In further streamlining-the-farm news, Mr. Cotswold, Miss Cotswold, Miss Jacob, Rhett, and Sailor (you can barely see them back there behind the sheep) drove away in this camper today.
Reasons: I have posted before about my experiences with and fear of Mr. Cotswold, who can be quite aggressive, and he is also a quite large ram. I consider him semi-dangerous. (Yes, the takers of Mr. Cotswold were informed of this as well as everything else we know about these sheep.) Miss Cotswold has never had a baby in all the time we’ve had her, so I think she’s barren. Miss Jacob is a regular annual producer, however, as much as in some ways I enjoy and appreciate Jacob sheep, they are slight of build and not the best meat sheep. They have over and over produced slightly built lambs who never take after Mr. Cotswold. She’s also getting up there in years, and I certainly didn’t want her to be left out when the others moved. The ever-entertaining Jester, our other Jacob ewe, died last year, of old age, and the other Miss Cotswold (who was also barren) died of mysterious causes. Mr. Cotswold, the remaining Miss Cotswold, and Miss Jacob are the last of our original flock, and I wanted them to go together. We’ve had little luck selling fleece for much of anything, and with the rampant mowing that sheep can do, we don’t have adequate pasture to keep up. Their new family has twice the pasture we do, so it’s a happy move for them–and a relief on our inadequate pasture.
We still have Annabelle, Minnie Belle, Miss Crazy Jacob (a Cotswold-Jacob cross), and her Crazy Lamb. I will keep Annabelle and Minnie Belle forever as two pet sheep! However, Miss Crazy and Crazy Baby will be leaving in the spring.
Will I ever get another ram for Annabelle and Minnie Belle? I might….. But I don’t need one right now, and for now, I’m thrilled to be ram-free and not afraid to enter any field on the farm.
I was also excited to send Rhett and Sailor, my two remaining Nigerian Dwarf bucks, to a good home with many fields of green.
Do I plan to send off any other animals? Nope. Love my cows. Love my donkeys. Love my two pet sheep. Love my streamlined goat herd. Love my chickens and my one goose. This is the streamlining I’ve been pondering for some time, the start of which was streamlining to breeding Fainters and Fainter crosses only in the goat yard with one buck. Pruning down the sheep to my pets Annabelle and Minnie Belle is the finish. Whew. MUCH BETTER!!!! Sometimes you have to learn by experience just what is manageable on your farm, what your pasture will support, and what you can handle.