Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Panda 1993-2006

Dayspring Panda passed on to the big pasture in the sky today.
born 4-08-93...died 7-26-06...preceeded in death by daughter Bianca, this spring.
Survived in Missouri, by two year old daughter China, other daughters: Snowwhite, Cinderella, grandaughters Bippitty, and Bunny and Easter, and great grand-daughters Boppitty, Cottonball, and Powderpuff.... Panda's grandson, Twospots is a breeding ram here, his sons, Two in the Bush, and Equator will be living in Minnesota.... Another daughter Pandabear is already living in Minnesota. Easter also produced a nice ram this year that I plan to try out...Thanksgiving.
Panda was born a lovely yuglet flecket...she leaves a line of daughters who produce the same lovely flecket lambs.
We enjoyed her wise looks and hearty calls for her evening pan of grain. I'm sure there are other off-spring living good lives in several states. We will miss you Panda.
Thanks for all the time you spent with us, we hope we will remember your lessons.

What's your plan?

Good Morning, How are you doing?
Now that we have some little idea about who we are, let's find out what the plan is.
We have discussed picking rams and choosing who to keep and breed.
What are you doing with your lambs? Do you sell some and keep some?
I sure do....I'm pretty sure everyone who raises sheep does that. How big do you plan to be....not as big as me is a good plan. Are you going to raise pure-bred sheep? Any kind of have to become as familiar as you can of the fine points of your breed...or breeds. How do they interact?
Little story about combining breeds. I chose to add Navajo Curros to my breeding program. They were supposed to be a little bigger, and the wool was different, so they should compliment each other. I put the little ram lamb in with my other shetland ram lambs. Now, the clue, I missed, was that the ram lamb could not walk in the fall....I had to carry him to his breeding group.
Over the winter, he got bigger, and gentler....he was a beauty.
I picked out the smallest shetland ram to put with him and then added the ram lambs from that spring....everyone was half the size of my gentle giant. As fall came, we missed our Navajo-churro ram one night....and went to look for him out in the pasture.
We finally found him....scared in a corner....blind.
Not knowing what could have caused the change from morning to night...we put the Navajo-churro girls in with him to keep him calm....and called the vet.
There were only a couple of things that could cause we started pushing meds into our boy, and after a week, I noticed he staggered when he hit the fence. Seemed that it was not a medical problem....but a brain injury. We put him down, since we couldn't make him better. In February, my husband was shoveling snow and heard a lamb. After a while he went to see, knowing the ewes couldn't be having lambs. What he found, was a little lamb with a long tail, out in the snow with a shetland ewe. Husbands can be quite smart....When I reached the barn, there was one of the churro girls having a second lamb in the barn. We put up a jug and watched the other girl...sure enough in a couple of days she too, had twins. Our little boy, couldn't breed his girls the first year...but blind, the week he had them, he left his progeny....every one looked just like their sire. We hadn't noticed the girls were pregnant....they were so much bigger than the shetlands. Big Bertha....and her lambs, and the rest of the churros were sold as a group to a petting farm already raising churros.
So sometimes plans can go astray.
Don't try to add breeds unless you have enough penning to seperate anyone that doesn't get your shetland rams as fall come around....about a month before breeding time...the rams want to decide who gets all the ewes....don't let your breeds hurt each other.
So now....we all....have 20 or 30 ewe and lambs. ( I may have a few more than that.)What do we do now? Have you ever tried to market your sheep, your products? Who do you know with experience? Who do you know who gets excited about what they are doing? Who do you know thinking out-side the box?
The reason, I because I want to form a thinking group. A bunch of us...with or without bounce marketing ideas off each-other. I already have two folks, and will set up a yahoo group for us....this is just thinking stage right committment needed.
Let me know if you want to join my group.
bopeep the lucky

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Who are you?

