Farming is hard y'all! It's not all dancing through a field of daisies with your flock peacefully grazing around you. It's lugging feed, stacking hay, getting stepped on and kicked, trudging through the snow while carrying buckets of water sloshing against your legs refreshing water as fast as it can freeze. It's shoveling manure in 90° weather with 80% humidity, scrubbing water troughs daily and doing everything in your power to save a newborn lamb that you know won't make it through the night. Farming is hard on your body and harder on your heart.
The joy in farming definitely outweighs the heartache, blood, sweat and tears. There is nothing that can put a bigger smile on your face than sitting back and watching as a ewe delivers her lambs, cleans them up and feeds them their first meal unassisted. This joy continues as those lambs grow and flourish and the next year one of those lambs continues the tradition and delivers her lambs, cleans them up and feeds them their first meal unassisted.
Our farm has gone through many growing pains with quite a few more in the future. These growing pains have not been limited to our different herds but have stretched out to the buildings and expansion of the farm itself. We have plans this fall to clear and fence more pasture area.
Breeding season was in September. This means that I was busy mapping out which ewes I will breed to which rams. Breeding groups is something I don't take lightly. At the end of the day I am completely responsible for each and every animal that is born on my farm. It is my obligation to be sure that I have matched up the best ewe and ram combination I can to create a lamb with the best possible genetic potential. I am planning on retaining a few ewe lambs in the spring so that I can grow my flock of breeding ewes. So much thought goes into continuing certain traits in my animals and minimizing other less desirable traits. I pour over pairings that will improve fleece quality, improve parasite resistance, increase mothering ability and rate of lamb growth. I take into consideration past breedings and their outcomes, my animal's overall health over the past year and so much more.
I am eager to get started building fence for new pastures and (im)patiently awaiting our spring lambs!