasn't very big but she was a scrapper which is why she isn't around anymore as she got into it with the neighbor's dogs. Too bad to because she was also the only cat I ever known who would go up into the very top rafters of football field sized barn and clean out the pigeons for me.
Anyway I think this cat is about the prettiest one we have around here. He is a ticked tabby and has turned very affectionate. Just don't try and make him come into a house or he will scratch your eyeballs out.
So we got everything done today believe it or not. I had my doubts when I rolled out of bed this morning that it was all going to come together at all but it did.
Now it's time to go pass out.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!