I'm not selling any of my sheep today. I have to write about something.
I have been writing about looking at your sheep and deciding who to keep ....who to breed.
And today, we should explore who are you?????
Some lives just go along and pull us in, there are babies...real ones to care for, partners and their jobs, our jobs! that require care, houses that need buying or selling. Laundry, packing, friends who need nuturing....dishes...and dinners....and more dishes!
Pets, who appear and disappear...with all the emotions involved. And the big one these days, parents who now need our care to survive.
I've been there too. Totally involved with jobs that eat up all my waking time, parents who require doctors appointments, hospital stays, houses that become too big...too little. Posessions that overwhelm my capability to store them. Pets and farm animals that instead of being a hobby....take over my life.
I'm comfortable with myself right now...but there was a time when these things were putting one foot where I didn't need to go.
Children grow up....some don't always grow at an expected rate, but the time comes when we let them go to be who they are.... not who we think they should be. At that point, sometimes we are lost ourselves. When you were growing up....who did you want to be? Do you remember the aching to be out on your own, living that life?....Do you still want somewhere be that person and not the one you are?
Are you people, sheep, or even possessions that are piled on tables, on chairs, in you have boxes now in full view....of things that are being stored, but no longer fit in your storage places? Of trapping for a life you have out-grown....and need to change?
At one point in my life....I had to make changes. Life was not what I could control, and I HAD to take it back. Isn't it funny how we find the very person, book, place to sit....when we need to recover our life...our person inside-who we really are?
I found a doesn't matter what it was gave me the tools to change my life one thing at a a place where I could be me....
I had to imagine living in a place of total joy....peace and comfort.
Can you think of one?....Have you taken the time to look inside yourself and find that spot?
It can be murky at first....but then if you can imagine can be there.
Once you have the concept of peace and the "good life" you look around you....what do you see?
Do you need it in the next place in your dreams? You are going to improve your life one little big step.... at a time.
One of the curses of our society...are the many possessions we surround ourselves with.
My parents revered the things of their past...of their parents past....I was taught to revere them too.....of course after all the parents and grandparents were gone....I still had the stuff!!!!
Interestingly, I let go...burned...trashed...gave away....many of my own things....and still have boxes of my parents stuff!....but the difference is that I decided what I could get rid of and what I wanted to keep. Look into that storage there anything in there that would be necessary to your NEW life? If not, why are you keeping it?
Things....were meant to serve...not to sit. If it is sitting and collecting dust....maybe you don't need it any more. Make a list of your surroundings....if you were leaving for your new special "perfect" life tomorrow....what would you take with you?
Maybe you already have that perfect life? Maybe there are just a few things that need changing.
Once you have your list....and there might be some things you want to change that are in your heart...but you can't even admit them to yourself by putting them on your list.
We work up to those bigger changes, by making those small changes.
Look in your box there anything in there you want to get rid of now? it....for everything we get rid of that ties us to our old life....the one that needs changing....we get a burst of energy toward our new life.'s a little plastic cowboy hat....a yellow one, big enough to fit on my finger. No matter how hard I try...I cannot get rid of that hat right I accept has now become an altar to my past...that way, I can accept it...keep it...move it with me to my next place I want to live. It's OK...I know it is stupid...but I can accept that too.
It won't drag me back to the old now just provides a link to the old from my new place of living.
There are some things that are harder to put on a list...they are harder to deal with in life....they are hard to even admit to ourselves....get your little pocket book out.....mark an X on a date...that is the date you will make a decision....put something on your to-do list....eliminate a with a problem. In the meantime, you can start with the little things. Celebrate when you do something throwing that old frying pan in the trash...instead of in the back of the cupboard.
Let that old stuff you can figure out who you are, what you want to do next year, next month,.... tomorrow.'s are can find yourself, and make a difference in your own life....I'm so proud of you. You might even make a difference in my life!
Hurray! Maybe some day you will need a sheep!

Friday, July 21, 2006

snowflake sold

Thank you so much everyone,
Snowflake has found a new home, and she is very proud of buying a few bales of hay for those northern sheep.
Tune into right now for our new big big BIG lamb auction.
Buy youself a cute ewe lamb or a great ram lamb...all for a good cause....YES, the auction is now on day one!
Better look fast these are really nice sheep for sale.....and every day if not sold the price goes down! Check out the action, it will be quiet other auctions until those lambs are gone....remember you need to arrange for transportation for those auction lambs from the donating farm to yours....don't bid until you have a plan....and you have to contact me to buy....! ...lokk at those cute cute lambs and will help us buy hay!
Thanks again to Snowflakes new mom, I hope she has wonderful lambs for you!
lucky bopeep

