Latest Arrivals

We have a couple new Solace Farm residents - each of the last two weekends we have acquired one new animal!  Last Friday we bought another sheep from my midwife's sister, this one an actual milking sheep, the East Friesian breed. She's just 7 months old, born at the same time as our goat doelings this year, so that'll be easy to remember.  Since she's that young she's not bred, so I won't be milking her for another year, but if we hadn't bought her she would be in the freezer by now :)  (My midwife brought us 2 more sheepskins from this one's brothers a week later).  We named her Juniper to go with the other (mostly) tree-named sheep - Hickory, Maple, Chestnut - and Ginger.

This Saturday, Caleb took the boys to get our new bull.  Well, bull-to-be, he's about a year old.  We've named him Barra - Gaelic for warrior - and he should be able to breed by next summer when we'll need him.  We can now get Fergus, our current bull, and ?? the 2 year old only-half-a-steer butchered, since we've got a replacement now.  (It's a lot more difficult to use the Burdizzo on the calves, and we're still getting the hang of it).              

We can keep a bull for several years - the Highlands are slow-growing so the females don't mature until about 3 years old.  We sold some heifers a couple of years ago, and that allowed us to keep Fergus a couple more years until the next girls grew up - which is now.  At this point, even aside from the fact that Fergus is just getting old, the herd is getting multi-generational enough that we need new blood.  

We were very fortunate in finding Barra - Caleb contacted a stock auction a couple hours away, and the owner is familiar with and really likes the Scottish Highlands.  He promised to call if he had any come through, since he hates to see them just get sold for scrap, basically - they do very poorly in standard auctions because they aren't tall enough, aren't black, have horns, have fur, etc - basically they aren't Black Angus - about the opposite, actually - and they are worthless in that venue.  He called about a week later with this yearling, and sold him for what he paid, which was easily half what we would have paid for one half this size from a Highland farm.  We told the auctioneer to let us know about any more he finds!   That would be by far the most economical way to expand our herd - besides internal growth, obviously.  Barra brings us to 18 Highlands now, although that'll be dropping to 16 by February or so.  Quite a difference from the 3 we started with!

 

Comments

so much happening

Can't wait to see the multiplied herd :-) Heard it's getting chilly down there--stay warm!

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