Other stuff about the farm and your's truly!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Farm critters!

I love our animals... they give me a sense of peace that I don't get around humans...

Since we have 5 sheep now, counting the babies, I'm guessing that qualifies as a flock?

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong, can you tell which thing is not like the others before I finish my song?

From top to bottom, we have Chica, my miniature horse, who was free, Blackjack, the foster lamb, the back of Staci, Lyndsey's purebred Suffolk who was awarded to her at our local fair last August by an outgoing 4-H'er, Two, Lyndsey's last years market lamb who was bought and then donated back to her by her buyer (we were hoping she would be expecting, but she isn't) and the babies, Addie and Maddie. They were the result of a free breeding by a Suffolk-Cross ram who we boarded for 6 weeks for four 4-H ewes to breed with. I just realized that technically, we didn't pay for any of these critters... (tho we bought Two for Lyndsey's last year's market project, she was paid by the buyer at auction). I'm pretty happy with that.

Of course the ironic thing is we don't eat lamb... Steve worked on a sheep ranch during his high school summers and they ate mutton on a regular basis, so he can't stand it and I've never really liked it either. However, we will raise Lyndsey's market lambs (last year we spent $175 apiece for weaned market lambs) and I love all the individual personalities. I don't spin either, and I can barely crochet. However, if the animal shelter lets me keep Blackjack, (after boarding him for 4 weeks, paying for his feed and medicine to heal his injury, I won't pay an adoption fee) then I will sell his wool and he can be a pasture buddy to Chica when we separate the ewes at breeding and lambing time.

We also have 2 Mini-Rex does (I'm looking for a buck) (1 was free, 1 was $20), 29 hens, 3 roosters and 3 ducks (bought about half of them, either hatched or were given the rest), 2 dogs and 2 cats. That's apt to be added to at any given time. LOL Does it cost me to feed them? Yes. Do they benefit me in any financial ways? Yes. My egg sales pay for all the chicken and rabbit feed, plus extra, the rabbits, sheep and horse give me free fertilizer for the garden, greenhouse, etc. and Lyndsey will profit by selling her lambs, though we may keep one as a breeding ewe. They also, as I mentioned at the beginning are great for my soul. Being a child of an alcoholic as well as being a recovering alcoholic, I need to have time to be with creatures that don't judge me, that love me for me (or for the food I bring-LOL). They also give me the routine in my life that I need to have to function. They have to be fed, watered, cared for, etc. and it has to be done on a schedule.

What do your animals do for you?

Hoping you have a day filled with Hope, Joy and Faith!


  1. You absolutely can call it a flock! I grew up on a sheep farm but never ate it until I was an adult, but I will admit, I LOVE lamb now! In part because being in the Middle East so much, hubby has brought back some fantastic recipes for it that we love. We don't eat it on a regular basis due to the cost of the humanely raised stuff, but our Christmas and New Year's dinners usually include it, roasted lamb for Christmas and Stifado, a Greek Lamb Stew for New Year's. You summed it up well, animals are good for our souls, and you are exposing your children to wonderful things that will last a lifetime, good job Ruth!

  2. you could be a sister of mine! My thoughts exactly..but the one animal I don't have (yet) would be sheep. I really like them though, but like you not sure if I really like the meat. Plus, I would name them and then see amazing personalities and then...well...there I am stuck. Trying to rationalize why I would want to send any to butcher. I can finally haul my steers to butcher and frankly start thinking BBQ when they approach that perfect size, but the goats..I have to sell as pets or just pray for does. I don't think I have patience for knitting but I love the idea of selling the wool. They do exactly that for me too, routine. I am a creature of habit and love the habits of keeping critters.

  3. I dont have any animals but love them. And yes I think they qualify as a flock! Blessings jane

  4. We love lamb; it's supposed to be a highly digestible meat that is good for us. Having said that, we don't currently have a source for humanely raised, organic lamb. Oh well, gives us something to work on.

    Having animals on a homestead gives it so much life! There is always something going on out there, and yes, it forces you to pull on your mud boots and get out in the fresh air whether you feel like it or not!! :o)

  5. My animals are trouble with a capital T, but I wouldn't trade one for anything. I love them all.

  6. I feel the same way you do about animals, PTL!

    Found your blog via Thickin and Thinnin's blog and glad I did!

    Thanks for sharing about your critters and the pictures are wonderful. My Dd raises bum lambs for a friend of ours( for a monthly fee) and when they are weaned she comes and gets them. So we get them while they are cute and cuddly and she gets them back when they are more grown up and trouble*wink*

    Feel free to stop by our blog, The Never Done Farm and say hello.
    Blessings for your day,