day two fire benefit auction fund

Good morning, all you bright and happy folks.
Haved you hugged a sheep yet today?
Well, this is day two for Snowflake....price today is $50.00.
Snowflake volunteered to go to a nice new home so that she could buy a few bales of hay for some minnesota sheep who lost their hay in a fire.
She is a good mom, likes to be calm and curious....and is already friendly.
She would love to be in a smaller flock where she could be more important, and get lots of attention.
There is some of the old sheared last-years fleece still hanging on the rear....this is just the old mat....I wait for the rose bushes to clean these mats off my sheep.
When someone bids...the auction is over. Contact me if you have a spot for Snowflake. She is registered black, but is genetically AaAaBBBbSSSs......fleece color much more of a dark brown color...and quite fine.....I'm not good at modifieds, so I won't guess.
lucky bopeep

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Snowflake day one auction

Fire benefit auction ewe, Snowflake.
This will be the last auction here, until after the lamb auctions on mssbo blog.
We will add the price for Snowflake to the fire fund. She will again start at $60.00....a bargain even for an adult registered shetland.
Sheltering Pines, Snowflake was born in she is only two, and just starting her breeding career. She is a registered black, but you can easily see she is a warm brown color, carries a recessive for both moorit and for spotting. Her dam is Sheltering Pines Snowy....a black and white...and a Windsor daughter. So for you spotting lovers, we go back to 0555 here.
Snowflakes sire is Underhill Brando....and since he carries both Jamie, and Holly genetics, I am guessing Snowflake is about 25% UK genetics. Mind, I am not sure how those percentages are figured....
As you can see by her photos, Snowflake is unafraid of people, and mildly friendly....I can kiss her. She has had two single ram lambs, and I am considering breeding with this year's moorit ram. She has a wonderful build, and one of those fine UK fleeces.
When I took the tail photo...which is perfect I thought she looked a little hocky....I am mentioning it, so you know I hadn't noticed it before, and haven't seen any problem in her lambs. What you see is what you get.....she is a really nice ewe, and I don't part with friends lightly....but I have a feeling Snowflake would enjoy being in a smaller flock, so she has more attention.
If you have been drooling over Sheltering Pines you are, you can buy this girl and not feel a bit guilty, since it goes for a good cause!
Price all day today $ can bid by emailing me. Prices go down each day...this is a dutch auction.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

new home for strawberry

Thanks everyone, for your interest in Strawberry. She has found a new home...and it's all for a good cause. Thanks again to her new mom...and thanks to all of you nice folks who are organizing an effort to help another breeder. It is something we can and should do for anyone hit with a disaster.
I will choose another ewe who is not only nice, she will also be friendly...and let's see if there is someone else who needs an excuse to buy a sheep...a good excuse that is....
formerly lucky!

day two...strawberry

Day two, Strawberry needs a new home....she is now $50.00....thanks to anyone checking in this is a dutch auction...her price goes down for three more days. When she is considered toast....well kind of....she is a nice little girl.
Well, as long as we have an auction going with a good hearted cause....find strawberry a new home....her tail isn't that long!
We will make this auction part of the fire benefit auction....if and when Strawberry finds a new home the result goes toward our new fire benefit auction fund, for our friend who just had a barn fire..
So bid.....or you can send me a cash donation to buy a bale of hay for the shetland sheep , and bfl sheep...who have just had their winters hay burned.
Either way...this is a wonderful community of sheep breeders.
Thanks in advance!
bopeep now considered lucky.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Day one....Strawberry Auction

