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Twin Willows Farm - My Farm and Fiber Arts Webpage
Great Lakes ACFW Chapter - My Local Chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers

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Copyright by Pegg Thomas 2009-2015


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Jul 5, 2011
A shepherd culls out the problem sheep. Culling is the practice of removing an animal from the flock. There are many reasons an animal needs to be removed for the good of the flock. Culled animals wind up at the auction or... in the freezer.

We have a strict policy at Twin Willows Farm. If a ewe doesn't raise her lambs, she doesn't stay in the flock. Mothering skills and milk production are both highly heritable traits. By culling out those who can't or won't raise their lambs, and breeding only those who do, we strengthen the flock. Buyers who come to purchase replacement sheep from us know that they are getting solid genetics to add to their flock.

Many years ago we had a ewe I call the old bigot ewe. The three years I kept and bred her she produced triplets. Each year she gave us two white and one black lamb. Each year she rejected the black lamb. That left a lamb to be raised on the bottle, a time consuming and expensive way to raise a lamb. The old bigot ewe "sprouted wheels" after the third year. (Sprouted wheels = loaded on the truck and headed for the auction.)

We have another strict policy, we don't keep any dangerous animal on the farm. Attitude is another trait that can be linked to heritability. Our breed of sheep is generally pretty even tempered, including the rams. However, I purchased a new ram in the summer of 2010 and he turned meaner than a sore-headed bear. I wouldn't go into the pen with him without a pitchfork in my hand. Then he started charging the pitchfork! Michael came home one day to find him in the garage, skinned and hanging. Don't mess with the shepherd.

Our Shepherd isn't one to be messed with either. Our Lord is just and will do what needs to be done. "He (God the Father) gave Him (Jesus) authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man" John 5:27

The Lord culls out those who are harmful to His church, His flock. He may do that culling in this life, but for sure He'll do it at the end. Many people want to center all their thoughts on "God is love" and He is, but we can't limit Him at that. God is also just and sometimes that love is tough.


Connie Arnold said...

I love reading about shepherds and sheep, and especially the Great Shepherd. This is a great post, Pegg! Thanks for sharing.