Yesterday, we killed 210. 210 was an absurd sheep. He was handsome, had good growth, a thick, wooly coat, and a serious attitude problem. We might have kept him for breeding, handsome as he was, but for the attitude. This sheep had a ridiculous proclivity for escaping. Eight times out of ten he'd be outside the fence, munching away on the same damned grass as his fellow ram lambs, just on the outside of the fence. He'd look up, mouth full of cud as if to say: fences? parameters? boundaries? bah! I am a sheep of the old world, a sheep undomesticated and undomesticatable. Go ahead, rope me, toss me back in with the other sheep and their groupthink; it is only an opportunity to escape again, to show you humans that I am a self-governing, self-determining sheep, a lone sheep, a sheep to be free!
Truly, he was a rebel without a cause. And so, he was the first to go, for while a measure of such attitude is something humans admire in ourselves and each other, it's about the last thing you want in your livestock.
The talented young gun of Atlanta's Miller Union, Justin Burdett, a disciple of all things farm-to-table and nose-to-tail, wanted a complete kill-to-table experience. He was of the mind that if he's going to eat it, he needed to experience the whole process of harvesting an animal. And so, Justin and a few of his friends came to the farm in the cool morning where 210 met his demise in the form of two .22 bullets. It was Ross' first time slaughtering an animal bigger than a turkey, and he got through it admirably (especially for having shot for the first time with live ammunition only the day before). He approached the task with a kind of resolute stoicism, as if he always knew one day he would have to do this, and that day just happened to be today. Nick, our farmhand extraordinaire (and the person who had spent the most time wrangling 210) held the ram still and steady, amusingly imploring Ross " just don't hit my hand!"
After that, we hung 210 on the gambrel and let Justin take over, going slowly and steadily with his sharp, sharp knives. The rest is best summed up in the pictures (which are graphic, so consider yourselves warned). It was clean, it was fast, and it was a really a lot of fun. We were honored that Justin gave us the opportunity and really the excuse to finally do something we have always wanted: to see an animal through from birth to death, right here on our own farm.