On thursday Andy and I loaded the lambs into the back of the truck at 5 am to head off to Paint Lick, Kentucky where our processor, Bluegrass Lamb and Goat, is located. Optimism is overrated when it comes to loading livestock without the right handling equipment. It took twice as long as we thought.Our plan partially worked to use a hay bale to have them step up on and then heaved into the cage we have built for the truck. Once we crowded them into a smaller area and once we had two loaded, the rest were eager to follow. I felt desperate at times; Andy kept us on track.
We drove about an hour and half quietly contemplating the morning and the the surrender of our 2012 ram lambs. They were indeed happy animals, friendly and curious and well cared for; I now trust Bluegrass Lamb and Goat to complete the circle.
After we left Paint Lick we traveled another hour to Cardwell where my lamb mentor Eileen O’Donahue and her husband Randy Banks live. Eileen operation, Two Shakes Ranch and Kentucky Lamb, is a place Andy I always leave feeling a renewed commitment to growing our own operation and what better way to recognize that than to get my “rental” ram from Two Shakes Ranch. Maurice is a fine Dorper hair sheep that went straight to work once he arrived at Swallow Rail. Instinct is a powerful thing. In less than 24 hours I had 3 ewes marked by the yellow marking harness that Maurice is wearing so we can monitoring when ewes are bred. It helps to know when we are expecting come April.