September is upon us, are we ready? I have been working on being ready for fall. With the summer drought, my concern is hay. Although we purchase from one hay grower, my husband has not talked with him about the price this year. I was set to not need hay until December, but with the drought I had to start feeding hay in July. Now my winter stores are low. I have a plan for getting things ready and restocking the winter store of feed.
Sometimes the plan we start the year with does not go according to our projections. We have to be flexible and adjust our plans with the year we have been given. This year I had to adjust to not enough late spring moisture to get me through the summer. It is important to not give up when things do not go according to plan.
I had options on how to adjust my year projected plan due to the drought. One option was to sell off ewes to a smaller number. With this option, I would not need as much winter hay to feed. Additional monetary funds would be available for winter hay.
Option two, to sell off the lambs, keep the ewes numbers the same. I went with the second option. I am selling all the lambs, not keeping any ewe lambs to raise up and add to the breeding flock. I had planned on increasing my ewe flock, so as to be able to produce more lambs. Keeping the ewe flock the same size, and just maintaining through the winter is what I have chosen to do. I have some nice young ewes who have lambed once and are good mothers. I have some older ewes, that I was thinking of selling, but choose to keep in order to produce more lambs next spring. Next spring, when people who chose to sell off all their sheep this fall are looking to buy ewes or ewe lambs, I will have some to sell.
Another situation that is having an affect on the sheep farm is my youngest daughter is pregnant with triplets, totally spontaneous, and a blessing. She will deliver on September 14. I will be staying at her house for at least a month, starting September 11.
With this coming event, I scheduled the breeding of ewes so the lambing dates were not in September or October. My husband will have to work his job and care for the sheep. It would not be fair if he had to deal with lambing. Doing the daily chores is not too much hardship for him. He helps me with evening chores everyday.
I have been working this summer preparing the place for when my husband has to do things instead of myself. There will be no extra work for him to do, just feeding, watering and checking for health. Sheep health maintenance such as deworming and hoof trimming will or is done before I leave. Since fall is a wet time of year for our area, I like to have the feet trimmed before the wet season. Helps to prevent hoof rot by hoof wall turning and trapping manure and bacteria in the hoof.
The recent rainfall of two weeks ago, and the past three days, the grass has turned green once more and is growing. We have sheep on the pastures once more. Hoping the weather stays good for the grass to continue to grow for several months.
September is upon us, and fall is almost here. Time to make sure everything is ready for winter.