Well, today was the day. We took the last 3 sheep up to our favorite butcher this afternoon. This is always something that needs to be planned for carefully, and since John’s hand surgery, we needed an extra special plan for the loading of the sheep into John’s truck. His Ford F-350 1997 diesel rides very high off the ground. With my bursitis hip issues, I can no longer get into the truck without stepping onto a bucket or a milk crate anymore, so that should indicate how high we have to lift the sheep to get them into the bed of the truck! We definitely needed reinforcements, and our friend Jim Child of Hatchtown Farm came to help, as well as our teenage grandson and his mom.
We don’t have a livestock trailer anymore, so John and I opted to build a “crate” out of galvanized metal panels in the back of his pickup. We made a teepee-type structure, and then John used a tie-down strap over the top for extra safety. Luckily, we had the manpower, and as all the ewes were haltered, we really got through the loading in record time. The men had to lift the front end of the ewes up and over the tailgate, and I am still ok to lift the hind end in, thank goodness! And so we got them settled and took the 40 mile ride.
When we got home this evening and I went out to do chores it was definitely a different landscape. All goat, all the time. The one thing that I was able to do this evening was to put out the salt and mineral mixture with added copper that the goats really need. Sheep cannot have extra copper, so I have always had to get the extra copper into the milking stand mix for the goats as I could. This whole setup will definitely simplify my day to day operations from now on. But, I am really going to miss my sheepy girls. (But I won’t miss moving fence down in the pasture. Really!)