Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about experiences, ideas, nature, creativity, and culture. The latter might appear at times political, but we will try to avoid partisanship to speak to the broader issues that impact a culture. This is just too important a time not to sometimes speak to problems that impact society. As she and I do, readers will find we often disagree and have for over 50 years-- still able to be close friends. You can do that if you can be agreeable that we share more than not despite the difference.

Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome as it turns an article into a discussion, but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled comments, or links (unless pre-approved).

Fantasy, the painting by Diane Widler Wenzel, cropped a little to fit the needs of a banner.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

After shearing

These photos are of our sheep after being shorn last week. Ours are mixed breeds but as you can see, many are pintos. I love their personalities, intelligence (yes some sheep are smarter than others), and the diversity of what they look like. Some are sooooo cute. The time of the lamb gangs is always fun although they can get themselves into so much trouble with their reckless running and pushing.

You may note that some have tails and some don't. This is due to whether we intended to sell the ewes or keep them. It is a popular belief that tails are messy on sheep. It's not true. The only time they might become that way is when the sheep are unhealthy. These sheep have fairly short tails by birth and frankly they do just fine with them. But you can't sell them to anybody with a tail; so...

The other thing is, cute as they are, the lambs are mostly raised for food. This is not a hobby farm but a business, which is what ranching has to be if you want to keep doing it. They get a good life. We sell the lambs to someone who kills mercifully and for a market that appreciates grassfed meat (same with our cattle). 

Obviously, raising livestock is a mixed blessing to do. Enjoy them but also know their purpose is for a human to live healthier. Sad but life is a lot that way-- the rose with the thorn.

The day they go is both what must be but one that I always feel sad about. I can only do it with the Native Americans claim when killing for food-- thank you, brother, for your sacrifice. 

Eat meat but eat less of it and never forget from where it came-- even if you bought it packaged in a grocery store. And whenever possible, buy from a local grower, not through the meat factories. It's better for the land and the animals-- us included.


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I don't think I ever knew about sheep's tails. They look like different animals after they're sheared.

Susan Says

Rain Trueax said...

They do, Susan. They are kind of goat-like anyway.

robin andrea said...

I do believe if people are going to eat meat, they should absolutely come to terms with the slaughter. So much of food and its processing is out of sight. Your sheep are really quite beautiful.

Linda Kay said...

I guess they are probably happy to get rid of all that coat they were carrying around! Much easier to be clean now.

Rain Trueax said...

Yes, they do like it especially when the shearer is as gentle as ours. It's hard to find good shearers for small flocks. In past years, the lambs sometimes refused to recognize their mothers and even went to the wool pile. This year though we had none of that.

Celia said...

Love their faces! When youngest son raised Heritage Black hogs we all learned a lot about pasture to plate. They had pasture and loving care. At first he just called them all "bacon" but in no time they all had names. They were such characters. Now I buy my meat from a local farm and appreciate the healthy way the animals are raised and butchered. It's more expensive but I eat much less meat now and that makes it affordable. Good thoughts for you and your critters.

Rain Trueax said...

Good for you, Celia. I wish more would do that as small growers are a healthy way to get meat of any sort. Better for the animals and us.