Autumn Buck Maintenance and Comparisons

Today was maintenance day for the bucks.  They will be in their breeding pens by the beginning of next month and will need to be in good shape.  This maintenance has different challenges than with the sheep.  They are trying to breed you and each other during it.  Plus you can get caught in the crossfire, so to speak.  If you do not know, bucks like to urinate forward onto themselves and drink it.  While Tom was holding one buck, another thought it was a good idea to drink his own pee and got Tom in the process.  Since I was trimming the hooves up against the smelly bucks, both of us smell like them.  We are going out to a nice dinner tonight to celebrate Tom’s daughter’s birthday.  We are really hoping we can get this smell off of us before then.

Since it is butchering time of year, I decided to assess our meat animals today.  Above is DC, the yearling ram we were going to have butchered, compared to full grown Shaun.  DC is only 1 year old as he was born in September of last year.  He has not developed as much as a yearling ram who was born in the spring.  So he will get a reprieve until next year when we butcher the pigs.  Plus we could not find a butcher interested in coming out for just one sheep.  And speaking of butchers, we are having trouble scheduling our chicken butcher this year.  He has a big waiting list but no dates set up yet.  Our roosters are now 6 1/2 months old and are getting very aggressive with each other and harassing the hens.  So hopefully soon.

But I was looking at them today comparing their sizes to try to determine the best dual purpose breed.  The White Wyandottes (above) appear to be the largest and meatiest roosters.  The Buff Orpingtons and Barred Rocks are more variable in their sizes, but overall I think the Barred roosters are bigger.

The Araucanas are the smallest (and the ones getting most beat up) so are not the best for meat productions, although I love their green and blue eggs!).

And now a gratuitous autumn photo of Tom feeding the cows with sheep tagging along and the leaves starting to turn.






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