This is Strawberry, she would be a perfect example of a mioget/fawn yearling...except she has a longer tail. Her dam, is Snowcone....snowcone carries yuglet sokket...since she had one this spring....Snowcone is also mioget...or fawn...however you want to see her.
While snowcone is a warm mellow ewe, slow-moving and curious...Strawberry is a bit more aware of her surroundings....she allowed me to take her pictures...but isn't inclined to have me pet her.....she likes grain, but won't put her head in my bucket to get it....Strawberry has an odd tail....not as long as her dam, but it has a upward curl, that I believe you can see in her photo. Except for the longer tip....strawberry has nice wool on her cheeks and poll. Strawberry's grand dam, cotton candy...had a micron of 26...., and also carries yuglet sokket...., having one this spring. Strawberry has not been exposed. But she is a bright girl, and her dam and her granddam had twins this spring.
Strawberry's sire, Windswept Sundance....she starts day one at $60.00 registered....Friay is the last day she will be for sale.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

small hay bales

I'm going to post my story, and try to save someone my agony.
I grabbed two lambs this morning...and so they wouldn't get hurt going in with the other ram a ram a ewe.....I put them for a little while in a pen in front of a room of small hay bales.
Now I should have known better, I put a ewe and her lambs in there over night, and I had to crawl on the floor sideways to grab a hind leg...and pull one of the lambs out from the wall between the hay bales. BUT....I was trying to keep them safe until I had time to get my cdt shots a couple of hours went by until I went out to give them their shots....and they were GONE.
I called for them, and knowing how the other lamb had wedged herslf into the corner...I climbed on the bales and looked in the cracks to see if they were stuck. Then, in a panic, I went out to find their moms...and see if they had somehow gotten loose. I couldn't find the moms or the lambs in the I ran across the creek...and all the way to the I climbed the hill and ran down the sheep path near the lambs. Then coming back down the snake path....I saw one of the ewes...she had her ewe lamb...not her ram...
I paniced again...and ran fast back to the barn...this time the other ewe came into the barn and called for her lamb.... the lamb called back. But, I couldn't see her....fortunately for me, the room the hay bales are in has slat was an old horse stall....after waiting for the ewe to call again....I stood next to the open wall...and heard the ewe lamb call back....I pulled a board loose and saw her head....she was alive!....I climbed again into the room and started throwing hay bales over my I felt in between each gap in the hay bales. At least I knew she was there...and finally I moved the right hay bales...and she flew to the top and jumped the top of the wall to the next pile of hay bales...then to the floor.
While I was over-joyed to see one of my charges alive...I was even more sure the other one had fallen in between some where else where he couldn't breathe. So now...I removed the top bales and piled them outside in the barn. As I reached each gap I stuck my arm in to feel for fleece all the time praying aloud ....please! don't let him be in here! Finally I got through the room without finding him...then I started the other pile of hay....all the time knowing I could be reaching down into the gap to find wool...and might find another snake instead.
Not finding him...I ran to the house and sobbed to my husband on the phone what had happened...and how I couldn't find the ram lamb. He told me to stop and sit with some's now over 90 degrees...and I am all in....
When I ran back to the barn...I saw a familiar head....YES...sure enough! It was the ram lamb....eating grass and trying to snatch a drink from another mom.....He wasn't dead....BUT...he could have been!
I have said this before...don't do as I do....Small bales of hay are no place for a shetland lamb to play. Please save yourself some grief...keep those lambs away from small bales that are piled up....I know....the lambs are so small and so active...something will happen.
I was very lucky I hadn't killed my little lambs by putting them some where unsafe...while I was trying to keep them safe. New's got to be lucky.
bopeep no the lady called lucky.

End of five!

Oh Happy day!!!! Waahoo!
Northwind has found a really nice new home. Thank you so much for looking in to see who I was auctioning....and writing about Northwind. I know she will be really happy, and I am looking forward to admiring her new lambs.
I'm sorry that I have to go away from my computer, since I have a couple more really interesting ewes to sell here.
Tune in Sunday night or Monday...and see if there is someone you can't live without!
and go out there and admire your lambs....give them a cookie for me.

Day five...last day

This is the last day for the dutch auction of Northwind....
I think I may have to wait until sunday before posting the next auction...since I am leaving for the north tomorrow. Oh...and Northwind is now $20.00.....registered, you transfer.
I might add that 20 dollars is about what you will get for shipping an adult ewe. If you have any doubts about the breeding qualities of your ewe lamb....let her go now....It isn't worth shipping her later, unless you ship ten or more which case it will pay for your shipping costs.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Who is YOUR ram?

