Friday, June 11, 2010

Goals and Accomplishments

I was going to write a blog about this a long time ago, but never found the energy or time to do it. I also didn't take photos of the last 7 ewes who lambed. This is a first for me.

I've made a lot of personal goals and accomplishments with my flock in a few short years. When I have a mission, I go for it!

I purchased sheep that brought in different pedigrees that were of interest to me.

I blood tested my entire flock for OPP, Johnes, CL and Blue Tongue.

I have had four years of consecutive micron testing on every sheep on the farm (including any crossbreds).

I have culled heavily and moved out sheep that didn't fit MY goals (but could easily help others or fit others' slightly different goals).

I have used AI heavily in my breeding program and used many F1 rams to move the quality of my sheep forward (again towards an end result that I preferred). Every year the lamb crop is better (in my opinion).

I have embraced horned and polled rams (favoring neither for the other) and also enjoy horned and hornless ewes.

I have every pattern in every color except emsket, and love the fact that although they are all indeed Shetlands, there is much diversity in my flock. Different mature weights, different ear sets, different length of leg, different fleece types/lengths (all under 6" though).

I accept their diversity, but they are still all Shetlands, still 'look' like Shetlands and have conformation and fineness of fleece that I expect of my sheep now.

This year will be the hardest year for evaluating and culling of animals. I plan to winter over most of my lambs in hopes that they'll be better than their dams, sisters, aunts or grandmothers. That's the whole point is moving forward with your program. At least for me.

My computer's memory is completely full. Although I do have an external hard drive its not user friendly. I'm trying to remedy this. Then I'll have lots of photos to share.

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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 ...