lambs

Yesterday I weighed all the lambs for their 120 day weight submissions. And, I weaned the rest of them. The intact ram lambs (eleven of them, for now) were weaned a month ago, at ninety days. I don’t trust having them in with the adult ewes any longer, because they can sometimes be fertile that early, and mature ewes can sometimes go back into heat that early.

This week it was time for the wethers and ewelambs to wean. It works so much better for me to wait until the lambs are four months old- the ewes’ udders are significantly diminished in size by now, so they dry up more comfortably, and with less risk of mastitis. I imagine it gives the lambs a tiny boost in growth, too, though I don’t think it’s significant. It’s also one more month I only have to manage one mob, plus a small group of rams. Starting now, I have to juggle three groups for about a month. After that, I’ll have the flexibility to graze the adult ewes with the ewelambs and wethers again, if I want.

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This is old news, an infographic published just over a year ago; but I only recently stumbled across it and thought it was interesting (you can click on the image for a larger version). It was created by the US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, and is part of their Food Dialogs series. It’s a great insight into the very conflicted consumer mind.

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My last notes on the Focus on Farming conference are not on a particular class, but on the subject of divisiveness. I notice a lot of it at every one of these conferences. The  conference seems to draw two very distinct groups of people. There are traditional farmers and ranchers, many of them from multi-generation farming families. And, there are new-age people who are really into organic agriculture, along with their city-folk kin who dabble in AG topics, such as urban gardens. Get those two groups in a room, and there is bound to be tension.

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imageHey folks, a treat for today~ a few weeks ago, I posted about being excited to learn that there was a new raw milk dairy near me. The post generated a LOT of discussion, speculation and opinions- more than usual, by far! In retrospect, I realize as some were speculating about the farmer himself, I regret that it didn’t occur to me then, well, why don’t we just ask him?

Art Groeneweg, the owner, happened upon the post, and was watchin’ for me when I pulled up last weekend to buy my milk. We had a great talk, I am endlessly fascinated by the whole subject; from the realities that farming has to change from the “standard way” in order for farmers to keep making a living, to some of his dairy peers thinking he’s gone crazy, to the fact that Art feels his cows are calmer and easier to handle now that they’re not amped up on grain anymore. It’s truly insightful to learn from someone who has a long family history of dairying, who can remember the “old way” it was done, but knows the modern conventions backwards and forwards as well.

Art offered to address some of the comments and questions that came up in the last post. And he promised to answer more questions- but in due time; he’s not a blogging junkie like some of us who read every day!

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I have written about testing for OPPV in sheep before. Toying with the idea. Last year, a buyer wanted all of his purchases tested, and was paying for it. So while the vet was here, I did mine too. I watched her carefully as she drew blood, hoping I could discover the secret to the quickness.

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