What kind of ram do you have? How many years have you used him....Why?
Is he giving you an improvement in the lambs your girls have? When you look at your ewe and her lambs walking by, are you thinking...Boy...that lamb has a better tail, a better fleece, a better build ...a better something....than it's dam?
If not...why are you still using that ram?
I got a call from a friend who has used one ram for a number of years....because she liked the kind of lambs he produced. She called because...he is older, and she decided to look for a new ram.
Now, this friend has it together....she wants good she is looking for rams from a certain flock, because they have nice fleece.

So why did you choose your ram? Are you specializing in fleece?....size?....colors? Anything definite at all? Are you using a ram because he came with your other sheep?, he was free...a reduced price...the least expensive one you could find?...better yet...the most expensive one you could find, and now you spent so much money you can't complain about what kind of horns or back legs...or bad fleece he throws?????...
Are you using a ram you produced...because you didn't sell him...and he was too nice to get rid of? What has he done to improve your flock....or is he actually confusing your genetics because he is related to most of your ewes?
It's don't have to breed your flock next week. Take a little time to evaluate your head ram this week.....start with the shape of his head, then his horns...then his build...his tail...his fleece. Go out in the field and look at his lambs....start with the ram you like all of them...if there is a dud...was it the ram or the ewe who might have had more influence....the same question could be used on the best lamb....more genetics from the ewe or the ram?....By the time you get through the lambs your head ram may have some questions about his get. If it looks like he has more going for him than against him...decide how you could breed certain ewes to him this fall, and improve some of his lamby product. Then balance what he does this fall against any bad points....if he fails to improve enough this fall...look for another ram next spring.
If you have a really big flock...and more than one ram...stop here because you are likely too confused to make a good judgement on the next ram. four

Good moning anyone out there,
We have gotten a little rain here the last two days. Which is great!...some stuff out there that looks like grass is looking a little green now.
Northwind is on day four....she is down to $30.00. Last day to consider her is tomorrow....then I have to decide who to try next.

My sheep ran away yesterday...I am VERY unhappy with them. And I mean away....I followed a ewe lamb who was baaing about a mile into the woods. Thinking she was caught in some wire.
When I found her she was with another ewe and two other lambs. They were grazing away in the creek bed. No one was caught...and when I tried to wave them back towards the end of my fencing....and the hole they got out of....they ran the other way.
Then I couldn't find my way back! Couldn't find a single blaze on a tree. Fortunately my husband missed me and started yelling. Seriously, I could hardly hear him. So I eventually got back...but I have to go out and look at the sheep this morning. Just to make sure they all came back.
How do sheep find their way through the woods?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Day three

Day three, Windswept $40.00....registered, spotted genetics....good mom.
Obviously, I may be one of few....who want this ewe....that's fine. I could not cull these genetics. You have two more days to consider her purchase.

I am seeing really sad posts on the lists these I am going to say for your benefit...hopefully...I do not sell a single ewe to anyone without other sheep. They are not dogs...they are a flock animal. Just imagine how sad that ewe or ram is after leaving mom and their flock to be stuck all by themselves with only a human for companionship.
Now they are not only a bad have made them, sadly, a bad sheep too.
Being a shepherd has more meaning than your bottom line....please consider the animals that have been created at your bidding.
I require at least three sheep on a farm....and I do caution about both intact rams and non-rams. Please caution your clients about the dangers of feeding rams....before you cause a child to be injured....if you think those horns hurt hitting your hip, imagine the damage they can do to a childs head. People coming from the city to a first farm, are not experienced in livestock care....and raising sheep does not necessarily give us the ability to educate them.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Northwind day two

Good morning, anyone out there,
This is day two for Windswept she is now priced at $50.00.
And I do stand corrected about Northwind's scrapie status. Even though poor Northwind was born in a scrapie free farm...eartagged, poked, bled or snipped....and ear-buttoned....the minute she was sold she turned into an ordinary shetland sheep...with no status what-so-ever.
Makes you wonder doesn't it?
Must be from hanging around with my naughty sheep.
So totally ignore any scrapie information on her ear-tag. She is just ordinary....kind of like the rest of my sheep. Oh...but you cn consider her pedigree...that is definitely not-ordinary.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Day one Northwind

Mark your calendars....this may be the one and only time you see a price like this on a Windswept ewe. Yes, if you look at her face...this is a spotted ewe. She is registered as blettet...but I think you would agree at this point she is a smirslet. Northwind has given me a yuglet flecket ewe in moorit and white....yes, she carries spotting strongly....I would say AaAaBBBbSSSs....simply because I don't register head spots as Ss.

