Oh Quite the Quantry (sheep issue)
It's not really good, my lamb crop was pitiful this year because I got my sheep during the breeding season last year and the stress caused the sheep to have singles and not twins or triplets which sheep are known for. This gives me one ewe to retain for breeding stock and one ram-lamb to sell in 200 days. For cash flow...that isn't good.
I just found out that the local college here is getting rid of their sheep program. They are all but giving these sheep away (7 ewes and 1 ram). The price is good, but they have health issues. Foot Rot...which on many farms would mean culling.
I can get them for next to nothing and up my flock count to 14, but Foot Rot is not something to take lightly. First it could affect my current sheep negatively as it is highly contagious, meaning I will have to manage two flocks separately for most of the summer. I would basically be trading some serious flock management time for a incredibly cheap price. If I can get a grip on the foot rot issue with only a marginal amount of money, I will be ahead of the game. In fact it would jump my farm ahead by 2 years as far as numbers go.
So far, no help...some say under no circumstances should I take the sheep, while others feel foot rot is no big deal. Ironically though, the college is coming out to see my farm to see if it is up to standards. This is interesting because my sheep are healthy and they are going to see if I am up to standards??? The biggest problem is, like many that jump into livestock...they see livestock as the answer to a problem without fully realizing the care they take. In this case the environmental college wanted to use the sheep as environmentally friendly lawnmowers, but did not realize sheep need a fare amount of management to keep under control.
Its a hard decision for sure. I will offer them wool prices for the 8 sheep and see if my farm passes inspection.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"