October 17, 2010

Selling Sheep in the Dark

After two months of posting on Craislist, we finally got a woman who was seriously interested in buying sheep. For a long while we were getting an email or phone call from someone, but after we called/emailed back that yes, we still had the sheep, they never followed up. It was so frustrating. Especially because Bubby was escaping nightly and we were burning through our hay at a break-neck speed.

Sandra had called in the morning while we were getting ready for school and work. Since I didn't have much time to chat, and my brain wasn't fully functional at 7:30am, I sent her a follow up email with additional pictures of the sheep. She responded that she would come on Thursday at 6pm to pick up 2 ewes and their lambs. When Thursday arrived, I had not been able to confirm that she was still coming. So it ended up that Sandra and her husband got a late start for our place. They said they expected it would get to our house by 7pm. It would be dark. Oh well, we needed to sell the sheep.

7:15pm, Jordan was hanging with us as we turned on lights, trapped the sheep in the pole barn and hung flashlights on the fence posts so the buyers didn't accidentally take out the chicken run with their trailer. 7:30pm, Jeremy and I were in the barn waiting and Jordan was attempting to get ready for bed but feeling nervous being alone in the house. 7:45pm, no Sandra yet and it started raining. Perfect. 8:00pm, no Sandra. Jordan is freaking out alone in the house. Jeremy suggested I go up and help Jordan and just come check on him every 15 minutes. 8:30pm, they arrive. I'm trying not to be irritated with the extreme lateness. Turns out they got lost coming from Esticada (which is way, way far away).

Sandra and her husband have 20 acres and are switching over from cattle to sheep. They are looking for animals to breed. That changed the conversation about which of ours to purchase. They decided to buy Patches, Daffy, Buttercup. Blacky, Bubby, Mr. Speckles and Sue. Wow! That more-than-halved the herd!

These people were amazing with loading the sheep. They weren't shy about helping grab and carry. Their trailer was awesome! Two different compartments with different doors that could be just barely opened. Then they impressed the crap out of me by backing the truck and trailer down our long driveway and not running off the gravel. I can't even back my car down the driveway without running into the roses!

It was really hard to say good bye to Bubby and Patches. I hadn't planned on selling Patches, but she is a good mama. Bubby is the sweetest, most gentle animal I've met. In the morning I had to tell Jordan who was sold. Jordan broke down in tears. We talked about the difference between pets and farm animals. I think I was consoling myself as much as Jordan.

Now we are looking to trade the last two lambs we have. We are hoping to get two other meet-breed lambs that we can breed with Junior. Of course we still have Notag and Lilly. Those two will grow to a ripe old age with us and eventually be "put out to pasture."

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