Sunday, March 31, 2013

New Ram!

Our new ram!
Yesterday we went and picked up our new ram!  He is a Barbado (30%)  and Barbados blackbelly cross.  He is a January baby.  Very nice size for only three months old.  He is bigger than any of our three month old babies. We found a local breeder for Barbados blackbelly sheep and went and got this ram from him.  He is going to have a huge set of round horns on him when he is an adult.  He will be a very good looking boy and the price was great $100.  Now he just has to concentrate on growing up.  He won't be breeding until July of this year.  Which is still pretty amazing.  That will mean our only lambs for the year will be from the ones just born.  This is great as it will give me time to advertise some more and sell the sheep we have. 

As an added bonus I learned how to kill a sheep the Basque way.   The gentleman we bought our ram from lives near an old basque who is famous in the area for his lamb barbecue.  He showed this man how to slaughter his sheep.  He happened to be killing a lamb that morning so we stayed.  He took a very sharp fillet knife and just below the jaw he inserted it quickly behind the trachea all the way through the neck.  This severs the carotid arteries, you then turn the blade flat side to the trachea which keeps the hole open and doesn't cut the animal.  All the blood drains out into a bucket, when it is bled out you just turn the knife and cut outward severing the trachea.  It was very smooth and the animal doesn't hardly struggle.  Much cleaner than shooting them in the head. 
He didn't want to come out of the crate and cooperate.
We have been working on fencing.  I have all three gates hanging now and wire in place.  I have about 8 more stays to place and a small ten foot section to repair and add another post for one gate and the cows will be able to come back out front.  Another half day of work and it will be done.  Yesterday I ended up ripping all the posts out for about 80 feet as they had a large bow in the fenceline.  I strung the woven wire, tightened it and then went back and pounded all the metal posts back in the ground.  Very straight and pretty fence, with the stays I am putting in place I hope this fence will last at least 10 years before I really have to do anything to it.  Unfortunately, fencing is one of those things that takes time.  I either spend the time to do it right the first time or I spend all the time patching it.  I did get a quote on the fence stays they are going to be $1.25/each a little more than I wanted but not bad.   I have been splitting the old rotten cedar posts and am getting at least four stays out of each post.  I can round up about 40 old posts so I will be splitting those also.  Nothing is going in the burn pile that I can use for fencing.