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Sheep Follow



Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 3 Feb 2023...

Hey Y'all!


HAPPY FRIDAY!! FYI--17 degrees and sunny still feels like 17 degrees! I put a Happy Friday pic of Shelley and I as we were feeding the hogs this morning. The other pic is Stella chilling out as her mom is getting milked. She now wants to go into the milking area with her mom every time. She just trots right in like she is one of the cows. We let her go in while we are getting Happy and Betty into their stanchions and then move her out of the milking area and into the connected loafing area where they still feel like they are together but Stella is out of the way of the milking processes. The rest of the animals were also great this morning. Yesterday, we made a gallon and a half of yogurt and 3 pounds of a curry/habanero paneer. We are really enjoying the paneer because it is a mild cheese, is relatively quick to make, can be flavored, and can be pan fried without melting. When we were stationed at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho, we were near a cheese factory that had this amazing cheese that could be fried without melting. We thought it was some kind of voodoo magic known only to those folks because we had never seen it before or since. Now we know they just made the cheese by heating the milk to a high temperature while making it, effectively binding the proteins together into a firm cheese with a high melting point. We are going to experiment with using the sliced and fried cheese as a main course like meat. We'll see. We also worked on tax prep. We have an amazing bookkeeper that is going through our expenses and putting everything into order. This will facilitate us being able to input expenses as we incur them instead of waiting an entire year and trying to tackle everything at once. Today more tax prep and a trip to the processor to pick up the lamb. We will sample the lamb this weekend and if everything is amazing like we expect, we will first offer it for sale to folks that have expressed interest in lamb and then add whatever is left to the online store.


During our morning staff meetings, Shelley and I often pontificate about life in general and not just about the daily farm happenings. Lately we seem to be coming back to individual freedoms and how we are reacting to different current events. I relate our conversations to different breeds of sheep. For our non-farming friends, not all sheep are created equal. Some, in fact the ones we are most familiar with, are wool sheep. The wool sheep are bred and raised for their wool that must be sheered annually. There are also hair sheep, which is the kind of sheep we have on our farm. Hair sheep are raised for their meat and do not need to be sheered but shed their thick hair during the summer and regrow it in the winter. There are hundreds of different breeds. One of the breed characteristics is flocking behavior. The fine wool breeds have the strongest flocking instincts and the better foraging breeds have the weakest flocking instinct. Associated with the flocking behavior is an instinct to follow. Sheep will follow, a trait shepherds have taken advantage of to move large flocks without the use of horses or other means usually associated with moving cattle. Where one sheep goes, the flock follows...usually the oldest members of the flock lead. Shelley and I have decided we are most like the ancient foraging breeds of sheep who have little interest in flocking together or following whatever the rest of the flock is doing. This is not to say that we don't enjoy the company of our friends and family, just that we don't have an innate drive to follow what someone else is doing. I think that is a big part of the draw to this area of the country. The folks in this area seem to be of the less flocking type also.


Shelley posted another YouTube Short, Happy Berkshire Hogs, a clip from last fall. Check it out and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.


Local Farm Report for 2 Feb 2023:

Harvest:

19 Chicken eggs

7 Duck eggs

5 Gallons of milk

Sales:

3 Gallons of milk

4 Dozen chicken eggs


Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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