Posts Tagged ‘pigs’

Where to buy our sheep?  We knew we needed a small flock to keep the grass down.  The previous owner had raised sheep over the years, and the property is well-suited for it — it is somewhat hilly, lots of grass and there are several rock outcroppings from the limestone escarpment on which the farm is built.

Our good friend Gary was kind enough to take us to the Carlisle Livestock Auction held on Tuesdays.  Tammi and I met Gary after work and the three of us dropped in on this peculiar institution.  I suppose I stood out like a sore thumb, dressed in my “business casual” amid livestock farmers in their typical soiled denim & flannel attire!  We toured the stalls in the back, taking in the delicious odors of stewing straw, manure and ammonia-laden urine while sizing up the goods.  There was everything from guinea pigs to chickens to sheep and goats — lots of pigs — and most especially — beef!

Of course, we were not prepared to purchase this evening, and did not obtain a number.  But, we did observe the commerce carrying out before our eyes and were impressed with the efficient operation.  We also learned what animals typically sell for at the market — laying hens fetched $10 — duly noted!  Our sheep seemed to be worth between $150 and $200.  We realized we would need to arrange for a livestock trailer should we make a purchase — or we would need to buy one, along with a truck to pull it.

While the guinea pigs were up for sale, Tammi whispered to Gary, asking why they sold them here. Gary did not have an answer, as dozens of the little things changed hands.  I happened to casually hear a couple gentlemen to my left discussing the same query.  “Make good jerky…” responded one of them.  So there you have it!  When I told Tammi later, she said “Don’t tell Brandon!” (Her 9-year-old son has a guinea pig named George who is destined for the farm — but not for the breast pocket as a strip of seasoned leathery chew!)

Later in the evening, Tammi happened upon Molly’s Ritner Boarding and Training Kennel on Craig’s List. Molly had livestock in addition to raising dogs.  She happened to have a flock of twenty or so mixed breed sheep — 5 of which were for sale.  Tammi made a trip to the place the next day and cut the deal — 5 healthy grass-grazing machines for $850 cash.  We would take delivery when we are moved in!

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