Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Hardest Day of the year for a Shepherd

Today was the hardest day of the year for a shephard. At least for THIS shephard. Today was Cull & Slaughter Day. All the culls of my herd, those that must go, are pulled out, along with the lambs that are earmarked to go. We sort, pen, then start the process.
We have our system, Paul really ends up with the lion's share of the work. The actual killing, gutting, skinning. I do the sorting & penning, and drive/operate the bobcat that we use to haul & hang the carcusses.
It's grizzly work, messy, gory, and the barn looks like a scene from a slasher movie, waiting for the CSI team to show up. But this is our meat for the year, this is how I keep the numbers in control of my flock. You can not keep them all!! This is when I get my last gift from my sheep as they give finally their hides to be tanned.
So that's how it is for a shepherd. The sheep gives us their fleece to be spun into yarn, then they give us their flesh to feed us, and finally their hides to use. They remind us that life is all a cycle, a circle, that goes on & on & on.

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