Friday, September 18, 2009

I Am Trying..........

As the Fall Season rolls in and the boys get restless, occasionally annoying with their pathetic calls, I am trying to decide if I want to breed anyone this coming season. I had an overabundance of ram lambs last year due to my "naiveness" that a 5 month old lamb could breed adult ewes. I have sold 3 ram lambs, 2 are definitely staying ram lambs, 2 have been wethered, 2 I can't decide what I want to do with (both are spotted w/scurs), and 2 more will be wethered (a totally smooth-polled moorit & button scurred kat). Being a new breeder is hard as I do not have the credibility that established breeders have. I have made mistakes, perhaps not pushed hard enough in the sales dept., and I should have had a more planned breeding plan but its all a learning process and perhaps it will start to turn around soon.

Yes, this is Jammer, the stinker that caused much of this:) I can never get a good picture of Jammer as he is always right there by me. His personality plus, thank goodness, passed on to his offspring as the lambs this year have just been a joy of friendliness. Jammer's scurs, however, became fatal and I opted to wether him as his loveable personality won my heart. Yes, scurs are one of those trying issues I have found with the polled lines.

What hurt the most in deciding to wether him was that of all the lambs born here in 2008, he had the best fleece. I am not a fleece expert, but it really is wonderfully soft and has a nice crimp to it. As I have been reading with many Shetland breeders, I am going to micron test his fleece along with ewes and lambs from this year. Curiousity has gotten to me. The one positive thing that came out of the "unplanned lamb explosion" was he passed on wonderful fleece to some of lambs born this year.
(Jammer's fleece above & below)
So, at least one thing is moving in the right direction; the fleece. But I guess I will know better when I send the samples off for testing and get the results. Thats probably when I will truly decide who, if any, I will breed.

Till then, Jammer and I will discuss what to do with all of his "children" and perhaps discuss the "wether" on the farm ........and perhaps he will let go of the string attached to my shorts.



11 comments:

Garrett808 said...

lovely fleece on Jammer!!

I've found that the neck and spine area are the crimpiest areas! If he's that crimpy on his last rib, mid side you've got a winner!

It looks just stunning! congrats :D :D

Tracey said...

Hey Kristi,
Thanks for the great advise on my blog....if only my heart and my head didn't disagree so much!? LOL
Have a great weekend!
Tracey

Nancy K. said...

What lovely fleece!
Don't be too hard on yourself. The economy has taken it's toll on Shetland sales. I lucked out this year and had a buyer contact me who wanted anything that I had for sale (you're right ~ that's an advantage of having been at this for awhile!) but if that hadn't happened, I was truly thinking that I might even be taking EWES in to the "meat man" this fall. Thank God I didn't have to resort to THAT! Just the thought of it was enough to scare me out of breeding anyone this year.

You're off to a great start ~ don't let your numbers get out of control so that you have to resort to desperate measures to have a manageable flock...

Kara said...

I took a clip off Jammer's son Champ, last rib, mid side and I am happy to report it is just as crimpy! So off to Texas A&M the clips went earlier this week. I hope the results will be back soon, but I think they take about a month. I will keep you posted. I love the two lambs I got from you! :) So I for one appreciate your efforts and happy my flock was able to benefit from them! I think you should join the Shetland Forum and post pictures there...I sold quite a few there this year to good homes. Have a great weekend.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Very pretty fleeces!

kristi said...

Garrett,
thank you for stopping by....you will be the first to know how he microns out at:) Hope you and the cardis are doing well!

Tracey,
There is a reason for everything....it will all work out:)

Nancy,
Your words are very much appreciated....sometimes I guess its just frustrating. My numbers are higher than I wanted to go but at least hay is at an affordable price:)

Kara,
I can't wait to see Champ's results...he definitely has a wonderful fleece! Thank you for your support and taking that leap of faith:)

Deb W said...

OK, I am not a sheep owner, but I am trying to learn. If Jammer's scurs have become fatal, just wethering him will not stop the scurs from growing, will it? Isn't fatal, well.....fatal?

I am a spinner, and those fleeces are gorgeous - both color and texture - especially Jammer. I can't believe I have never spun shetland!?!

Michelle said...

So Kristi, can you hold off on wethering anyone else until those micron test results come back? Next year I hope to find a fine-fleeced polled boy for Boulderneigh; full-polled would be great, but a half-poll could be a possibility.

kristi said...

Crazy Sheep Lady,
I always appreciate your comments as I just love your work at your farm:)

Deb,
Thank you for stopping by and hope you come back for more visits!

Michelle,
Rutland and Pita will be staying rams as they have very nice fleece....Kara has the mioget ram lamb who I can't wait to see the micron results as he has beautiful fleece. I have 2 I am going to wait on results and the other 2, the smooth polled moorit and the button scur kat, I am just up in the air about. I have to watch my ram space though the polled boys are so well-mannered. I can just sit with them and do chin scratches without any issues....the joy of polled rams. I want to do a post this week on my "decision" making issues:)

Gail V said...

Jammer's fleece is beeyootiful, Kristi, I understand your dilemma. Did I miss something-- you said using a young ram somehow resulted in gettling lots of ram lambs? Only thing it ever did for me (2x) was get me open ewes, because they didn't believe in the teenage ram!
I've come to believe that it's better to let sheep go at market prices (meaning, what the market will pay) rather than wintering over all my lambs. It saves hay and work in the worst weather.

kristi said...

Gail,
Yes, it seemed Jammer had a way with the ladies or I just have easy ladies:) LOL Jammer was a larger ram lamb as he was a single but he sure missed up my "plans" on not too breed too many ewes last year. I will admit I am a wimp on the market thing...I just have not been able to get myself too that point so I will feed and hope for the best.