Just Part of Raising Animals

This morning we loaded Whitey and Long-tail into the truck and said good-bye to them. They are off to the meat processing place about 40 minutes south of us. We still can’t bring ourselves to butcher our own meat. So we send them off and get them back in little, white packages. They really are little packages, too! We have Navajo Churro sheep and they tend to be a bit smaller than other breeds. They are easy to take care of, so that’s why we like them. And their meat is very, very good.

Long-tail was a ewe and not as big as Whitey. Whitey was a wether (or whatever you call a neutered sheep.) Whitey was bottle raised, so he was easy to catch. Long-tail took a few minutes longer to trap and get in the truck.

Sometimes it’s hard to raise your own meat. It’s hard to say good-by to an animal that we’ve raised even when we know the reason we are raising it. We don’t even process the old hens–we just give them away to someone who wants them!

Vet2Be shared some of his lamb with some friends last week. They homeschool and wanted to teach their children about the Jews and Passover. A few days later they asked if Vet2Be would mind raising a lamb for them to put in the freezer next year because the lamb tasted so good. He has done that before. But it doesn’t make him any money! Most of the time the people pay for the processing, but tend to forget that it costs money to feed the animal and raise it up. I suppose that if we butchered in the fall it would cost much less because they are raised on pasture, but the Churros seem to need a full year (or more) to grow big enough.

On the bright side, Mandy, the bum lamb, is doing well. She isn’t on the processing list. We will hopefully breed her this fall and start using her lambs for the freezer. We have good friends that own rams and are willing to let us breed her. One of their rams throws great colors, the other tends to throw size. We haven’t decided which to try yet.

We aren’t processing Blackie, either. He’s too friendly and too small. Since we love having visitors, we keep the animals that are friendly. We like to give visitors a chance to get as close as possible to the animals. Blackie loves people and loves attention. He was great at the Live Nativity we took him to in December. I’m sure that Vet2Be will be invited to another one this year, just because the sheep he brings love people.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *