This week, we weaned hair sheep babies. This involved catching all of the sheep up into a small pen and sorting off the babies that were big enough to leave their mamas. It was also a good time to evaluate which ewes and babies we want to keep and which ones might need to be culled. What we want are mamas who are still in good flesh after feeding a big old baby for several months, who have a calm disposition and are easy to handle, and who have a natural resistance to parasites. By breeding these traits forward, we will increase the quality of the herd.
It was a fun, noisy morning, working with Stephen, the boys and my dad to get it all done.
These lambs that the boys are holding were two of a late set of triplets. They are some that we didn't wean, obviously. So cute!
Maggie the faithful corgi had to watch from outside the pen. This broke her heart.
Grandpa, showing Ethan which one to catch next. They all have ear tags with a number on them and the babies have the same number as their mamas.
We've been on my parents' farm for nearly a year now. When we moved out here, there was some apprehension (I'm sure on their part too) as to how it would work for us to live in such close proximity. We have a great relationship, but everyone knows that too much togetherness can strain even the strongest of family ties. My parents were empty nesters and we were bringing five small children to invade their space.
While the transition hasn't been perfect, it has been good. When I see the boys working side by side with their daddy and their Grandpa, when I see them helping Grandma clean out her chicken house or work in the garden, when I see the security and the joy that it brings them to grow up with extended family close at hand...the adjustments are so worth it. It's one generation, handing down knowledge, skills, and love to the next, and like links in a chain, we are stronger together than we would be by ourselves.
This post is part of the On Farm blog hop. Check it out for homesteading inspiration!