The Park Hobby Farm: a little introduction.





Yup. We're serious about farming... well, while laughing through frequent screwing ups and Googling everything we don't know (which is almost everything) 90% of the time. Real serious stuff. The other 10% we look like real cool professional farmers, like the above photo... see that shovel I'm holding? We're obviously the real deal.

Why are we doing this? We want to raise and butcher 100% organic, grass fed lamb, because we humans are naturally made and we get hungry, and so should our food be naturally made and eat natural made food.

Our roles: Mike is the builder and ultimate handyman. I am the practitioner of  husbandry and do all animal care and maintenance. In other words, I'm the poop scooper.

It's time for you to meet our quirky group of  living organisms, our farming guinea pigs, the wooly stupid goons, the grocery list, whatever you want to call them!

Firstly we have the sheep...




Chicken (the ram), Little Momma (the daughter ewe), Big Momma (Our biggest 4 year old breeding veteran)

A lamb is only considered a lamb when it is under 1 year old. By the time of butchering, which is usually when they are 8-10 months old, they're already full grown. We're not killing cute baby lambies people! Well, they just don't look like babies anymore...but technically they are.


Mike and Chicken getting cozy for his second hoof trimming!

Some more basic facts you should know about sheep... this may put a favorite biblical metaphor of God's people being like a flock of sheep, in an even more humbling light ;)


1. They only have two emotions... Curiosity and the other being, "I'M SO FREAKING TERRIFIED!!!" Usually in that order.

2. They're tiny brains only think about food, even to the expense of their life they'll choose food. So if there is a patch of delicious juicy clovers (their fav), and a coyote comes trotting out of the woods to get a little sniff of potential lamb dinner (which I witnessed on day 1 with the sheep), the sheep will not even notice. In fact, the sheep might see the predator and not register it as a threat and casually return to grazing a second later. So the shepherd (me) may have to go into mad pursuit to chase this predator away frantically waving their arms and roaring like a bear to save they sheep's life (which I did).

3. Once the sheep is actually being attacked, it's so scared that it won't even escape or defend itself, but just stand there frozen while... how do I saw this nicely... being eaten alive or bleeding to death, unless the shepherd intervenes.


Since our livestock was at risk being attacked everyday and I, having a life, did not want to guard wooly balls of stupidity 24/7, we integrated a shepherd replacement and fearless guardian... Angel the llama.




Angel is the most refreshing part of my farm visits. She was given to us free from a wanted craigslist ad I posted (THANK YOU LORD!), with a history of protecting over 50 sheep, has never attacked a human, been in llama shows, AND is in a children's book call 11 Lazy Llamas. No joke, this girl is a legend... Check it out:




Alright, some of you are wondering, "A llama guardian? What does that even look like?" Oh it's pretty amazing.... Here's what's going down in llama town:


1. They are instinctively protective over their herd

2.  If there is only one llama in a pack of sheep, the llama will associate/relate themselves with the sheep...

3. Llamas can live up to 20-30 years! (Angel is 14)

4. Llamas are cousins with camels, so they can go days without water. Although, with B.C. weather Angel has more than enough.

5. When a predator is in sight of the herd or Angel's spidey senses feel danger approaching, she will release a loud yodelling sound, proceed to pace left to right of the fenceline while yodelling. Yes. Yodelling. If the predator is stupid enough to come in the pasture, Angel will fearless approach it, kick it, stomp on it, bite it, and while using her incredibly strong neck, whack it with her head. Basically, she wins every time, and does a much better job than I could ever do... or that I'd ever want too.




*True golden moment: the neighbours of our farm witnessed Angel defending the herd from a BLACK BEAR that came near the farm just a week ago. That bear was smart enough to not get near the fearless yodelling warrior and took off the other direction.




Well there you have it, you met them all and hopefully you understand our quirky little hobby farm a little more.

What are we planning next? Breeding, butchering Chicken, hopefully little lambs next spring... and maybe a dairy cow?!! Who knows what the future holds!!

Peace out home dogs.

-V







3 comments

  1. I'm sensing a wonderfully illustrated book about your farming adventures......

    ReplyDelete
  2. I laughed at your discription of sheep! Too funny? And then, ya, humbling;) So glad God is such a good shepherd over us! So good angel is there with the sheep, I will tell the boys about the bear!

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  3. I love that Angel is the fearless yodeling warrior, protecting the sheep from the bear!

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