Harley, our ram, has gone on to greener pastures.
Actually, he was scheduled to be butchered. Yup. Freezer camp. This last Saturday. However, at the last minute he got a reprieve and ended up going to live at a nice fellows in a nearby town that has some sheep and cattle and a bunch of acres and was looking for a nice ram for his herd. Wow! I was so happy to hear that.
I had been trying to find a decent, safe home for him for three weeks now. I had wanted to keep him and we tried everything but he was starting to wreck our fences, be mean to his buddy Angus and was pounding their house and everything. He was just becoming a bit of a dangerous liability.
It was time to make a decision. And unfortunately, the decision was that it was freezer camp time. I had researched the local livestock auction. However, sheep were only going for under $30 a head and it would be stressful and a total unknown. I didn’t want him going for meat in such a scary and stressful manner. Nor did I want some unsuspecting family to get a ram and find out the hard way that a mature ram can be a handful and dangerous. I checked with our local packing house, and again, only about $40 and stressful situation. I decided that if I couldn’t find him a good home, then it would be much more humane to put him down here, quietly and peacefully and then he would go for butchering. A three old sheep is a little tough, but a good crock pot recipe or at the very least a lot of ground meat. Heck, it would be better to serve him to our dogs then to put him through a slaughterhouse and all.
But in the end, he was saved and he is doing well. These folks know how to deal with strong powerful animals and I felt good about the decision. I really wanted to keep him, partially to repay his lovely crop of lambs and also that he produces a lovely fleece. But in the end, a Shetland fleece is less than $50 around here and it just didn’t seem worth the cost of worrying about him getting loose, hurting someone or all that… one of those hard decisions.
But, the very best of the situation, was that Angus, our beloved whether, got to rejoin his flock of fine ladies. He was a very happy boy. The first few minutes of freedom, he ran, lept, twisted and danced his happy sheepie dance. And all the ladies ran over to greet him. He walked about, sniffed them all, wagging his little tail with pure happiness. But then, he did the coolest thing. One by one he walked over to the new baby lambs, sniffed and wagged his tail and greeted and met them all. It was marvelous to watch. Angus is the best uncle sheep around. He’s fixed, but he takes his job very importantly as the man of the flock. He protects the ladies and they feel safe around him.
Best of all, he is such a sweetheart. I have missed not being able to cuddle and treat him. He is very very tame and sweet. When I had a chance, I went out with some stale graham crackers and gave them out as a welcome home treat. He really loved that. When he was with Harley, I couldn’t treat them because it just made Harley more pushy. Now, Angus can get all the treats he was missing.
Buttercup and Rafeka don’t seem that impressed with Angus’ stories about being Harley’s prison buddy. And how rough he treated Angus. He did! Being goats, they tend to think everyone else has diva stories. Only goats really understand turmoil and hard times. They really are the true divas of the farmyard.
Willow and Laurel just want to know what all the fuss is about crackers. They haven’t really gotten the hang of snacks yet.
On the pig front… Onyx has been escaping the pig pen because he is being picked on by the two pregnant ladies of the pen… Ebony and Shawnee. I expect piglets any day now… both ladies are getting very pronounced bellies and teats. Their very first due date is June 1st… But I suspect they have another week or two to go. Since Onyx’s arrival back on February 15th was less than loving, and a pig has a cycle of about 21 days… I suspect that it took the girls a week or two to warm up to Romeo. And right now, they are being very pushy and mean to him.
Shadow was very interested in the going’s on with the flock’s party that was going on for Angus. Of course, Shadow is always interested in what is going on in the barnyard. He is one nosey little pony!
Cody was unimpressed and said it was time for a nap. He’s that way.
We decided to take everyone off the weed patch pasture for a couple weeks to let it have a good chance to regrow and get nice and lush again. The middle yard has gotten a little long so we’ve had the flock out there, cutting the grass for us. They are doing a nice job but I think they are getting moved back to the paddock for a few days. Just to give everything a rest. We don’t have a lot of space, but even with three acres, you can do nice pasture rotation if you work at it. Last year, the middle pasture got a little overgrazed and then we ended up with a very dry spell. We would like to avoid that, if possible. They don’t mind hanging out in their paddock if they have a nice bale of hay to work on!
Just so happy that there was a nice happy ending for both boys! Harley gets a new home and saved from freezer camp and Angus gets be back with his beloved ladies and their little babies. He loves being around the babies…