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Still in Limbo

I’ve been away from the farm blog and our Facebook page dealing with sheep lately.  We’ve been working hard at buying a farm, and it hasn’t gone particularly smoothly.  I mentioned a farm in Brownington.  It would have been a great farm, but we couldn’t come to an agreement with all of the parties who owned it.  Three were ready to sell it, but one seemed hesitant.  While we were waiting to hear about our offer on the Brownington house, we went to look at other houses in case the whole plan fell through.  We found a different house in Albany during our search, and because we had not heard from the other sellers in a timely fashion, we changed direction and made an offer on the Albany house.

Things were going well with the Albany property, which has many appealing features and is more modern than the first property.   When we started the title search process, however, we hit a serious issue.  The property was surrendered in lieu of payment to the bank, but the paperwork wasn’t completed correctly, and the error would potentially leave a new purchasers (us) potentially liable for debts incurred by the prior owner.  So now we are waiting for the paperwork to be redone, and there’s a chance that the re-doing could uncover other issues that would delay our ability to buy the house indefinitely.

I feel like my life is on hold.  I can’t prepare much for the move or finalize the sheep situation until we have a place for them to go.  I have five more Bluefaced Leicesters coming in July 22-23, a ram from Terra Mia farm in Oregon being delivered on July 4,  and 14 Border Leicesters under the patient care of their current owner while we wait for a barn and field to be available.  Not to mention the barn builders and the roofer who await a timeframe from us on owning the house.  I admit that my stress level has been pretty high, as we don’t have a lot of appealing property options in our pricerange if we can’t make this purchase.  We will farm somewhere, but it could be less than we had hoped for.

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The Groaning Time

I feed the sheep at 6:15 each morning before I leave for work.  Though the dawn encroaches at that time of day, I still must turn on my truck headlights each morning to illuminate the barn.  Groggy sheep blink back at me.

Now, when I reach the barn in the smokey pre-dawn light, the first thing that catches my attention is a subtle chorus of groaning.  My sheep are groaningGroaning, I suppose, because two or three lambs are persistently poking them in the rumen, or pinching the nerves in their hips.  Groaning because getting up is almost a full-time job at the moment.  And groaning because ewes experienced in lambing are surely aware that they have a few weeks yet to go before their relieved of pregnancy and burdened with newborns, instead.  Whenter they can impart that knowledge to their first-time lambing sisters is unknown.

Dalek gets up gingerly.  Back legs hoist her rear into the air with a flourishing stretch.  A redoubling of her focus gets her two front legs under her, and one more forward lean and a little tail wag have her ready for action.  Or ready to waddle around the barn, as it happens.  She sees the hay and that prompts more whiney groaning.  “Eehhhhh”  “Mrmnnnh”

I feel guilt because I am relieved from pregnancy’s burden.  My health condition, while under control, would make getting pregnant possibly challenging and likely would increase my risk of complications to my overall health.  So I will probably never bear a child, and yet I ask these ewes to do so every year.  That said, I have to suppose that absent a greater guiding philosophy, sheep are Darwinists who believe in propagating their species and spreading their genes.  Doubtlessly, though, Tardis and Dalek are questioning right now whether having triplets is working too hard towards that goal.

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