Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 14 - Sheep and Goats

31 Days of Homestead Living!

We have a small herd of sheep and goats.  We sell sheep and goats to people who come to our house to buy them.  We also butcher a couple each year for our own family use.  Mostly we have sheep because I think baby sheep are the cutest thing in the whole world.  Nothing is cuter that a baby sheep.  So we started out with three.

The sheep were suppose to be two females and one male.  I named them Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (from the Bible, of course).  We after two years, Lazarus had not done his job, and we had no baby lambs.  We got another male sheep, and planned to take Lazarus to the sale the next time we went.  Well, one day we get up, and we have a baby sheep!  The cutest thing ever.  A few days later we get up, and we have another baby sheep.  A few days later, I hear my husband yelling for me.  I go outside to see what the commotion is about.  Husband says, "Beauty, you better call the papers, Lazarus just had a baby!"  Lazarus was mistakenly found to be a girl, and her life was saved!  The reason no one knew Lazarus was a girl is because sheep are very wild!  Or at least ours are.  When we take them to the sale, the workers comment on how calm ours are, but my husband can't stand them because you can't do anything with them.  But anyway that is our cute story about getting started with sheep.  Sheep bring better money than goats at the sale.  They are a lot easier to raise too.  They pretty much take are of themselves, don't get sick, and give birth by themselves.  Very low maintenance.  Each year my husband takes a load of sheep and goats to the sale about this time of year, and I use my sheep money to pay for Christmas.  Husband decided a few weeks ago that he was going to the goat sale this Friday.  So we will be getting the sheep and goats together this week to sell.

Our sheep and one goat

GrandBoy moving a just born baby goat

We have 15 sheep currently, and plan to take six to the sale.  We have 12 goats, and Husband plans to sell one or two.  Everything else we have taken to the sale has gone for an extremely high price lately.  We'll see if the sheep and goats are the same.

Another way people make money with sheep is to sell their wool.  But our sheep are "hair" sheep, so their hair can't be used for weaving, etc. 

We do well with goats, too, but goats are more "hands on".  Goats get sick easier, and go down faster.  They get worms, and other sicknesses and just go down fast.  You have to be careful when you bring new animals into your herd.  If it is sick, it can make all the others sick.  So after you get started, you might consider buying from the same people again if you had good luck before.  Now we don't usually have to purchase animals, we replace out of our own births.

Well, I guess that is all for tonight.  The weather is bad here, and being so rural, I never know when things will go down.

Thanks for stopping by!  Honey

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