Tag Archives: Sheep

Two-Thirds Sheep-Free

By: Mary

In the very begining of stages of this blogs evolution, I shared my late-winter experiences as a new lamb owner. (See Laundry Basket Lambs and Mary Had A Little Lamb).

 Since then, 6 months has slipped by.

After 8 weeks of bottle feeding, I sent them off to a relatives farm. There, a pasture was in need of being mowed, so it was a helpful solution for my uncle and myself. By this time, I was more than ready to send them off to what I like to call ” sheep foster care”. This worked out great for some time. At one point on a rainy May morning while high on endorphins after having just ran a race, I dropped in to see them. Due to the electric fence being on, I was unable to actually get under the hot wire. I called out their names in hope that they would amble on over and visit with me.The only response I got was blank looks on their faces and the resident goats of the pasture heading my way to visit with me. Annoyed, I yelled out ” What about the good shepherd and faithful sheap?!?” Before leaving I also made mention to them ” Idiots- you know how much money I spent on milk replacer?!”

After the couple of months stint as foster and pasture care sheep, I decided to sell out last week and put an add on Craigslist. I am still the technical owner of Rambuger, but am giving him to my Dad. Oddly enough, I got a lot of responses from people seeking sheep. The man who ended up buying them is a serious sheep guy who farms about 2 hours away. He wants to start milking 600 head of sheep! I found it super funny that on the phone he said, “Can I ask you a question? Do you ever go to a little bar called Leo and Leona’s?” What a small world it is. (Read some pretty amusing stories about Leo and Leona’s here and here)

Now that I am 2/3’s of the way sheep free, I am questioning if this was a one time shepherdess stint for me, or if I would do it again. I guess the answer is, I don’t know. Frankly, I enjoy the challenge of tending to the lambs when they are so small. It’s good busy work..buuuut- I don’t like sheep. When they hit the pasture beast stage I don’t really want to have to worry about them. In the future, I may raise about 6 sheep. This all depends on if I can have them sold to 4-H kids before I even buy them at a day old. That way, I can just feed them up for the first 8 weeks and then sell them off and make some cash. Who knows what will happen. All I know is that I am much more of a horsewoman than a shepherdess. Even if my name is Mary and I take my lambs to school.

Laundry Basket Lambs

Mary

For over a year now, I have been working towards getting sheep. I have read up a lot on them and recently found a lady who lives about 30 minutes from here who has some lambs available. Her name is Brenda Jenson and she is a super amazing woman. Brenda owns about 300 sheep that she uses for milk production. After her husband started in on a mid-life crisis, she went ahead and started her operation which includes an on farm creamery and processing plant. The milk from her sheep is used to make sheep cheese. She makes 6 varieties of cheese that she both markets locally and ships. I have hit the tail end of the lambing season, so when one of the supposed dud ewes has a lamb, Brenda calls me to come pick it up. I take a laundry basket over to her place and ask Brenda a ton of questions. We talk and talk and I wish that I could stay for hours.

So far, I have had success with taking care of my little flock. I am raising the sheep for profit (or so I think…), so I am trying to not get to attached to them. Actually, that is why I choose to get into sheep instead of goats. My business plan for the future is to market them for meat to this Muslim connection that my Dad has. The Muslims will come out, butcher the sheep while facing towards the east, pay cash, end of story. My problem is that I am not so comfortable with Muslim Men….and the sheep are really soft and sweet, a little dim, but really that doesn’t matter so much. To prepare for his vocation I have named my Ram, Ramburger. But I have started to call his Rambo……and I think that perhaps, I could just umm, market his beautiful wool?!?

For the time being, all I know is that I am enjoying my new laundry basket lambs. I love taking my basket and going to Brenda’s farm farm for a sheep shopping binge. The lambs are easy to feed and in good health. I don’t ever have to wake up in the middle of the night to feed them their replacer. The best thing of all about my little shepherdess adventure is that those sweet sweet little sheep make LAUGH!