Thursday, September 26, 2013

Selling Stock, Fixing Mistakes.

This morning it was chilly, but not cold enough to welcome a fire. To light a casual morning fire this early in the season has to meet a certain criteria. I have three rules. First, it needs to be cold enough to warrant one, and that means the house needs to be at least 58 degrees or cooler. Second, I need to be sticking around the house long enough for a fire to matter. Lighting it only to leave an hour later is pointless. It won't do much more than look pretty, as it takes coals, not flames, to heat my small house. Third, I can't have a mess of office work to do. I've done this before, lighting a fire and sitting by it long enough to feel emotionally warmer only to head upstairs to the office/tack room for hours and come down to a cold house and wasted effort. So no fire this morning. I had fences to fix.

The fence and pasture issue here is a disaster, it really is. I need to rip out huge sections and re-do it. A task I am not physically or financially prepared to do at the moment. So instead I am always repairing the new, weak sections the sheep discover to leap out of. It is a scrappy compilation of baling twine, wooden boards, bits of wire, and such. I have wired and re0wired the electric fence several times only to see the wooly sheep use their horns or backs to rip it out. What I need is a professional fencer here to get me and estimate, then marry rich. You know, farming.

I kid. I'm a kidder.

I got the trio of escaped sheep in this morning and repaired the fencing. If the two escapists and the lamb that follows them weren't my two best breeding sheep I would have sold them months ago. Their uteruses (uteri?) offer them a get-out-of-jail-free card, literally. But I am happy to say I sold off three sheep already, Atlas is heading back up state to the Adirondacks with them (sold them to Brett) and the two lambs will be slaughter this winter or next spring, depending. They seem two small to right now. That gets me down to eight, and then six sheep. A better number for my pasture. And the pasture needs serious healing from my mistakes, too. I need to fence it off and reseed it ASAP in hopes that it can heal a little before serious frost. Then move all the sheep elsewhere to graze before the damage is even worse.

This sounds like a frustrating update. It is. I will admit I have considered selling every sheep on this farm save for Sal, Maude, and Joseph. They are too old and fat to try leaping fences. It would be a lot better for the land. If I could get down to just those three and the two breeding ewes I would be very happy. Then I could rip out the fence section by section in digestible chunks and repair it.

Enough grousing. I have words to write, wood stoves to ignore, and the horse fence to repair. I found it almost down this morning from where the three escaped sheep tore it early this morning or last night. Once I re-wire the electric and get it somewhere closer to stable and shocking the horses will mind it as ever, but the clock is ticking. There isn't a ruminant alive that doesn't know the grass is greener on the other side.

P.S. Only TWO SPOTS left for Arrows Rising, snag them quick! Winter fiddle camp is sold out. Summer Camp has fifteen spots open to those who want them!