I made a deal on some sheep last night: two ladies who live close to each other, and about 2.5 hours away from me, are selling me six ewes and one ram, all registered Katahdins. The prices seemed very average for registered animals. And it’s a breeding set that will have me organized for a couple of years: three of the ewes are already pregnant from a different ram, and the ram I’m getting can be bred to all of them.
Normally, I’d go inspect the sheep first, but I’ve decided to gamble this time for a few reasons. First, I’ve seen the websites of both women, and their operations and animals in general look pretty clean in the photos. Second, it’s a long drive for me to go down there just to look, and since I don’t yet have a way to haul livestock, I’d still have to arrange for them to deliver the animals on another day.
Third, one of the ladies regularly shows her sheep, so this gives me greater confidence that she surrounds herself with a knowledgeable peer group, keeps quality animals, and spends a lot of time with them. Fourth, in reading the website of the other woman, she and I are like-minded in a naturalness philosophy: no vaccine, clean food, etc. So, I’m going with my gut: I think I’m going to like these women and learn to rely on their advice in the long run.
I had to chuckle at the serendipity of the match of these ladies to me. I can be really indecisive. I had already been corresponding with one of the women for a few weeks, and have probably reviewed her website a hundred times. I talked to her friend on Tuesday night, outlined my goals: registered animals, and a starter flock of about eight animals that would set me up for a breeding program for meat production.
She called back the next night, and started out the conversation with “ok, we’ll be there around noon on Sunday, we’re bringing you x, y, z animals at these prices, yadda yadda, and you should be all set!” She did give me a chance to confirm later in the conversation that I did want them, 🙂 but it took me a little by surprise because mentally, I was still at step one. Left up to me, I may have waffled and been arranging the details until Christmas!
So, I realized it was exactly what I needed, and was unconsciously looking for—someone to mentor me a little bit in this, help me make a decision, and then just say “we’re bringing them up in two days, be ready.” Phew!