Extensive experience and thorough planning...
In 2010 my sister, Melissa and I started talking about raising sheep. I was interested in farming on the land after farming on the water in aquaculture for many years with my husband, Johnny. Melissa, a vet by education and a traveller by nature was interested in supporting me both morally and in those dark nights of lambing time when things don't seem to quite go as you hope it will.
I wanted to farm an animal that was special. Melissa and I both thought sheep are special. So, decision made.
Alas my dear Melissa wasn't able to share the sheep venture as her life was cut short before the first sheep were chosen.
And so the research and planning were left to me. Well... research consisted of ensuring I always have an internet connection to check you-tube when a lamb isn't arriving toes and nose first. Planning involved visiting some people my brother knows to talk about sheep and going home with 6 ewes. Thorough planning continued that first year with my agreeing to take a ram lamb that someone did not want to eat and inviting him to watch porn with my 6 ewes....before we ate him.
Exceptionally great planning continued with an unexpected arrival of twins on a very cold dark nights in January. Like many a good parent could tell you, unbeknownst to the folks who sold me the ewes, one of the girls had been showing more than her ankles to the boy next door before arriving at my farm.
The first spring lambing involved a full team of support including the couple who sold me my ewes arriving at the farm to help even though they had a ewe at home in labour themselves and another girl calling with helpful tips that included hairdryers. I am pretty sure the hairdryer manufacturers have not considered the target market "newborn lambs" when considering their marketing strategy.
Fast forward to sheep season number 2....
2015 lambs were born mid to end of April this year. I experienced excellent survival only because of lots of family help including my mother who made lamb coats to keep them warm on their first day in the harsh Nova Scotia weather and a husband and children who held them often during the cold wet first few days of life.
The lambs have enjoyed and grown well on the green grass of Wileville, Lunenburg County (the coverpage photo) all summer, with the occasional exercise hassle of being chased around by Marlie, the sheep herding border collie.
I spend a lot of time with my sheep making choices that fit my values of both making the lifecycle for the animals pleasant and wanting those that share this local food source pleased with the product and the experience.
This blog will share my continuing education, experience, and things I learn about sheep , meat and probably, people, along the journey.