It is with a heavy, but contented heart that I write this post. I've been thinking, mentioning and agonizing over this decision for a long time now and it feels a bit liberating to have finally made it, once and for all.
I am selling most of my flock. I am going to keep the four ewes who just lambed, but will be putting the other 9 up for sale later today.
Mark was more resistant to the idea than I was and I feel like I spent the last couple months just wearing him down. He even at one point suggested that if I would raise them, he would take on the marketing and selling which are the two bits I hate the most. As if he doesn't have enough on the go.
But he's finally agreed that it's for the best right now. For the past two years, I have simply not been able to dedicate the time that I need to, for optimum management of an organic flock. And I feel like I've been suffering the consequences with recent incidents in the flock, that most likely could have been prevented with me taking a keener interest in the everyday goings on.
Mark and I are both disappointed that we feel the flock has finally gotten to it's prime organic state in terms of parasite thresholds, resistance and management. They are in the best condition I've seen them and lambs that I've raised under organic standards are now on their second or third lambing. It's a satisfying labour of love that is difficult to say goodbye to, but as I continued to insist to Mark, we can undergo the same adventure in a few years when we are ready and better able.
SO, with that, I've got nine beautiful, purebred, registered polled Dorsets, bred to a North Country Cheviot ram who has consistently thrown healthy, quick-growing lambs for three years, for sale. They are certified organic and excellent mothers. Most were born in 2009, with the oldest born in 2007. All have lambed, except one yearling I purchased at the Canadian Classic last summer who is marked to lamb along with the rest, starting around Feb. 14th. All are marked to lamb at that time within a month.
Although sad to see them go, I am even happier to let go of the guilt that has been nagging me about lack of vigilance and adequate management. Looking forward to the coming years when I can create a proper business out of a new flock with a new, fresh perspective on it all, and the time necessary to do so.
Hope this finds you prioritizing for this new year and perhaps simplifying your own life in lieu of 'doing it all'.