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where we are in the year's cycle


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The Year's Cycle


The year begins in the fall with the flushing of the ewes. sheep eatingAbout 17 days before turning the ram in with them, we give the girls grain, to put them on a rising plane of nutrition. They'd get new pasture, too, if the grass were still growing. (And if the weather keeps on warming, there soon will be.) This year's flushing starts on October 22.


The ram joins the girls and breed them all in about three weeks. Breeding this year starts on November 7.


During December, January, February and March, about 145 days in total, the ewes are eating and waiting.


Mid March is when they are shorn,shearing and when we find out if Mac did his job.This is also the time when we seperate the guys from the girls (Mac and the two wethers, Sunny and Blizzard go into their own pasture), just so it's easier to go in the barnyard and not get rammed. Shearing this year will be on March 15.


One morning I go down to the barn and hear the wonderful sound of mama talking to baby. lamb&momOr else of a grunting ewe who's about to give birth. Either way, I go into action with my newborn "kit". Iodine, scissors, container to collect colostrum if I need it, tube to feed the lamb in case it doesn't nurse, scale. After the lamb nurses, I move it into a pen, and mom follows. Mom gets warm water with molasses, and a nice bunch of the best hay.

It's tricky when more than four moms and lambs are in pens. Lambing starts this year about April 3.


People start visiting when the lambs are out of the pens - three or four days old. As more lambs are running around, they run in packs and bounce when they run. kids in hay feederVisitors get a handful of grain, which will get moms to come to them. Lambs just bounce. This is the funnest season. Visiting will probably start about April 20 this year.


Once the lambs are eating grass, they are out almost all the time, although they come in to the barn to get out of the sun. Meanwhile the guys have been out on the pasture since the grass started growing.


On this farm, lambs stay with moms until August, when the days start getting shorter. Then, since we don't want any surprise January lambs, we worm everyone, give them rabies shots, and send the moms away from the lambs. We keep the lambs in the barn for a day or two, until they start enjoying each others company, and stop missing mom.


October or November is the cycle's end. The lambs are now sent to the butcher, who prepares them for the freezer. They are transformed into food for those who appreciate knowing where their food comes from. The skins are dried and then sent to the tannery, which transforms them into baby beds or rugs. The ewes come back from the upper pasture, and we plan for the whole cycle to begin again.