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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Weird weather. Tough decisions.

So far, this winter has been totally unpredictable.  It seems that every phase comes in violently - with high winds and drastic changes.  Yesterday, when I awoke at 5:00 AM (yes, I slept in - sloth that I am) it was -6 degrees.  The dogs made fast work of their constitutional that morning.  This morning when I awoke at 4:30 AM (back to almost-normal), it was snowing and 28 degrees.  Right now, it is very windy and raining.  Wheehaw, Granny - get out the suede chaps!  We're in for a wild ride! 
I stand on the deck every morning thinking, "Shovel or not shovel?  Sand or not sand?"  I am glad everyone on the LLF has a snug dry place to hang out.

And, speaking of the LLF, there will be some changes made this weekend.  They are tough ones for me because I am a sentimental sappy dame.  I know that most of you can relate to the ever-rising costs of food, feed, taxes, gas, everything.  Except, of course, our incomes.  I had decided to put two of my Icelandic ewes on the market, as caring for and feeding seven sheep and a llama, and two goats and a flock of mixed poultry, was weighing heavily on my time and pocketbook.  I found myself doing nothing but feeding, cleaning up, and trying to balance out everyone's health issues.  There has been no quality time spent with my woolly charges - and that's not why I started up all this business.  Why I started up all this business falls under the category of temporary insanity, but I am SURE I had hoped for head-scratching-treat-feeding-looking-dreamily-into-ovine-eyes time.

As my life has gone recently, I had someone who was interested in two of the sheep, but they were not able to commit and I finally had to pass on them.  I then decided to put an ad in craigslist for Freyda and ended up on a rapid-fire email conversation over two weeks wherein a swap was formed.  What I hadn't planned was that Hoosier would be part of the swap.  I am very attached to him.  I l.o.v.e. his buck teeth and funny ways.  And his amazing markings.  I was not as crazy about the fact that he is intact and that can be problematic with sheep.  And, when there are no lambs, he tends to forget he is "protection" and runs the sheep over getting to the food.  Soooooo.  He, Freyda and Cocoa will be going to a llama/Icelandic/Nigerian farm in Massachusetts and Apria, a female grand champion llama and great guard animal will be coming here, along with a future breeding for Sage to one of her Nigerian bucks and the first female offspring of Hoosier - who I will keep and send Apria back.  Insert large sigh.  The good news is, Hoosier will get to feel his oats and have a much larger area in which to frolic.  I predict beautiful babies.  Cocoa and Freyda will also have larger digs and other ovine companionship.  They will also have each other.  It will be hard on Banyan and Linden, the mammas' boys.  But I am sure everyone, including myself, will survive the kerfuffle.  And I will be down to one llama and five sheep, three of them lambs.  I predict I will need lots of head and ear scratching after this weekend.

8 comments:

  1. It sounds like a good swap all the way around, even though I KNOW It will be hard on your heart. I always hate to see critters leave, but in most cases, I feel better after a little time passes and I get to enjoy the benefits of more time with the remaining animals and lower feed costs.

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  2. I think you are doing what's best for you right now, but am sure it will be hard. I hope the swap goes smoothly for you, and good things lie ahead!

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  3. It is always hard having to downsize, especially when it's the critters that we love! It does sound like a good deal though. You come see us after it's all over and we will give you all the head and ear scratching you need! :)

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  4. How do you keep it all straight? Must be a list that gets changed all the time. For me it has been just the Worms, But with the addition of the Rabbits and soon to be Chickens (I hope!) that will all change.
    I know that you have a soft spot for "Hoosier" and that you will miss him, But a new animal to get to know and love is exciting too!

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  5. I know it's a hard decision to make, but like Erin mentioned, time will heal the sadness and especially knowing that they are going somewhere nice.

    Going to have to do some thinning out of our goat heard this spring....again. I hate it, but like you said, feed bills are getting pretty hefty and really, how many goats do we really need?

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  6. Sounds like a tough decision but I'm sure you're heart is in the right place with all of this. Too many mouths to feed for little reward is rough for anyone. Hang in there. Things will look up.
    Judy

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  7. Oh, the decisions made with farmlife. I don't know if any of them are easy. :( Hang in there, but like Judy said we know your heart is in the right place and you're doing the right thing for everyone involved. :)

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