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Sound advice

Through his job, EZ has the privilege of working with and getting to know many ranchers and farmers all over the state. There is one in particular, who runs sheep, with whom he has made friends. Last week, EZ went to do some field work at his place and as they worked, the rancher gave him advice regarding our new ventures. I thought it was all great advice, so I wanted to pass it along.

You have plenty of time. You’re young; you have our whole lives in front of you to attain our goals. You don’t have do it all at once. If you overwhelm ourselves from the start, you run the risk of burning ourselves out. So only add a thing at a time. Once you can handle that easily, think about adding the next thing.

Be 100% ready for the animals before you get them. You should have VERY good fences already built, good quarters for the animals established, and have your research done before you bring anything home.

Start with chickens. See if we really like caring for animals before we dive in.

Don’t get goats. They’re a pain in the ass, he says. I sense a bias here, but what do I know?

Don’t get exotic breeds of sheep. Get Rambouillet or Targhee. He says that these breeds have better flocking instincts and thus try to escape less, tend to be docile, and do well in Western Climates. I had been wanting to get an endangered breed to help protect genetic diversity, but perhaps we should start with easy breeds first, at least.

Don’t overfeed your sheep. He said that that’s the primary reason sheep get sick. He said sheep are very hardy animals if they are fed appropriately.

Don’t rush. You’re young. You have lots of time. Did he already say that?

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