Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We have a beautiful view.

We really do.

About two weeks ago I looked out our front window and saw this.


That's a lot of sheep. Judging by the number of marker sheep in the herd, there were at least eight hundred. They spread from one edge of my camera lens to the other.


I took this picture as they were being moved from one of our neighbor's fields to another, right past our house. A few of them decided to come visit my husband's small flock of sheep. The herder had to come push them back onto the field.


This is the herder and two of his working dogs. He was moving constantly to stay warm in that cold and wind.


His sheep camp was set up in one of the fields and he stayed there for almost two weeks moving the sheep from field to field.


There is one large sheep buyer in this area. He buys up thousands upon thousands of lambs from around Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. He rents fields from farmers and puts the sheep out there to glean. He was lucky with these fields - they had new green barley on them. Most of the fields don't have so much food on them. On those fields, he buys the junk sugar beets from our local sugar beet factory, trucks them out, dumps them in the field in rows, and lets the lambs finish on those.

And the sheep industry wonders why people don't like to eat lamb these days. Our lamb is delicious. Our lamb isn't finished on rotting sugar beets.

4 comments:

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Love the pics, but what you say is so true. Why anyone buys rotten or poor quality feed for their animals is beyond me.

My friend Jo has a website about grassfed, www.eatwild.com that explains how industry treats and feed animals. Some of her research turns up horrible things.

I bet your customers love your lamb! How could it not be better.

Christy said...

Yuck, rotting sugar beets don't sound good! And now they are all GM so even worse. It is a nice view though.

Sarah said...

TC, I know. It's mind-blowing. What you put in is what makes the milk and meat, but huge producers (and some small producers) try to cut costs wherever possible. It's sad to drive by a field two weeks after the beets have been dumped and see those poor lambs digging through what is still left trying to find something edible. I've never seen them pull the lambs off until all visible sugar beets are gone.

Christy, have *all* sugar beets gone GM? I'm disappointed to hear that. I thought that Mars candy was saying that they wouldn't buy sugar grown by GM sugar beets and putting pressure on the market that way. I should ask my neighbor if his beets were GM.

KMDuff said...

Fascinated. I've never eaten lamb. :D