This year I have been learning to not take my self too seriously and enjoy the simple things in life. This Christmas Season I hope that you too will take the time to think about what and who has made you to be the person you are. And, more importantly, remember the real reason we celebrate CHRISTmas — our Savior’s birth.
|Parker plays farm all the time. He loves when we let him
get on the real tractors.
Thanks to Stephanie Barns Photography for spending an evening with our family taking pictures. This is not an easy thing to accomplish, some of us are not photogenic.You did a great job of making the two older family members look good and capturing the kids personalities.
|Two little Shepard’s tending to some of their ewes.|
|Campbell and her favorite barn cat “sister”.|
|The tractor wheel never looked so cute.|
This has been one crazy busy month! Our family has been here there every where. This week Campbell our oldest daughter started on a new journey of learning, she entered Pre Kindergarten. This is a three day a week all day program. She takes her lunch a big kid book bag and I drop her off at the local church to make new friends learn and have fun. Campbell has been waiting to put on her book bag and pack her lunch in her owl lunch carrier much more than mommy and daddy. I view this as an entire new season in our families life. One that is very exciting yet sad at the same time.
We all survived the first week just fine. Campbell was a bit tired at the end of each day, Parker loved some only child time and mom and dad did pretty well.
|Campbell had to go to the barn to say good bye to
the animals. She was worried about them while she
was away at school.
|She was so filled with cheer to get to her class!|
|Parker is not old enough to go to Pre-school yet. He
wanted to pack a lunch and his bag too.
|Parker looks like mommy felt!|
|Ruby one of our fall ewe lambs is getting a bath at the Ohio
State Fair. She did not mind the water but the band marching
by did make her a little nervous. We do not have many
marching bands going down our road out in the country.
When you take livestock to the fair you are bound to get good questions. Here are a few oft the most common questions we fielded this year. The best part is that Campbell and Parker are getting old enough to talk to people and answer these questions on their own.
Why do the sheep wear covers? To help keep them clean after being washed. It does not hurt them or affect them from doing normal behaviors. We in the sheep business call them blankets.
Does it hurt them to get their haircut? First off sheep have wool not hair. It is just like getting your head shaved or cut. Most sheep farmers shear their sheep 1 time each year.
Are these goats or sheep? Our breed are Horned Dorsets. Both rams (males) and ewes (females) have horns. This is a breed characteristic. The Rams have larger thicker horns than the ewes.
What do sheep eat? They eat grass or hay when there is not grass to eat like right now. Our lambs also get pellets when they are young and then a grain mix when they are in their growing stages birth-7 or so months. We want them to get the best start as possible from birth so they can be a quality meat protein or a ewe or ram to reproduce healthy quality lambs.
Do we eat our sheep? Yes we do eat our sheep. We keep the best sheep in our flock to produce new lambs. By best I mean sheep that will make our breed of sheep better. We want to continue to better our breed of sheep so we can provide an even better end product. We raise sheep to eat them. It is a fantastic healthy and tasty protein. We take our jobs a livestock stewards very seriously. We want to raise the best lambs to feed to our family and our customers.
Where do we buy lamb? Most every grocery store will have lamb. If you do not see it out in the meat case ask the butcher and they may have it in the cooler or will be happy to special order it. You can also buy straight from the farmer like us. We do sell off the farm as do many farmers.
How do I prepare the lamb? You should not stress about cooking with lamb it is easy. Do not over think it. Lamb can be substituted for many recipes that call for beef. Try making meatloaf or meatballs out of your own family favorite recipe. Lamb is best when not over cooked and feel free to use chicken or beef broths to add even more flavor to your dishes. Visit www.americanlamb.com for some great recipes.
|Reserve Grand Champion Christmas Tree
Overall. Champion Spruce and Fir trees as well.
|The kids cleaned up in the Jr, Show. We have worked hard
to maintain a good and true to the breed Horned Dorset.
|Campbell Miriam wearing wool and showing off one of her ewe lambs “Ruby.”|
|Sheep do not get this white on their own. Campbell and Parker are pros at
washing sheep. They like to scrub the hooves and horns with a tooth brush. I just hope they
know we use old tooth brushes not current toothbrushes!
|This was something we had never done before. You showcase what you raise in your garden. We tied in our livestock as well. Bridging the Gap between the farmer and the consumer. I guess we had beginners luck!|
|I told him to keep his eyes on the judge. Looks like he just gorgot to hold the sheep while he was doing it.|
|It is hard work for a little lady to show all afternoon. She did great and
wants to do it again soon!
|Getting the ewes ready for the show. Parker takes this very serious if you can not tell.|
|Parker loved his ribbon from showmanship.
I think he liked the $10 even better.