Ramifications

In life there are actions, and reactions, cause, and effect, and the like. What you do has consequences, we sometimes call these ramifications, but that is not really what I am talking about, just needed a clever title to emphasize the amount of rams we have had on the farm lately. You see, sheep are a herd animal and you can have one ram to like 30 sheep. Well thanks to the game of binary gender when you have lambs they are either boys or girls, they do not get to decide later in life, nor do they really care, or if they do, they show no sign of it. That being said, we were given two rams from out Finnsheep Minnie, of the whitish variety, and then her sister not to be out done gave us 3 more black rams, but unfortunately one of them did not make it. So now we have a ratio of 12 rams to 11 ewes. I would say that this does not bode well, but they are all a blessing. We can turn these rams in wethers, and then they will be great company for our other males until they are sold, but in addition to this, their wool will be more abundant as they will not be putting all that energy into other things.

We have not named any of the lambs yet, but here are some pictures of the most recent two.

We are still expecting to get some nice lambs from one of our babydolls Marilyn, however, she is keeping them tucked inside for now. Though her milk bag is getting YEWG(Huge for those who don’t speak President Trump), which is a good sign that she is getting close to releasing the hostages. Our humble farm is slowly becoming a real life working farm, and God willing we will continue to put our efforts in making it a good home for our children and our animals. Of course, if you want to save these Finns from losing their um… male bits, they are for sale. We will be selling them for 400 each, as they are register able rams.

As I mentioned in the previous post we have been blessed with the fields next to us that our sheep can wander in and have all the grass they can manage to chew in a day’s time. Well it is getting to be that time of year where things that are not watered constantly begin to dry up and die and turn into a fire hazard, so the person who owns the field is doing the weed abatement thing, but says that our sheep can still roam up there after all is said and done.

So while we will be losing the food supply for a short amount of time, it is for the best as the dead grass is really not nutritious for them anyway. However, as a repayment to Blaze for letting us, wait for it… ewes…. the land, this coming year he should not have to worry about paying for the weed abatement as they should do a good job on keeping up with the newer stuff that grows. They were at a slight disadvantage this year as it had become so overgrown and they couldn’t graze it until far too late in the season.

This situation has revealed a great amount of selfishness and entitlement in me though. I was frustrated that we had been given all rams, instead of being grateful for all that our Lord and King has provided for us. I have been bitter because the blessing I was given was not the blessing that I wanted. Not even a serious issue like Paul who had some sort of actual problem he was dealing with, asked God 3 times to remove it from him, and God responds with “My grace is sufficient for you”. One of the apostles, counting all as rubbish for the sake of the Lord, and here I am disheartened because I have been given more than I need. Instead I should be called to praising the Father who provides, and asking that He remember our brothers and sisters around the world who are in fact suffering, for His name sake.

Long Overdue…

It has been roughly 3 months since our last post about life here on the farm, and in that time much has happened. We have had our ups and downs, our struggles and our victories. However, we have also had new blood here on the farm, both figuratively and literally.

Let us go back to the start of the year. Recently someone purchased the land next to us where there is a LOT Of overgrown vegetation. We have been given permission to take all the weeds that we want from up there to feed our sheep with the promise that once it is gated off from the surrounding area we can then let our sheep roam up there all the day long and eat to their hearts content. So we are allowing all of our females up there(11 currently) to go up and clean the lot for the new owner. This is a tremendous blessing, as it has reduced our feed bill huge amounts and lets our sheep really travel and burn off all that um… *gulp* “delicious” grass stuff calories. To facilitate this better we have taken the ewes out of their pens with the respective mates, and brought them out to the area where we have many of our fruit trees and vines. They promptly went to work and ate all the vegetation on the ground and cleared that area along with some of the bark from out trees. We have since fixed this problem but some of the damage was already done. Have I mentioned before that we are learning on the go?

Meet Ender:

 

 

he is lively, super happy to see just about anyone, mail lady excluded, and overall a great dog. He is normally our front yard dog, but we will on occasion take him out to the back lot to help round up the chickens which he does faster than I can even begin to start getting one herded to where they belong. However, recently we had a visitor come over and they did not close the gate behind them, so Ender thinking he had free reign of the land went out the gate, but there were not any chickens to herd, no, only the females we have been letting roam around. So he chased them all around freaking out our sheep, and even biting one of them in an attempt to control them I guess. We got him back in the yard, and everything was fine up until about 2 weeks ago when he got out again, same method of the gate being left open, this time he actually got a hold of one of the Ewe’s legs and tore a good portion of skin off of it, we have been keeping it bandaged and cleaning it, she is no longer limping on it and is able to get around and eat again, but we were very concerned for her for a while as she is one of our pregnant ewes.

