Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Late Night Sale Barn Story

It's November. Ranch life this time of the year is a little bit slower than the rest of the year.

Most of the does are dry, we about 12 does in milk. Most of the does are bred, there are about 5 does left to breed. We have reduced our herd numbers by quite a large number - the entire goat herd is about 60 head and about 30 sheep. So yeah, while that may seem like a lot to some of you - it doesn't seem like much to any of us. But downsizing is always good during the winter... it means a cheaper feed bill for us!

This doe seems to be f o r e v e r pregnant. Not really. She is fat, and we keep thinking that she is going to kid. But nope. That's what happens when you don't have a due date.

 Most of the kids that we kept from this past year are doing fabulous. There is one Alpine doeling that is a bit behind the others, but other than that lately they are growing very well. Even little Trauma with the crooked neck. The 3 bucklings are doing extremely well also, I need to get some pictures of them.

My mom has gotten some colorful Muscovy ducks lately. Pretty!

"baaaa"... one of the Finn ewes.

Last night was the sale. We almost always go. My brothers work there. So we go, look through the hundreds of animals and typically find a handful of nice ones in there. It is very nice to be able to look through that many animals pretty quickly and be able to pick the good from the ugly. Every time, there is typically a few sheep or a goat that someone in the family likes. Without even seeing the same animals at the same time, we'll all agree that those were the nicest ones. I guess it's called experience and God blessing us with being able to pick out the good from the bad. So last night, we came home with a big Katadin ewe, a pregnant spotted Nubian doe, and a G I A N T boar hog. I mean, HUGE. He has huge tusks as well. The boys usually work very late on Friday nights, so us girls took the trailer home with the animals loaded in it.

There was no. way. I was going to unload the boar hog. I mean, that could've been suicidal. I can handle unloading the sheep and goats though. First, I get the doe and take her back to one of the barn stalls. She was just a little wild, but walked with me fairly well. After all, it was after 11pm, she was at a new place, new dogs were sniffing her, and she had just come through a loud sale barn. I think I would have been a tad bit scared as well.

Next, I go back to get the fat ewe. You have to understand that most sheep are very flighty. When it's a sheep, they are strong and wild, and can take a small person like me for a ride. So plus her being a scared sheep, again, it was dark and "scary" out. I went in the trailer, grabbed the ewe, put her in between my legs and went for a ride. Just kidding. I actually had fairly good control over her. As long as you have the sheep by the chin, you can typically steer where they are going pretty well. We took a fast run around a few sheds and made it to the ram pen she was supposed to be put in. I survived, the ewe survived, and everyone was put away.

The giant boar hog on the other hand, got to spend the night in the livestock trailer.