I have been asked to put together a brief document – a blog – on who and what we are. And perhaps share some of the day-to-day happenings at our farm. On our website, you can find the story of how ANIROONZ began, but here begins the “rest of the story”! 😊
We moved our animals from Colorado to Idaho in July of 2017, a bit more than 6 years ago, but a lot has happened in that time including COVID! During the pandemic, maintaining animals and getting them fed was difficult and resulted in filling out forms for potential government support, but taking loans and lots of favors from friends. And I hazard to guess that this is the same for much of agriculture. I still have a trailer of COVID wool that I am trying to find something to do with, as those of my era cannot throw anything away ……but our mentality has brought to us a stronger focus on how to survive in today’s environment. And again because of our era and how we that grew up in the 50’s we try to make do with all that we have and that has led us to SUSTAINABILITY and using every part of the animal we can. Let me share how we are trying to do this.
· With an emphasis on genetics, sound conformation, and high mothering, we sell high quality breeding stock.
· We have an ethnic meat market and a by-product of that is animal pelts. We process pelts, send them to be tanned and sell them at the Moscow Farmer’s Market (WHICH IS THE BEST Farmer’s Market around!!!).
· Our USDA-inspected domestic meat market meets local needs for lamb, mutton, and bones.
· We sell amazing high-quality fleeces!!!
· Leftover fleeces are milled into roving and yarn.
· From older old fleeces we have pelletized the wool into a product that remediates soil.
· From scrap wool we have made THOUSANDS of dryer balls and associated products.
· Skulls are cleaned with beetles and sold. Or given to artisans for painted skulls.
· The Handcrafting of many artisans has created beauty from ANIROONZ fiber and maintained the tradition of creating functional beauty in the form of hats, gloves, socks, scarves, blankets and so much more!
· Manure is now compost for the neighborhood.
· Our sheep and goats become weed-eating machines as we clear brush and heavy weed biomass. And did you know that goats climb trees!!!
· Many students – young and old – have watched the miracle of an animal being born and stand within minutes on shaky and determined legs. New life, the miracle of the AGES!
· We use everything that we can from these amazing animals including the “baaaaa” which is music to our ears!
So welcome to ANIROONZ!!! And with a bit of coercion from my “helpers”, I will try to bring weekly messages to you!!
Week One –7 August 2023 - COJONE CHECK
I am asked frequently how my summer 2023 has gone and I have given many answers…..and those that know about what we are doing here at ANIROONZ keep asking me, “I thought that you were trying to reduce your animal numbers?” When they hear that we have over 320 lambs and kids and just had another new lamb….well, let me tell you a story.
Our sheep breeding season began in October 2022 while our goat breeding season began in September. If you count out 150-day gestation you would realize that goat kids started being born the first to middle of February. And based on that same 150-day gestation period, lambs would start being born in the middle of March. And since I have a six-to-seven-week breeding season protocol, that would mean we should be done at MAXIMUM in May. So why do you ask did you – or could you - have another lamb born in July? Well, that has to do with the “Cojone Check” as indicated in the title of this week’s blog.
“Cojone” means “testicle or ball” in Spanish. And what happened was - in February - one of our workers came to me and said “Nancy, there are two ram lambs in with the ewe lambs!” When I questioned them were they sure, the response was, “WELL THEY HAVE COJONES!” Yup that is right, two ram lambs had set up housekeeping in our ewe lamb pen and they took to heart the saying, “Be fruitful and multiply!” Thus, we at ANIROONZ have been kidding and lambing since the first of February and have over 150 extra lambs (if you account for the 150 day gestation). This is NOT a laughing matter and teenage pregnancies take a bit more time …….and we are still not sure how they “BOYS” got in with the GIRLS! Cojone Check.