The Painted Sheep Introduction
Hey everyone! Cole here; from the inaugural Painted Sheep blog post. If you've gotten this far, I want to thank you for following along as Christina and I walk down this Painted Path. Our family has always taken part in the Texas agriculture community. Our dad farmed the land we lived on and we raised animals for livestock shows, including show pigs, goats, chickens, and rabbits. We had a commercial herd of goats that had upwards of 100 head at its largest point and WAY too many chickens to count. After Christina and I graduated high school and went to college, we sold off the last of our animals to focus on school. Our dad was working on his Ph.D and Christina and I did not have the time, energy, or resources to provide the level of care required for our animals. I always told myself that I would get livestock again and have a small farm. The Painted Sheep is the first of many steps we will take to accomplish that goal.
|Pluto (black lamb) and Chiron (white lamb) are the bottle-babies.|
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic while everyone else was panic buying toilet paper, I acquired 4 painted sheep rams: 2 yearlings and 2 weaned bottle-babies. This was after a several months-long obsession with learning about raising sheep. They were the only domesticated animal, aside from horses, that I had not yet raised. Why did I want to raise sheep you ask? Full transparency: I had an impossible to ignore craving for lamb chops. Also, I have an acre and a half that need to be managed and mowing is a waste of time and energy when the grass can be grazed.
Raising livestock for consumption is often a point of contention with people.
"Why would you want to eat the animals that you raise?"
"Won't you feel bad when you have to kill the animal to eat it?"
"Why not just get food at the grocery store? Someone else already raised the animals and you can just have yours as pets."
The answer to all those questions can be summed up as so: I love raising livestock. I enjoy watching them grow. I know how to properly raise them to be the best they can. And I know that when they are taken to be processed, they have lived their best lives and will be humanely processed to give back all the energy that I poured into them. I am grateful to the animals I raise: I love caring for them and helping them grow big and strong.
Properly raising animals to eat helps to give you an appreciation for the animal. You learn the quirks of the animals and how they are not mindless and emotionless things. They are another life that I have been given custody over. I am responsible for feeding them, for nurturing them, for loving them. I know that every day they are with me, until their last, they are getting everything they will need to be healthy and happy. I know they are not being viewed as just a way to make me quick, cheap, easy food because there is nothing quick, easy, or cheap about raising any livestock for personal consumption.
I am grateful for the sheep.
|Deimos (painted ram) and Phobos (black ram) are the yearlings and not as friendly. Hence the photo of one
asleep and the other looking away.