Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No More Sheep!

"See, I told you they wanted to eat us!"

I sold the last of the sheep yesterday. We got the animals as a way to manage the land. The goats clear out the brush and kill the smaller trees by stripping the bark off. The pigs dig up all but the largest stumps. The sheep kept the new pastures mowed. Last year I got a horse which eats the same vegetation as the sheep. Since we don't have enough pasture for both, I had to make a choice between the horse and the sheep. Let's see - you can't ride a sheep or harness it up to a buggy and take the grandkids out for an afternoon drive. On the other hand you can't eat a horse (well, I suppose you could but most people, including me, wouldn't). Hmmm..... the horse is eminently more fun, so.... bye bye sheepies.

"Who us? Cute? You betcha!"
Some say I'm a masochist for keeping goats over sheep. Personally, I prefer goat personalities. Sheep are afraid of everything. Even though I feed them every day and give them yummy treats, they act like today is the day I'm going to eat them. It must be tough to live life in constant fear of being the main course. The goats on the other hand, are inquisitive, mischievous, bold, and stubborn, getting themselves in trouble more often than not. Sort of like me I guess. Plus, I don't think you can get much cuter than goat kids. And you can't get much more fun than a horse.


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4 comments:

~Tonia said...

Ooo I have to agree on the goats over sheep! Sheep have NO Personality! Its not very flattering that the bible compares people to sheep!Lol
Give me a stubborn opinionated goat anyday! When we were managing that farm one of the ewes was runnign full blast with a baby hanging out the back of her! Then her and all the rest of the yearling ewes in with her piled into the fence trying to get away.. I was ready to send every last one of them to the freezer or down the road!!

Sandy@American Way Farm said...

I can't bring myself to help DH with the goats when it's time to send them to freezer camp. It's like bringing a dog out to him. He puts a collar on a goat, leads it out and ties it to the tractor bucket and it's calmly looking around thinking there must be some logical reason you brought it out there, like maybe you're going to give it a nice big bowl of grain. But a sheep was a different story. By the time I'd wrestled it into the small shute where the deed was done I was ready to kill it myself!

Lily said...

You could always try Icelandic sheep! We used to have them, and I always told people they are "goats with wool"... they have the personality of a goat (including being more than willing to forage and eat the weeds!) and beautiful wool to boot! The only downside is they are master escape artists (but then again, so are goats!) :)

Sandy@American Way Farm said...

Lily, I used to raise Rambroullet and Polypay sheep but absolutely hating the shearing. I don't spin so it was useless to me. Plus the fleeces were really dirty because my sheep were always in the woods with the goats. You could have fed another sheep with all the stuff that was in there. So next I went to Katahdin and Dorper sheep because, well, no wool. They were definitely easier. The only thing easier is to just stay with the goats and no sheep. I really don't miss them.