As of last Monday we got a set of clipping shears so that I can shear our sheep. I have used these a little bit already to clear the back ends of some of our expecting ewe’s. Problem is that I am not even an amateur at this, I am a complete cotton headed ninny muggins. One of our sheep is showing pretty much one cheek, while another looks like she has coat tails. I figure with time I can get better at this, and save myself some money and turn it into a great homeschooling lesson for the kids. I will be taking pictures of the sheep once sheared for my records or just a good story.

Now for the good news, we just had our first set of Spring lambs(pictured below). They look more like their father Frank, and follow in suit as they are twin males. Minnie, their mother, is already taking to their needs and treating them with all the love a lamb can get. I love observing little lambs and thinking about how our Lord Christ is compared to a Lamb.

 

 

Personally before I owned any sheep, I mistakenly thought of the expression more as Jesus is a sheep, gentle and all, but not really lamb like. Let me explain, a sheep, while being a prey animal is still capable of mauling more than just grass, in particular a full grown ram is rather powerful and not very docile. However, in looking at a lamb, they are gentle because they are not capable of being anything else, they cannot attack, they cannot play viciously, they are gentle, they are fragile, and they are rather loving. Do not get me wrong I am not trying to carry the analogy to its furthest and compare Christ to all these things, He is far from helpless, but the expression of a lamb is used to describe what I believe would be considered by those hearing among the most gentle of animals. Christ as our King is a lamb to those who are His, but He is also compared to a Lion, not only majestic but powerful and terrifying, as our Lord would be to His enemies.

Eli we love this… butthead.

Muldoon: They show extreme intelligence, even problem-solving intelligence. Especially the big one. We bred eight originally, but when she came in, she took over the pride and killed all but two of the others. That one… when she looks at you, you can see she’s working things out. That’s why we have to feed them like this. She had them all attacking the fences when the feeders came.
Dr. Ellie Sattler: But the fences are electrified though, right?
Muldoon: That’s right, but they never attack the same place twice. They were testing the fences for weaknesses, systematically. They remember. “

Wait… aren’t we talking about Sheep, why do you have a quote from Jurassic Park in there? Okay, yes we are talking about sheep, or in this case just one, does that make it shep? Anyway, today we bring to you our beloved Eli:

The ram you see before you, much like the raptors likes to test the fences of the cages he is in, to the point that we have considered renaming him to Houdini. He has sneaked under a few different types of fences, and even in one case removed the gate to the cage holding him. It was always “fun” coming out and finding him out and about doing whatever he wanted to do in the chicken pen area. However, enough about his gumption let us get on to features that are more technical. Eli is a NABSAR Registered Black Southdown Baby Doll Ram. He gives a ridiculous amount of wool compared to the other sheep we have. He has his tail, and while I may get disagreement here, I personally like the tail on the sheep. As for our sheep he has sired six lambs, which we have two remaining, both rams.

Being that he is our first ram there was a lot to learn with him, and by the grace and merciful will of God, he is still with us. The reason I have waited so long to post this item is due to having struggled with a way to attempt to glorify God in this post. Eli, while being a great learning sheep for us, has also been a tremendous trial for us in many ways. The constant escapes, and worrying about how much he has consumed that he should not, the always having to watch my back when in his cage and use my most elite of ninja moves to evade him.

Many times, I have thought perhaps I should just stop; maybe this is not for me. I would question why this continues to happen to me. As if I am somehow beyond this minor inconvenience. It is in these moments that I am reminded how patient our creator is with us. How He has not killed me off (“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.” Lamentations 3:22), and while I do not know the secret will of the Lord, I was recently reminded by my pastor that we have much freedom in our plans, and God will direct our steps.

 

The Good Shepherd???

So I know that I was supposed to update every Friday, and it has been like a month now and there have been some updates lacking… like all of them, and while I made this update in time for Friday, it never got posted. I must admit it is hard to come up with something to write about, while I have many ideas not all of them translate to a good enough bulletin. So let us see what we can come up with as an update.

