Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March Melt: Shorn Sheep

Sheep Shearing
Q: How many sheep can a sheep shearer shear when a sheep shearer shears sheep?   A: About 10 sheep per hour solo. 

The sheep were scheduled to be shorn in February but the below zero temps, snow, ice and wind made us put off the task until March.  The sheep are due to lamb in mid March and it's important to have them shorn or at least crutched, so the lambs can find the ewes' udders quickly. With heavy fleece, the lambs suck on wool tags and can die trying to find a nipple.  When the temperatures are moderate in March, especially when the sun is warm, the ewes are warmer without their coats. Their thick wool coats are heavy with dampness and if they are in the barn for a couple of weeks while they are bonding with their lambs, the moisture in their fleece creates an unhealthy environment in the barn.  So off with their wool.  We worked straight through the morning gathering, sorting and shearing sheep and then paused for a shearer's lunch of curried sweet potato soup, fresh bread, salad and mince meat pie.  Ty, the three year old border collie, did a yeoman's job of working the sheep in and out of pens.  The wool was sorted, bagged and stored for wool pool on Labor Day weekend.
Before Shearing     photo Gerry Gomez Pearlberg

Shearer photo by Gerry Gomez Pearlberg

Tom  photo by Gerry Gomez Pearlbery

Shorn Sheep
The sheep are sporting their new look in the barn yard.  The livestock guardian dogs are keeping an eye on them.
Fat Shorn Sheep
Shorn Sheep with LGDs

For Rent: Rustic Bird House

Wanted Avian Tenant for Rustic Bird House.  Location: Antique maple tree on footpath of farmhouse in East Meredith,New York. Excellent views of dairy barns and pasture. Must like farm animals, dogs and people.  Free to the right tenant.  Single mothers preferred.

We're not Kidding. We ARE Kidding
First ten dairy goats kidded during the coldest weeks of the year in mid-February. If we hadn't whisked them away at birth to dry them and warm them up, they would have perished in 12 below zero temperatures.  The good news is that they all survived; the bad news is that their moms wouldn't take them back so we have bottle fed kid goats in the house. 

What's for Dinner?
All winter we've been attending the Down to Earth Markets' Mamaroneck Farmers Market. In a couple of weeks, we resume the Park Slope and McGolrick Park Farmers Markets in Brooklyn.  As spring tiptoes in, we will offer, in addition to our retail cuts of meats, pates, meat pies, leaf lard, bone broth, soup stock.   Local farmers markets open in May. In the meantime, our farm store is always open.

607 CSA Collaboration
Another great way to buy local food. We are collaborating with Star Route Farm, Berry Brook Farm, Painted Goat Farm and other local farms to bring you fresh, farm food. Through the CSA, we are offering a pastured chicken share,  beef share, meat pie share and lots of a la carte products.  For more information about the 607 CSA   http://www.the607csa.com/
Grass Fed Ground Beef    photo by Gerry Gomez Pearlberg