Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A word to the wise

Okay, it has come to my attention that there is some confusion about "grass fed" and what it means.  Well, it's a loose oft used term, that many people bandy about to show that they are keeping their animals in a way that the buyer would like them to be. Sheep are ruminants, that is, they have a multi-chambered stomach and it's evolved that way to eat grass.  Eat a bit, bring up some cud, chew it again.  It all makes for very good utilization of fodder.  But, the issue that has come up, is some folks are touting that their animals are grass fed  (like the picture at the top), but in reality, they are in a pasture that looks like the bottom picture year round and are fed hay 365 days a year.  Now, yes, you can get good hay (though with each day stored it loses just a tiny bit of nutrients- especially if sunlight hits it).  When I go to the farmer's market and ask to buy grass fed lamb, I do not picture a paddock eaten down to nothing with sheep standing at piles of hay in the spring/summer/fall (winter that's normal around here).  That's like me saying that I am a writer, when I put together a compendium of my blog posts and publish it.  Sort of, I guess, but not really.  Sheep LOVE grass and will do anything to get to it.  You will notice that sheep that have grass don't escape, or try to.  They are just happy in all that green stuff.  You hold back the green stuff and they will climb any fences- hot or not, to get to it.  To all my fellow good shepherd peeps, sorry about this little rant, but I hope you know I got your backs- and want to show the general public what is actual good shepherding is and is not-  a small field, add some sheep and instant expert.  Okay, done with my sermon for today :)


1 comment:

Kim Benes said...

Sounds like a pretty good sermon to me. It seems to me there is quite a lit of confution out there on what healthy happy animals should look like and what their care should be.