Now that I am a shepherd of actual sheep, and of my children (to raise them up in the way that they should go), I have gotten to thinking about many of the things that I grew up hearing about animals and the like. Things like farm animals’ smell, and they are so messy, or stories from church that deal with sheep. While some of these things may be true, some are misrepresented or exaggerated. Do my animals smell… of course, they are animals, and they have a scent, but it is not strong unless you are going up to them and going all in for that “what do you smell like?” sensation? Are they messy, sure, they are animals and they are not trying to impress anyone, so they do their business anywhere and are completely okay with that. However, sacrificing truth for the sake of a good story trying to make a point is not acceptable. Have you ever heard your pastor talk about how a good shepherd will sometimes come across a rather stubborn or willful sheep that likes to leave the flock? In order to correct this situation they will find the sheep, and break one of its legs, then they will carry the sheep around everywhere until it heals, once it the sheep is healed, seeing how kind its master was for carrying it, and being there while it healed, would follow it around and love him forever? How nice of the shepherd, how loving they are in carrying around the wounded animal until it healed? That is real love, the sacrifice and strain on the shepherd’s back to nurse the little sheep back to health. Well, the connection is then made that God will do this to us when we are willful, that sometimes He has to break us, then get us to lean on Him until we are better, then we will love Him.

Wait a minute… WHAT DID THAT SHEPHERD DO?!?!?! Ya, you read it right, he BROKE his sheep’s leg. That seems so loving to me. However, you might say, Michael, you do not understand it was an act of love so that the sheep does not do it again. Clearly, the person who came up with this story never had sheep. First off they weigh HUNDREDS of pounds, attempting to carry one around with a broken leg, would break your spine into roughly 84 million dust fragments. Secondly, these “dumb” animals are not going to understand why out of nowhere they are in excruciating pain. They WILL fear you. Think back to the actual stories we have in the bible about the good shepherds, like David, or even Christ himself. David would go out to save his animals from the mouths of lions and tigers and bears… no, no, no, I am not going to say “oh my”, hmm… or maybe I am, but just to say it to let you know that I am not going to say it. I did not recall hearing him breaking any legs. Christ talks about going out to find the lost one, but again no mention of dismemberment. Not to mention that breaking an animals leg especially in that time would probably ruin that whole without spot or blemish thing, and animals don’t deal the same with those kind of things as we do with modern medicine. As I understand it, if certain animals get broken limbs they are no good EVER again. I have not researched it, so I MAY be guilty of what I am ranting about in this article, but people shoot horses if their leg’s get broken, do they not?

This is not to say that God does not correct us when we do wrong, we are in fact His children, if you are truly saved. Scripture tells us that those He loves He chastens. Scripture says that He is Father in Heaven, who is perfect, and parents should correct their children, sometimes with physical discipline, but WHERE do you find in scripture the advocating breaking your children’s limbs?

So remember, my brothers and sisters, when you hear a message there is nothing wrong with accepting it, but then go to the scriptures to see if it is true. Next week we will be starting profiles for out sheep, but not like dating profiles, or profiling which is against the law, but like… talking about our sheep and stuff, like prices and what not. Starting off the list will be Eli our first Ram, and how if the above mentioned story were true, I would have broken at least one of his legs, and my own spine.

New Faces on the Farm

First update of the site. Its Friday, Friday, gotta… wait a minute, how much of the song can I quote before it becomes copyright infringement? Well either way it doesn’t matter, we are not talking about Friday, or next Friday, or Friday After Next(not that I have seen any of those, except maybe the first? I don’t remember).

Okay, so rambling over, I bet you are wondering why I have called you all together today. A while back we bought some new sheep from a shepherd in northern California. I took my oldest son with me to go pick them up, and we had a long car ride back with 7 baby sheep in the back of our 95′ GMC Suburban. Not really sure why I am giving you more information than is important or interesting, but its there, and you cannot get it out of your head now. Back to what I was saying, we took these sheep home, 4 white sheep, and 3 black, 5 of them being female, we got a white, and a black ram. They are super cute and still rather small, but at the same time rather skiddish around anything not sheep-like.

We do not have names for any of them just yet, but our Ewes(pictured below) will be ready for breeding in like another year about. Ewes SM 2

Then there are the two boys who will need to be taken to the vets to get rid of some of their boy parts.

Rams SM 2

Along with these new sheep we have the addition of one new goose

Geese SM

And a new two chicks, to be pictured sometime later, probsibly(which is a combination of possibly and probably).