Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Planting oats and new lambs

I was able to get the oats planted today, or at least that's what I called it.  I had about 50 pounds of oats that I threw out into the front pasture a handful at a time.  I had the one chicken follow me as I was throwing it out.  He didn't want to have to hunt and peck for the oats; he wanted me to put down little piles so he could gorge himself.  I obliged.  At first I was worried that he would eat all the oats but one chicken isn't going to eat that much.  Most of it should sprout before it gets eaten.  I hope.  We got a third of an inch of rain last night.  The pasture ground was wet and soggy. 

As per their normal the sheep finished lambing these past two days.  That's because it rained each day.  We got two more sets of twins so after losing one lamb on the first day we ended up with 8 lambs by 6 ewes.  I don't know how many males or females we have yet.  I'm going to wait until the weekend before I catch them.  You don't want to do anything that will make the ewe reject the lamb and if you castrate too soon I've heard that the ewe may reject it.  I don't know why but Barbados sheep are stupid so I don't want to take any chances on the ewes rejecting their lambs. 

I've been reading about a group called Animal Welfare Approved. They provide standards for what they consider ethical treatment of farm animals.  If you wish to be certified by them you can apply and they will send someone out to evaluate your farm, free of charge.  I suppose if you were going into business having this certification could allow you to charge higher prices, just like you can for organic and free range eggs.  I don't know enough about this group to know whether it's a good group to be associated with or not.  I will not have them come to my property because I do not wish to get put onto their list of approved farms, even if mine would qualify due to my treatment of my sheep and chickens.  I do know that if you don't know anything about raising animals they do have some useful information on their website. 

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