Monday, 2 November 2015

Halloween Eyes

Halloween brought with it some sad farewells.
Forgive me if I sound a little matter of fact about it, but smallholding has taught me to deal with losses, planned or not, alongside the many joys which it brings to me. This doesn't mean that, on the inside, my heart does not feel heavy.

I've not mentioned it before, but George has really not been himself for a while now. I won't go into it, but he sadly passed away on Saturday morning.
Here's to George.
George and the girls arrive in the back of my car.

We now only have one goose left with a name. That's not a bad thing.

The two baby guinea fowl which we rescued have not been growing well either. We originally saved three but one passed away at only a few days. But the remaining two unfortunately developed problems and it had reached the point where it would be cruel to let them grow up. I seriously doubt that they would ever have made it on their own anyway. It just wasn't to be.

The final halloween departure was more planned. Last year's Shetland ram lambs have been booked in to the abattoir for a while now. Two are sold and one will be making its way into our freezer. Along with them goes one of their mothers who is past her prime now. She is going to someone as mutton.
We loaded them into the trailer late on Saturday so they could settle down before the journey. I took one last photo.

Those eyes! Good job it wasn't Halloween. ... oh, wait a minute.

When the sheep go away, it always feels as if winter is truly on its way. Taking any livestock through the winter is a much bigger deal than merely keeping them for the summer. Natural food is short in supply, the weather can be seriously challenging and water can be hard to supply. So it's wise to thin down the livestock in preparation. They have fattened up on the summer's bounty, but now it's time to thin down, batten up the hatches, light the fire and plan for spring.

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