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.



Monday, September 14, 2009

Mums the Word

September weather here in Northeast Ohio has been absolutely perfect. In the past 2 weeks there has only been rain once; temps in the mid-70's to low 80's, low humidity, and those wonderful cool evenings. I have been taking much advantage of the weather. I have a fully stocked barn of hay (230 plus bales). I have been cleaning up in the vegetable garden and thinking of new ideas for next year. One of my many ideas involved putting in a flowerbed in front of my picket garden. But I got impatient so I got a yard of screened topsoil last Saturday and today I finished my idea..............

............and this is what I can up with! The beautiful garden mums I got at an herb/garden farm that I went to on Saturday (okay, I admit, there was a craft show involved there too:). The mums were $4.00 a piece and I just loved the colors!! The antinque pitch fork with the birdhouse was the result of another craftshow on Sunday at a garden nursery..........do you see the issues I create for myself when I go to Fall craftshows? I just can't say "NO".

These are the garden mums that will come back next year so I will keep my fingers crossed especially because the color is just wonderful!!!!!!

My "Moo" cat found a napping place among the Indian corn and gourds I was using to decorate.
All of my cats have just been enjoying the newly picketed garden area.

While I am loving the beautiful "weather", I am also having to decided who to "wether" among the ram lambs. Rutland and PITA have already been moved in with the big boys much to their dismay. This is Shelbourne. Everything is looking good so far with him, fleece is nice and soft, nice tail, he has really bulked up this past month, BUT there is the left scur that is very questionable as it is growing too close to the back of the head. He is Ag and I really made to keep him as a ram but if he has to be weathered, he will make a wonderful fiber pet and he does have the most loving personality.
More "wether" decisions this week but for now I will enjoy and savory these beautiful September days:)