Butcher day on the farm happens about once a month for us. I usually pick out and separate the animals that are to be harvested on butcher day, either the night before, or the morning of butcher. We get a lot of questions, when people inquire about buying our farm raised meats, about the process. So, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share how it works on our farm.
With the end of every year, and start to the new year, lambing season is upon us! Any 2017 farm plans we are making, got interrupted on Valentine's Day this year, with our first lambs born. In the last two weeks, it has been a flurry of lamb "nursery pens" being extended, late night, middle of the night, early morning births, feedings, constant checking and water. We have had about 31 baby lamb born since February 14, 2017 and we are not done quite yet. One born just this morning, as I went down to feed. Bo, the Ram was a busy baby daddy! We "borrowed" him and now he has gone back to his farm. Bo was quite a handsome Ram, having won some ribbons at our local Evergreen State Fair! Lambing season is a fun, if not tiring time on the farm. But the cuteness of all the lambs, makes it well worth the odd and long hours. They discovered the open field today and we running and jumping and having fun. The long lamb pen (previous calf pen area), is along the road, as is the field, so it's a fun time for people driving by, especially the kids, who's parents often slow down and sometimes stop to watch these beyond cute lambs discover the bigger world outside of their "nursing pen" bonding with their mama's and then later in the population of the older lambs just born, under the very watchful eye of their mama's! It never get's old watching the lamb jump from mama to mama in the open area of the lamb pen before you reach the "nursery pens", we call them. We let the newborn's and their mother's have their own space, food, water, fresh straw for as many days as we can, before turning them out to the regular population. You don't have to do this, of course, but we have the room, and it's cozy, dry and very comfortable, so why not? You don't need an alarm clock on this farm! Our bedroom window is at the front of our farm house, looking down at the lamb shed. It's either a baby crying, as it's looking for it's mama, while she is feeding, or the ewe's bellering, letting us know it's time to get up and feed! We mostly raise Suffolk lamb and sheep, but have a few Cheviot's, with one having given birth so far, a few days ago. They are really cute when little. We prefer the temperament of the Suffolk, a good wool/meat lamb. Last year, we were given the gift of having some of our lamb wool shipped off for processing and received back 12 lbs. of processed wool, all into yarn scanes and ready for something to be made with it. We will be having a bed throw made with the beautiful yarn!