Our flock of sheep has gotten large…way more than we need to sell meat, and more than our pastures can handle, so off to the sale barn we went yesterday for the first time with 15 of our young sheep.
We started off the morning by putting ear tags on them (required as part of a tracking program). Then Farmer Bob pulled our little tag-along horse trailer into the pasture. Guess who thought he was going for a ride to get put in the pasture with his girlfriends? (Sorry Eddie! This ride’s not for you today!)
Eddie is our ram that was born here on the farm, and he’s smart! Ever since the first time we pushed him into the trailer to haul him to the pasture with the ewes, he voluntarily jumps into the trailer now. He came running over to the gate when he saw the trailer coming. He’s something!
We loaded the sheep we had tagged and the trailer was full. Off we went to the certified sale in Union County, NC!
It was a beautiful, absolutely GORGEOUS autumn day, and our drive was through pristine farm country. We rolled the windows down (yes…ROLLED them down…it’s an OLD truck!) and enjoyed the scenery.
We arrived at the sale barn and unloaded the sheep. Everyone was so friendly there and they handled the sheep without stressing or scaring them. I appreciated that! In the meantime, I looked at some of the other stock in the pens. There were lots of sheep of all kinds, and goats, too.
These are all healthy looking goats!
Here are the 15 sheep we brought to the sale barn. The gal in this picture glued a sticker on the back of each one with a number on it. They weighed each one and put them in groups along with other sheep according to weight. I guess that’s called “grading” and this was a “graded” sale, where buyers purchased according to weight instead of by farm groupings.
I didn’t go back in the evening for the sale, but Farmer Bob and our friends Amy & Ed went. Farmer Bob texted me as the sale progressed and our sheep passed through. He said they all looked so good compared to the other sheep and was very pleased with what we got for them. They are all ewes so didn’t bring as much as rams would have, but we’re very happy with what we got, and we’re happy to not have to feed them hay all winter long, too. (You can see in that first picture that our pastures are stressed from the drought we’re experiencing, so we’ve already been feeding hay.)
We still have a lot of young rams on the farm for harvesting. Three are going to be processed this month and the rest we will save for the spring. In the meantime, we have plenty of meat in the freezer for us to eat and for our customers, too. I already set aside two 5-pound legs for a friend’s Thanksgiving dinner, and two of the rams being processed this month are also sold. (When you buy the whole animal, you get everything cut and packaged just the way you want it…all the ground, stew meat, chops, racks, roasts, soup bones…everything!)
Call or text if you’d like to come see the lamb cuts we have in the freezer, all our own lamb from Fox Trot Farm, and processed at a certified humane and USDA inspected facility. Or come see us on Sundays from 1:00-5:00 when our market is open and stock up on lamb, eggs, honey and other goodies while you’re here.
Pork Chop says hey!!!