Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This is it. I'm done!

Payment plans suck.


I wasn't planning on purchasing ANY sheep this year, and then I go and get...well...let's just say too many :) And in a year where everyone is tightening their wallets I'm apparently just throwing money around like a drunken rich guy at the Casino! (I don't gamble, but thought it was a good analogy)

I have however moved out over half of my mature ewes and over half of my lambs from this year..either to pet homes, fiber homes, other breeders or to the butcher ( I LOVE SHETLAND MEAT!)

I've changed the dynamics of my flock quite a bit after I realized what kind of Shetland I wanted to raise (the one that they describe in the 1927 SSS standard). I admit I did get rid of most of my primitives, or longer intermediate fleeced sheep. I moved out most of my spots. I did not expect to get so many scurred ram lambs from full horned rams so I do have a lot of now known poll carrier ewes. So I embraced the polled Shetlands and now have a small group of them bred to the new ram from Juliann that I got (the moorit gulmoget smooth polled ram). I did get some spotted lambs out of Jazz, and I'm VERY happy with them. He was bred to a lot of Minwawe spotted stock and I was really happy with the amount of spots I got and the UK fleeces that came on them as well.

So when I was emailing Becky Utecht about her solid sided gulmoget ewe lamb earlier in the year I was quite taken with her. I've always admired her mother River Oaks Lucy, a Sheltering Pines Bombarde daughter, and I had seen her microns from her sheep and been to her house numerous times to visit with her and talk sheep. I was able to feel fleeces and I really liked her River Oaks Eliza fleeces also. Well one day this summer much to my surprise Becky had talked about possibly getting rid of her Shetlands (*pausing for long gasp from readers*)!!! I know!! I nearly went into hysterics and told her if she was going to do that I'd need to get 3-6 ewes from her. She calmly and politely told me she was going to breed a few of the ones I mentioned to Kimberwood Harrison the polled solid sided gulmoget ram that gave her her cute little River Oaks Lana. But she had mentioned perhaps parting with Eliza, Lucy and Lana. Well I won't bore you with the details but I did end up bringing home Eliza and Lucy yesterday, but Lana is staying at Becky's for awhile...I guess :)

Eliza and Lucy are very UK in their appearance, soft handle, crimpy fleeces and nice microns. I know Becky kind of was second guessing her selling them but I promised that i'd take good care of them and would let her have first dibs on the offspring if they ever became available.

Earlier this spring (early winter maybe) I decided that the Bluefaced Leicesters were a second breed for me! I had fallen in love with the two ewe lambs I got from Beechtree Farm last year at MFF. I started sending payments to Brenda in April for lambs and was talking to Becky U and Stephen Rouse about possibly getting a BFL or two from them as well.

Turns out I got several from Brenda, a ram from Stephen but I still needed a few with slightly different lines to bring in to my small flock of BFLs. I contacted Nancy Starkey out east as I know she has done her share of AI in the past. She said she wasn't going to MFF but maybe Kathy Davidson of PA would be going and have something that I liked. For the next several months Kathy and I emailed back and forth, sending photos, pedigrees and 'wishes' that I wanted in the girls. She had an impressive group of girls to choose from. She was aware of my quest for the UK style BFL with the soft fleece and the lovely draping that they do, dark blue pigement and TYPE TYPE TYPE! MFF didn't work out but she had mentioned that she visited her brother in MN and before I knew it she and I planned a trip to meet at Becky Utecht's house! How fun!

Immediately upon seeing the two girls she brought for me, my heart went 'pitter pat' and I knew that I had made the right decisions, along with Kathy's great ability to find just the right girls for me. Becky was impressed with them too and we both said that Kathy needed to visit her brother in MN again NEXT fall with more lambs ;)

I went to get photos of the girls in the quarantine pen but then soon realized that the electro-net was not working and the ewes that I brought back from MFF (which are still in the quarantine pen as well) were not on the RIGHT side of the fence.....

Maybe tomorrow will be pictures...sorry to tease :)

In the mean time, my payment plans with the sheep will hopefully be over SOON when the rest of my calves go and I be paid up. Thanks to those who were patient with me in this agreement. I hate owing people money!

And I am going to whole-heartedly try to keep my flock CLOSED now for the health of all the animals involved, and my pocket book. I will however 'have to' open it up for one or two special girls or boys if the 'need' arises in the future.

I think I need to settle down and get married. I need a level headed person in this relationship! :) :):)

1 comment:

Carol Bator said...

How I wish I was ready to "close" my flock for the health of my animals and my pocket book. But I already want two more BFL ewes and another BFL ram next year. Payment plans are great if everyone is in agreement with that. But it is a relief to be finished with the payments when they are done.

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 ...