Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Winter is for projects

The warm season grasses are dormant. The cool season grasses are slowly starting to grow but are not yet ready for grazing. There is no hay to make. Lambing is still months away. Breeding is done.

Sounds like there’s not much to do on the farm, right? Wrong!

The tractor needs it’s fluids changed. The chicken pens need repair. Several gates are dragging the ground and hard to use. The generator won’t start. The barn lot fence needs fixing. Last springs ram lambs are market age. All the ewes need a pedicure.

Most of these things have been done this winter and the others are in progress.

This far south a January day could be 80 degrees (yesterday) or it could be in the thirties (today). I’ve got a fresh batch of broiler chickens in the brooder. I hope they don’t turn into just so many little peep-sickles.

All the market lambs are sold but five. I’m tempted to have them butchered before I sell them. They are cheaper to keep in the freezer that in the pasture, but it is best to sell them live if I can.

This year all lambs have been sold directly to the consumer, nothing went to the sale barn.

I’m trying to work out a way to sell meat by the cut rather than by the head but I don’t think I’ll have that worked out before this lot is gone.

All together this is plenty enough to fill these short winter days.


Cheryl said...

I'm doing fences, too. It's not 80 degrees here, and the ground is either frozen or it's a mud bog. I'm thinking, a moat, all I have to do is dig the hole, and it will fill itself with water. I'm a genius! ;)

Cheryl in WA state

Chicken Mama said...

We've got our fill of "winter projects" also.

I have a question about your meat sales. I need to do more research, but I thought that all non-USDA meat HAD to be pre-sold live- or is that maybe just the rule here in TN? I remember that you were very creative in your egg sales at the farmer's market. Maybe you've come up with an interesting variation of that for your lamb sales?

jimWarmke said...

To answer Chicken Mama about the lamb sales;

Yes, non-USDA meat must be pre-sold live. That is what I do but the customers don't want live animals, they want meat.

I take the lambs to the butcher, give the butcher the name of the customer and then go with the customer to the butcher shop for pickup.