It’s almost harvesting and culling season around here. We’re starting to assess everyone’s future prospects.
Freezer lamb? I’ve got several prime looking singles this year.
Breeding stock? I’ve also got several excellent twins to choose from this year.
Free to good home? Good thing we have some breeding flock replacement prospects because I have a few that are just not working out with our system.
It’s not my favorite season on the farm. There’s hard choices to be made. Giving them a number does keep me from knowing each and everyone of them after watching them grow up over the last couple months. But this is also part of making room for the next season.
It sets the stage for breeding season, which I enjoy at lot more since it’s filled with hope and promise (and Ozzie’s not here to crash through my fences this year in pursuit of “happiness!”)
And of course, breeding season also means we’re heading into fall, which means we’re heading into…COOLER WEATHER! Yeah!
It means the work starts picking up too. We don’t get to kick back and watch the grass grow. We’ll be sorting and weighting and loading and selling and then more sorting and tagging…and lots of paperwork to catch up on!
But there’s something great about the harvest season too–you get to stop and take stock of how your year has gone and for us, it’s looking pretty good.
As always, we’ve had our challenges. We need to move in a different direction with our cow herd and it hasn’t been going smoothly. We’ve struggled with chicken predators this year and between that and heat stress, our egg production wasn’t what we hoped for.
But looking forward, our decisions on the sheep flock from last year have worked out well. Our lambing season was the most successful yet, our freezer lamb group is growing out well, and it looks like we have several good prospects for new breeding ewes. Our grass isn’t want we want it to be, but it’s been good enough to keep our sheep fatter than ever this year!
I don’t want to count our chickens before they hatch, so knock on wood and cross your fingers and all that.
But as we’re heading into fall, I’m glad to take a minute to appreciate a good summer season too. Can you believe that summer’s almost over?