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Thursday, March 04 2010

Farms evolve. Sometimes it helps to look back from time to time to see how your farm evolved.  Sometimes it doesn't. In fact, sometimes, it's downright scary. Those are the times when you calculate exactly how much money you shell out each month for feed, fencing, vet bills, and livestock. (Usually tax time!) After you have calculated the monetary expense, you then factor in the labor and time. Since most of us aren't full-time farmers (we would starve to death if we were!) you calculate your hourly wage at work versus how much your farm pays you. Eeek! At this point you wonder what people who live in subdivisions do with their time and money.

I mean really?!! Is there a reason to get up in the morning if you DON'T have screaming mouths to force you out of bed? What do they do with their money? I've calculated the figure, and if we didn't have goats, sheep, cattle, and the chickens we donate each year to coyotes, opossums, and raccoons, we'd be rich.

But lets get back to how farms evolve. First start with land. Land leads to horses. (naturally) Horses lead to fences. Fences lead to work. Clearing fence lines is hard work.  Round-up is both bad for the environment and the pocketbook. That leads to goats.  Goats are good for the environment, but bad for your mental health. Goats lead to muttering and cussing.

Enter man with cattle. Cow man understands ranching. Cow man leads to cattle, more dogs, more horses, and more land.  Cow man leads to cow dogs. Goats lead to Border Collies.  Border Collies lead to sheep.  Sheep are much easier on fences. Sheep are as cute as goats but with less cussing. Dorper sheep do not have to be sheared and kinda look like goats at a distance.

Cow man actually gets use to sheep and no longer hides his head in shame when he has to admit that yes, he has sheep. Cow man has his first crop of lambs.  Cow man announces (loudly) that he does NOT eat lamb. Cow man also refuses to allow the sale of lambs to anyone that he knows because he does not want to KNOW the person eating his cute little lambs. (As God is my witness, he said this!)

Cow man rules:

* It is NOT okay to serve goat on his plate in any form or fashion. The only creature God meant man to eat was the cow.
* It is okay to sell all goats at auction or to Middle Easterners in mini-vans.
* It is not okay to sell goats to anyone he KNOWs who will eat them. (He does not actually KNOW the Middle Easterners in the mini-vans)
* It is not okay to even talk about humane ways to kill your own baby lambs.
* If you plan on butchering lamb, plan on eating it by yourself.

Sheep lead to Livestock Guardian Dog because sheep are helpless creatures who look cute and don't destroy fences.  Because of this, you will throw all manner of money in their direction after the first lamb is born. Sheep lead to more sheep. You calculate that each ewe will have twins. You calculate that 50% of those will be female. Lambs are born.  All are singles.  All are male. THUS . . . you must BUY MORE SHEEP! You sell some goats. Instead of putting that money into savings or retirement, or whatever city people do with their money, you plan to BUY MORE SHEEP! You decide that your situation is hopeless because the man you plan to retire with also suggests that you use goat money to buy more sheep. (Unless one member of the family is of sound mind, there is no one actually piloting the ship, and you will both happily sail off the edge of the world together.)

And thus farms evolve. While city folk spend their free time going to dinner and the movies, hardworking country folk spend their time hauling hay, fixing fence, and admiring lambs built like brick shithouses that they will never eat. 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Those are some nice looking sheep.
Posted by konny on 03/04/2010 - 03:11 PM
Thank you! I am quite smitten with them. These Dorper sheep seem to be hardy, lamb with no assistance, and gain weight quickly. Thus far, we've been very happy with them.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 03/04/2010 - 09:43 PM

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