Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Winter Slumber or as Close as we are Going to Get

This winter has continued as an unusually warm and dry winter. Despite the weather, I have basically taken a month off from most farm work, except for the usual day-to-day chores. That is not to say we have not accomplished anything this month. I sold off 7 sheep this month. I am now down to 10 ewes from a high of over thirty from last winter. We have culled down to our best animals and will take our breeding forward from here.

Sheep we had outside still, many of these got sold off

We have also been lambing and are now done. We have 13 lambs out in the building. Our survival rates were not all that impressive, but they are an improvement upon last year. Better facilities and tighter breeding windows will help lamb survival in the future.

A Young Ewe and Her Lamb

Hazel is really enjoying the lambs. She often asks to see the lambs simply by putting on her boots and stocking cap then banging on the front door or trying to turn the knob while repeating the word "babies" repeatedly. Rarely a day goes by that she does not go out and see them.

Hazel Petting One of the Young Lambs

We are beginning to get ready for the next production season. I have been frost seeding legumes with a hand seed spreader over 15 acres. We did attend the Living Green Fair at the Second Reformed Church in Pella. It worked out well for us as we not only sold a number of products, but we also made quite a few new customer contacts. I want to thank the event organizers for putting together a successful evening.

We are working on doing inventory of our remaining 2011 products. We are looking at doing a delivery cycle in mid-March. This will help customers to stock their freezers and allow them to get items for their Easter meals. The March delivery will help empty out the freezers and bring in some more cash to begin to buy chicks, bedding and feed. Our production troubles from last year have left us in a fragile spot to start a production season and we still have to buy around $1,000 in hay to get us to spring. It is our goal to have our production and delivery schedule up and available with a current order form up on the site in the next couple weeks. So stay tuned folks as we begin to pull together our 2012 production season.

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