Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nekkid sheepies

After a few years of late May shearing, I decided to go back to having it done and over with in March. For one thing, it is easier getting the Shearer out in March. Also, I am considering taking some sheep to Jefferson this year, and I'd like them in fuller fleece. I know I had sworn off showing, but...I've never had the opportunity to show under a UK judge, someone who really, really knows the Shetland breed, either! I'm sure tempted. Not that I think I'll place any better, there as so many really good sheep brought to this particular show, but at least I would love to have some of my flock inspected by this judge and get her honest opinion on where I could do better. And darn it, I miss the good times I always have with my Shetland friends. :)
Last Saturday was mild and in the 60's, so after shearing we let everybody out to fill their empty tummies with hay and a little grain. And I took a few photos.  

Lil'Country Nightcap, a 2008 ShelteringPines Pompey Magnus son out of Lil'Country Acorn, who was a Malcolm daughter/ Gallifrey granddaughter, has turned into a beautiful 3 year old ram. 
 I can reflect back to when I started patching this flock together using those oh-so-rare suspect poll carriers, I can be happy that I'm finally starting to get a few right after so much frustration.  

 This is my British Suffolk ram, Punch, who I purchased from Mark & Brenda Lelli. He has stayed in good condition over the winter on a hay only diet. He is a calm boy, who gently takes corn from my hand. I'm not partial to blackface sheep, but he has a surprisingly pretty, chocolate colored face. He had been put over three Shetland ewes for an experiment in some market lamb. This will be my first time crossing any Shetland ewes.  


 I never did get a good photo before of Lil'Country Twilight, twin sister to LC Victoria, a moorit spottie. Scrawny little thing that she is. Her mother is LC Cleopatra, who unfortunately has some pretty bad iset. I was pleased to see no iset on either Twilight or Victoria at their yearling shearing, hopefully I won't see any next year, either but won't hold my breath. Twilight and Victoria were sired by Sommerang Eragon. Eragon was killed in a ram fight last year, (yeah, the polled guys can kill each other too, boys will be boys), but I have some precious babies to treasure by him.    
   I don't think iset is the worse trait a Shetland can have, it can make a lovely yarn, but....I personally don't care for it. It creates a coarser hand in the fleeces that I've felt, it is dominant, and I want a black or brown fleece to STAY black or brown beyond the lamb's fleece. I still have a few mature spotted ewes with iset, but I wouldn't shed a tear to see it gone from my flock completely.

    This is my Twin Springs Bearclaw X Lil'Country Giselle daughter. I went ahead and registered her, I'll breed her this fall if she doesn't sell or if I decide to keep her. I named her Toast. The Ag made a pretty pattern on her freshly shorn skin. I don't have a lot of Ag, this looks very pretty in my flock. I also registered my Ag kat Bearclaw X Chamois daughter, I named her Wheat.

 This is Dolly, a mule (BFL X Cheviot). She belongs to my friend Denise, who decided her Cheviot, Lambchop, and Dolly would be happier among other sheep. I care for them and breed them, and get to keep the lambs. Dolly was exposed to the Suffolk, Lambchop was exposed to Fox Meadow Sheamus. However, I put them in late and don't know if they were exposed long enough to have settled. We'll find out in a month, I guess.   

  Underhill Bar, a North Wind Holiday daughter. She is bred to Whispering Pines Saturday Night and I'm hoping for some exciting spotted babies!

 Lil'Country Tango (Windy Acres Hickory X Shelteringpines Niobe), a moorit gulmoget, was exposed to the Suffolk. Her moorit gulmoget full twin, Fun Luv, was bred to Fox Meadow Sheamus. I'm hoping for a nice moorit gulmoget out of Fun Luv.

 This will be North Wind Netty's last lambing. I'm retiring her after this. I bred her to Sheamus hoping for an awesome replacement ewe lamb, hopefully something as nice as BabyBee or nicer. Netty was supplemented with grain over the winter to keep her weight up. At 10 years of age, she is as energetic as ever, but my husband commented that she just looks tired. She will relax next breeding season hanging out with the open ewe lambs. I love Netty, she is my lovable lap sheep. She's my buddy and she'll die here on this farm.   

 Valient Valora, carrying a Sheamus baby (or babies) looking good as always.


Michelle said...

Nice to see some of your sheep again, Juliann! I hope you go to Jefferson; I'd sure jump at the chance if I were as close as you!

Kelly Bartels said...

It makes my heart sing to hear that you are going to bring sheep to Jefferson this fall. It would not be the same without you and your great sheep there.
I think everyone of us that have polled Shetland should give you a round of applause.
I agree with Michelle, it's wonderful to see you and your sheep again. You were missed Juliann.

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Love seeing your flock again, Juliann! You have done so much for the Shetland breed, and your flock always makes me excited for the future of Shetlands. :)

Juliann said...

You all have no idea how much I needed to hear your kind words. You are wonderful. Thank you!

Rayna said...

I'm trying to decide on who to bring to Jefferson...come on, you have to show! You have an awesome flock, you have to bring some! :)