Dairy sheep are not cheap. Yes, I know I've said it before, but it's worth saying again. The notion is fresh in my mind since I just purchased 50 new lambs to add to my flock! I'm lucky enough to live 15 minutes away from some of the best dairy sheep genetics in the U.S., so I didn't have to look very far to find my new replacements. The three month old lambs are healthy and thriving, definitely worth every penny! The day they were delivered, I had a crew of hardworking friends come over to help out. We unloaded the lambs from the trailer into our corral area, then moving them into the barn. They were tame from being mostly bottle-raised, which made herding a lot easier than it is with my dad's meat sheep! Once inside the barn, Michaela and Sharon got to work removing ear tags and replacing them with my own ear tags. Eric lifted the newly tagged lambs onto a wooden table, holding the legs so they wouldn't kick out or get away. Then I would give them vaccines of Covexin 8, Sore Mouth, and Tetanus. Then we moved them all out into their new pasture with the rest of my dairy sheep, where they've been eating and frolicking and getting used to their new home.
Also happening around here is the renovation of the dairy parlor. Another couple friends (it pays to have good, skilled friends!) removed the old, rusty feeders from one side of the pit parlor using acetylene torches and a metal saw. Sparks were flying and the cattle scattered from the rattling noise, but it was done in just a couple hours. Now the area is cleared and ready for new sheep-sized headgates to go in.
Meanwhile, Seana and Dave have been making cheese nonstop since the permits were finalized. A couple hours a week I go into the aging room, gloves, apron, facemask and all, to do some "affinage". The cheese I've been working with is Shephardista, which is a natural rind cheese. This means every couple days the cheeses need to be turned, and the natural molds that develop on the outside of the cheese need to be brushed off. It's not the most fun job ever but I'm learning a lot and it's all part of the bigger process...cheese!!