Initially I became interested in sheep as I became more interested in pursuing herding with Rilla.
Then I came to the point where I realised we need to produce more varieties of meat for our own consumption. Chicken is a treat and when the beef runs out.....that's pretty much it.
I am not, however, a big fan of lamb from the supermarket. It often has a very strong flavour and is way too fatty for my liking, and I'm not one of those lean meat people. I do enjoy a good proportion of fat with my meat.
In the midst of deciding whether or not to keep sheep, a lamb business started in our local area. They were going to produce "ethically raised lamb free from chemicals".
They were growing Dorpers, the breed of sheep that we were interested in. We ordered a side of lamb from them to try. It was delicious.
The cuts of meat were smaller than those sold at the supermarket, as they slaughtered their lambs at a younger age, so what we were actually eating was lamb, not mutton. The flavour was delicate and the fat content was good.
I loved it, and suddenly became interested in keeping sheep for a purpose other than herding. I wanted them for meat.
Needing to keep them for meat makes a lot more sense. We're on a small block so every animal that is here needs to have a purpose, outside of recreational activities - dogs excluded. It seemed for a little while that sheep were a long way off, at times I wondered if a flock of sheep would ever come to be.
And then it happened. My Mum and I went to just look at some sheep, as part of our research stage. It turned out that they were the ones we wanted, and the best thing was that some of them had only just been born, which meant we had three months to prepare for their arrival.
So we ordered six sheep, paid a deposit, and returned home in excitement to begin planning the sheep paddock.
To be honest, I can't really believe that we have bought sheep. I don't think it will feel real until we pick them up and bring them home. They'll be coming some time in October. I'm looking forward to then with much excitement!
Hope you're having a good weekend!
PS I don't have a photo of our sheep, so I had to share this one of our Chrysanthemums instead :-)