Ever notice that the plans you make rarely work out? You are so right, Mr. Allen Saunders.
I got up early this morning with plans to head out to the pasture with the machete to finish chopping down the tall ironweed before it goes to seed. I started it two days ago but the heat and humidity kicked my hind end midway through the job. I had planned to finish yesterday morning, but woke up feeling mighty lazy and put it off. I admonished myself for that and planned to get it done this morning. Just minutes after getting out of bed, it started raining. So much for my plans.
My flock plans have certainly changed drastically since I started with just 3 pregnant ewes in 2018. I planned to grow my flock slowly by adding just 3-5 ewes per year. Instead, after retaining the two ewe lambs born here in 2019, I gained an additional six adult ewes from the original breeder when she needed to get out of sheep. She was also a victim of life messing with plans when her husband died suddenly, leaving her alone to manage a very new farm. My flock grew overnight from just five ewes to eleven. We hadn’t even finished our fencing!
This year I had planned to retain three ewe lambs based on their estimated breeding values through NSIP and my visual appraisal; just three! Yet here I am, adding 14 new sheep instead because of opportunities too good to pass up coupled with my mother’s shared interest in building my flock. Add to that my plans to add a single ram this year. Instead, I have already added two, have two more coming along with the extra ewes, and still haven’t picked up the first one from the originally intended farm! But I couldn’t pass up these opportunities to add such valuable stock to my own. So much for my plans! Maybe I need to develop a plan for renting out ram(s)?
The Big News
A friend, fellow breeder, and fellow SCHSBI board member has decided to leave the St. Croix business. While I am deeply saddened by her decision, I am also excited to announce that I will be adding her sheep to my flock. Eight ewes and two rams will arrive soon. Luckily, she has already tested her flock several times, so biosecurity is not a concern. I will do a quick 48-hour de-worming and foot spa treatment and they can go directly into my pastures.
While I am adding sheep, I am letting go of our Austrian Sulmtaler chickens. This rare breed needs and deserves far more attention than I have given. My focus is on my St. Croix Hair Sheep, Myotonic Goats, and Buckeyes. That’s plenty to keep me busy! I love the breed, and hope that they go to a farm and breeder intent on saving them for future generations.
Why Plan at All?
These last few years have proven that quote to be all too true, yet I still make plans. I’m not sure why I bother. I change most of them so much that the actual activity barely resembles the original plan. I guess it makes me feel better to have something written down. I have changed my breeding plan numerous times this year as the new stock are added to the list. At this point, I don’t even remember what the original plan was!
Well folks, I’m off to make a new fall breeding plan.