Wednesday, June 21, 2006

why am I breeding shetlands?

Well, this is interesting. I haven't thought about my sheep habit in a while.
I was surprised at my reaction to other breeder's goals.
There is absolutely no reason why shepherds cannot have as many breeds of sheep as they want. The only limit is space....and confinement for breeding groups.
Yes, I am as nutty as anyone else about liking sheep. I usually say, I love any sheep I see.

However, I was just faced with the inner knowledge that I don't really like just any sheep. I love shetlands. I love their looks, I love their personalities...I love their lambs. I love the variety in the lamby results. Am I really going to be just as excited on lambing day if I know for sure I will see only white lambs or black lambs....or do I love not knowing what my ewe will produce?
I admit it...I love the excitement of not knowing....or I know certain ewes will likely have spotted lambs....but there is no way of knowing what color, or what kind of spotting, or wheather ewe or ram lambs will arrive.

So this regional excitement about bfl sheep was interesting....initially I wanted one too....then I remembered that they have dumb looking big ears....I didn't remember them looking pretty to my way of thinking about pretty

.....ohhh I know, folks need an excuse to complain about what other people think.
So I'll stop thinking.

Somewhere, other people just stopped reading what I had written.
They invented ways to make this thought-line mean.

Who has walked in my shoes?
How dare you....complain about my loving MY sheep?
What gives you the right to tell me how to be a friend?

I own a little picture from my Mother...
I keep it on my wall
but, this is the first time
I have felt drawn to it.
A friend is not a feller
who is taken in by sham
a friend is one who knows
our faults and doesn't give
a damn!

I would put a photo of today's naughtiest ewe on...but I can't find it...winner of today's prize for running down the county road in front of a pickup is boppitty. But without her photo...I'll just post little boy with his shoes on....I have several...but he is the only one with them on all four feet.


At 9:59 AM, Blogger Kim Nikolai said...

Mary Ellen, what a shame to be making such a harsh judgement on an entire breed of sheep solely based on the look of it's ears. I have large ears too. Does that make me ugly?

I happen to love my shetlands too and have no intention of changing anything I'm doing with them. I also like my BFLs a great deal already and can already see the benefits of a cross between the two. Such as improved fleece quality, and a larger carcass weight. They also have a wonderful personality just like the shetlands.

Let's face it, none of us are really making any money on the Shetlands. At best they pay for themselves. What's wrong with trying to improve the odds of actually making a profit with our sheep?

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Bill Stearman said...

Of course Mary Ellen, being the intelligent and educated woman that you are ... you are prepared to acknowledge the rights of your FRIENDS to make the choices and decisions that they wish ... without it becoming a personal issue for you.

I love Shetlands too ... as much as any of us ... but ... I am AI'ing this Fall, and if I can find BFL semen in this country (and I can't yet) ... then I will use it.

My friend, I assume that your sense of reason and tolerance will soon kick in ... and you will not react emotionally to the decisions of others ... that have no impacy on you.

See you at the AGM.


Bill, eh

At 3:55 AM, Blogger Nancy K. said...

Oh my. You seem to have opened a hornet's nest, Mary Ellen. I just logged in to tell you that you almost got me in TROUBLE...I was laughing so hard when I read your post (at work) that people were looking at me strangly. Then again, I guess people often look at me strangly...

At 8:14 PM, Blogger Gail V said...

Hi Mary Ellen,
I loved your musings. I am sorry if you ended up feeling scolded and sorry on your own blog. I didn't think it was hate mail to decide not to like a breed of sheep. Or dog, or rabbit. . . we aren't talking people and racism here. It looked to me like you were working out, out loud, how you felt about others' breeding plans and your own. I find it very interesting the different aims and ideals all the sheep breeders have, and surely no one is "right". So muse on, wild shepherd.

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Karen B. said...

No shame here! Continue on with your delightful'll get only support from me. Keep your chin up, I'm sure the critics were only joking...they had to have been. And you know what? Hee hee, I think Suffolk sheep are less than intelligent! Does that mean I think less of PEOPLE who aren't intelligent? No way. Blog away, Mary Ellen!


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