Monday, August 27, 2007


Four ram lambs of Mark and Brenda Lelli's at MFF.

What is it about the Blue Faced Leister that the Shetland breeders seem to drool over? I had seen Becky's two white BFL's this spring when I went to visit her farm. I adored the faces, their temperament and their fleeces! What's better yet is all summer long I'd been studying the breed, learning about the Shetland Mules, and talking with Mark and Brenda Lelli in Michigan who have done a lot for the breed in the States thanks to much importation of UK sires as well as a rigorous breeding program. I really wanted a ram to cross onto a few shetland ewes but realized that this year I wanted to breed ALL of my Shetland ewes to Shetland rams to see what the results might be. If i wasn't happy with the results I could either breed them to another Shetland ram next fall or to the BFL ram for mules. so why get a ram this year then if I wasn't going to get a few ewes? Well I ended up going to MFF and purchasing two ewes. I had seen photos of them but wanted to see them in person. They were on the smaller side and was told they shouldn't be bred this year. Plus the only rams available were related to the two girls I was getting so why have such a limited gene pool to start of with?

I figured I could keep the two ewe lambs for the next year and really get to know the breed that way without having to worry about the whole breeding and lambing thing with them. I could just enjoy them, watch them grow, process their fleeces, and see if I truly wanted the breed down the road. I don't want to go 'all in' on a breed I haven't witnessed anything with firsthand. Time will tell if they work out for me but so far I do know that the two girls i have are complete lovers and love to be scratched and nearly knock me over at feeding time!!

Here is a photo of Callaway, the little girl I got to show at MFF. Both girls are growing well on the alfalfa/grass hay blend and their oats/barley/cracked corn and lamb pellet blend.

You either love or hate that adorable face!!

A ewe I have dibs on after they are done using her. 232 was completely smitten with me and won my heart over while I held her during our waiting time between classes!


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I think those BFLs have adorable faces when they are looking at you, but when they turn and show you their profile, that's another story! Ha! I have no desire to "cheat" on my Shetlands and bring in another breed -- not that I would have room anyway. And thanks for the offer of a trade. You're right, we need to be closer to each other! Plus, I really would like poll-carrier ewes, not more rams (although Braveheart may need company soon or later in the form of another polled ram or a wether).

Becky Utecht said...

Lucky you to be first in line for 232!
I'm surprised at how calm and friendly my two new BFLs are also. The thing that makes me drool over the BFL's is their FIBER.
Along with all the different color samples of Shetland yarn on my display board, I've included a handspun BFL yarn sample from my ram Dougal. It really amazes everyone with its softness and elasticity.

stephen rouse said...

Gorgeous animals Garrett! And you have first dibs on 232! Wow! Where was I? I must have been sleeping while you were doing your homework! LOL. Your white ewe has great blue color on her head/face/ears. I just love this breed.


Available sheep

With my work load continuing to pile up, and less time to spend with the sheep, I am offering the following: My entire flock of BlueFaced ...