Thursday, October 04, 2007

...and sometimes planned

Somehow they seem to know. Winter had been sucking up to me for several weeks. Maybe he was just mellowing out. I've had other sheep turn around and become friendly right after "the decision" was made. Winter has one bad horn, and Tori had mastitis. We have other, nicer sheep who live on. (Tori hasn't been sucking up - she's just wild.) They were "on my list" for weeks and just kept getting put off.


Photo of Winter last spring. This horn is the one that grew flat against his cheek. We don't need a white ram with a bad horn and average fleece.

Here's Tori - so full of promise as a lamb, and a very well conformed Shetland. She panics when she's cornered and jumps fences, had mastitis this spring and her wool isn't as fine as I'd like. She's making room for nicer Shetlands.

Today was a whirlwind day. We were out of hay; we were out of alfalfa pellets; we were out of grain; and the grass isn't that abundant any more. The pasture lane is full of mud, so the hay delivery truck can't get to the hay barn. The next 6 days are going to be full of agility trials. I'm Chairman of two trials on Saturday and Sunday, then judging on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for the Labrador Retriever Club's National Specialty. This is the season for cutting down to winter numbers, which means sheep must go. That was the setup for today.

First off (after Starbucks :-) I went to the grain mill for alfalfa, sheep, and laying pellets - we save about $2 per 50 lb bag by going a few miles to the mill in Tacoma. They loaded up the truck with 2200 lb of feed in 50# bags. I stopped at the local ethnic butcher on the way home to see if they had room in their schedule to process 2 sheep for us. If I could get back with the sheep within the hour, they could. Home again to pick up the trailer, Winter and Tori, salt and plastic bags for pelts, tarp for hay.

There is something a little unsettling about haltering a sheep and leading it to slaughter. Winter and Tori led right up to the door. Not long after, I salted their pelts and carried them out in boxes. They lived well, and died quickly and humanely.

Then, on to the feed store where we'd ordered 10 tons of hay. They are supposed to deliver the hay. We ordered and paid for the hay on Friday. On Sunday, it started to rain. It's been raining since, making mud in front of the barn. DH spread gravel in front of the barn with the tractor. That helped in front of the barn, but made slippery, muddy tracks where the tractor drove. So, we'll pick up hay as needed until they can get it delivered. Today I picked up 18 bales. Now, the truck is filled with 2200 lbs of feed, two "sheep in a box", 2 salted pelts, 18 bales of hay and one ram head. Of course, I had to stop at the grocery store on the way home to get ingredients for spaghetti dinner at the Agility trial on Saturday.

Have you followed all of this?
Home
Starbucks
Feed Mill
Home
Meat Processor
Feed Store
Grocery Store
Home

...then unpack it all and make spaghetti sauce and print out all the information needed for the agility trial setup tomorrow.

...and finish the last of the braided fleece tugs for agility prizes.

Oh... and post this new blog. :-)

Retirement is so relaxing. :-P

- Franna

6 comments:

Kathy L. said...

Remember to come up for air once and a while, Franna! :)

We plan on moving what we can out of the feed room and attacking our vermin problem...mouse turds everywhere and I first must spray bleach before we don surgical masks to haul things out - we are in the heart of Hanta Virus Territory here. Sigh.

Who do you send your pelts to for processing? I know time is coming that I, too, will be making these kind of decisions. The person here who raises Churros throws her pelts away!!! I mentioned that if hse had them processed, it could be another source of income for her - she said she never thought of it and wasn't I smart....well, duh!

Can't wait to hear about your weekend and next week...it sounds like you'll need a couple of extra shots added to the Caramel Macchiato! LOL Remember to have fun, too!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I am emotionally and physically drained just READING about your day....

Tina T-P said...

Boy, am I glad I have to work for a living...your day makes me tired just reading about it. T.

Franna said...

heh... I might have to go BACK to work, just so I can sit for a while. ;-)
We send the pelts to Bucks County Fur in Pennsylvania. They've done a nice job for us in the past. We'll have to see how well they do the "natural" Gotland pelts.
- Franna

shepherdchik said...

Maybe you should go back to work instead of keeping up the whole retirement thing...it sounds awfully tiresome!

Kathy L. said...

Thanks for the pelt info, Franna...I may have two to send myself - the jury is still out on the fate of two of the boys...I say freezer, but will check on the possibility of fiber for someone else IF they agree to pay the vet bill for wethering. (sigh)