Loading Out Lambs and Loaded Thoughts

It’s been a wet month with early snow followed by days of rain and cloud cover. The snow is gone but we’re still plenty wet, making it troublesome for large trucks to get around. Once again we penned lambs in the Quonset building in the yard and loaded the livestock transport trailer from there.

I used to think I was the only softy that struggled to sell lambs but with writing this blog and the newsletter I’ve connected with several woman who have the same struggle. It hurts, we hate doing it, and there is little consolation for it. As each year passes the difficulty, for me, is growing into something deeper than having to let lambs go. It’s the idea of participating in a skewed food system that takes animals across the country and back unnecessarily, and still falls far short of feeding the people. It’s the frustration of not yet having an alternative or knowing how to make a difference. Each year of selling lambs returns me to pondering how to keep a flock of sheep, not produce lambs, yet somehow make a decent income.

While the market lambs are gone there are still plenty of lambs at home. I have more undersized lambs than usual this year, they will stay put for the winter and probably be sold as old crop lambs in the next year. I kept replacement ewe lambs back as well, and about half of those will stay and the other half have been sold as breeding stock. There is more flock work this week as I sort some of those replacements for the first individual to pick up.

With all the flock work there has been plenty of work for the Kelpies but little training time, which means the youngster, BlackJack hasn’t seen too much action on sheep.  He’s maturing into a cool dog with a sense of humour and I’m not too concerned that his training will wait a little longer.  Winter is coming and we'll have empty days to fill with some training time.

[p.s since moving into the shop the internet connection has been very sporadic, we have it for several days and then we’re without it for a few.]


  1. When I was a kid, my relatives always raised calves for the dinner table. This was fine until I got old enough to realize that I was eating "Muffin." I was quite horrified at the time.

  2. I haven't gone down that road, but I have several friends who do and two are saying the exact same thing - each year it gets harder. When you factor the crazy food transportation in...you are right. We don't seem to be feeding anyone any better. :-/

  3. I most definitely struggle with selling lambs for meat......and the meat chickens, the pigs, and now the steers. I do have everything slaughtered on the farm, which makes it harder for me, but much less stressful for the animals, and I am lucky to be selling everything to people that I personally know and that appreciate the way their food was raised. It is still very, very hard.

  4. I went through this with my ducks, too. Still feel bad and that was quite a long time ago. Women are nurturers, so it is harder to let go of the the young.

  5. I'm lucky enough to be like farm buddy, sheep or cattle leave the farm as breeding animals, pasture ornaments or packages. On farm butchering seems the best way on the small scale. I know of a couple of free range pig farmers that have built butcheries so they can process their pigs on a commercial scale on farm. I wish laws would better accommodate local food.

  6. The laws for transporting animals in Canada is appalling..and improvement has just been struck down by the Gov..If I was having to do it,I would certainly prefer the slaughter be done on site,as Farm Buddy does,,but in NS I am pretty sure that has been banned. I have not eaten meat for over 40 years,(am 84)I do eat free range (I see they are free) eggs,


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