There’s been enthusiastic talk of sheep, goats, and cows here at AOOA. There are few things more satisfying than visiting your herd on a summer’s eve, listening to their calm chewing and admiring their silky coats. Their almost-alchemical ability to turn grass into meat and milk inspires awe and respect.
But there’s a long checklist of things that need to be in place to avoid the corollary experiences: hastily tying together horse panels or trailer doors with baling twine, back-breaking poop-shoveling and haybale-rolling, returning errant animals to their paddock for the second time in a day, worrying about water and fresh grass during an August heat wave, and worrying about foot rot and soil compaction during Mud Season™. The first time you get up at 2am to feed a bottle lamb, there’s a sort of grim satisfaction to it. Not so on the twentieth.
sometimes it is cute... sometimes it is not!
We’re planning a lot here; the more we do, the more things can go wrong. That’s part of the game, on farms and elsewhere. With good planning, though, we can reduce the chances that more than one catastrophe will occur simultaneously.
So: I want to envision the stress points in raising ruminants in general. This will help refine our decision/process to add these to the farm.