This is a Northstar should be carrying at least one R....that also makes her a Jacobson granddaughter. You are pretty close to the top of the spotted ladder here.
Northwind was born in she just turned 5 years old. She is a daughter of Sheltering Pines Precipitation....who is now in Canada....having lovely lambs. Northwind is also a grand daughter of Wind River Windsor...another son of Jacobson. also Windsor carrys we could have R on both sides here....I don't know what Precipitation carries.

Aside from that, Northwind had a ewe lamb this year who looked exactly like her. Her yuglet flecket daughter had twin hst ewes....I do plan to breed her daughter, and since I have too many ewes to breed.....this is your chance to own a piece of spotted history. I don't feel her age is against her, since I got twins from Dayspring Panda at age 11....and triplets from Pandemonium at age 9.....I think I bought both of those girls at an age older than 5.
Northwind was born black...I would say she aged to a black iset....her tail looks OK....she is solid, and a good mom. Northwind isn't really friendly....her daughter, Whirlwind, isn't friendly either...but she is one of the best moms I saw this year....always knowing where her lambs were.
Northwind's daughter has already been sold....and I think she is a little lonely.
I am not sure about you folks out there in the voluntary scrapie program....? Northwind is tagged from Windswept......I'm guessing that makes her different than if she was born at my farm. You could check your facts before you bid.

On the subject of bidding....Northwind is priced at $60.00 today on day excuse not to have one of the best spotting lines in shetland history.
Thanks for watching the auction....and yes, she is day two at midnight tonight.

Taffy is two!

Thanks everyone, for looking in to see how this experiment in dutch auctions goes for shepherds.
Taffy sold this morning, congratulations to her new owner...I hope she will be a great ewe for you!
I will edit some photographs and put the next ewe up this one for someone!
Thanks again, everyone for your notes and interest.

Taffy's day two

Good morning, everyone...I should say that I'll consider midnight the cut off for one day from the Taffy is already priced at fifty transfer.
I'll get photos up of her a little later...I just found my batteries....for the camera...not me.


Friday, July 07, 2006

ewe dutch auction...begins

WELCOME to.....Day one of my newest extra ewe dutch auction.
I would like to start with someone simple...but I have a few folks looking over my list first.
So I'm going to start with a tough one.

Taffy, odd color, dam is Cottoncandy...who carrys a modifier, and is recessive for spots. Cottoncandy was born a warm black...whatever that means. Taffy has a nice blaze on her forehead....she is a registered smirslet. Her sire , Marina Mist...out of Sheltering Pines Darius, and Maple Ridge Marina.
Marina is or was...quite is Taffy.
Taffy had a nice moorit ram this year....he does have moonspots , if you have heard of those....He has a longer wavey fleece....and good horns, which I would expect with Darius in her pedigree. Taffy's son, sprinkles, has a fleece that feels really soft to my hand. Taffy also feels soft to the touch....her grand sire from Sheepy Hollow had one of the softest fleeces we have ever of the reasons I kept her.
Taffy was born a black in 2004....that makes her two this past spring. Cotton candy has a longer tail than I like...Taffy has one shorter than her dam...but perhaps is a little long. She is blocky and pretty friendly. She doesn't run from me...but shys away if I pet her under the chin.
Although born a black...Taffy is now maybe shaela..she doesn't look iset....because her fleece doesn't seem to have longer white hairs, but that is an option.
She had a daughter in 05....and a single son in 06...she may be a size that prefers to have singles....Too soon to establish that as a fact.
Now that I took photos...sorry camera ran out of batteries...I'll get some more shots for day two....she doesn't really have a long tail...I doubt it is over 5 least not over 6. She does have a lot of white on the top of her head, it is on her nose...and some also on her neck...a good example of a smirslet. You might be able to see in these photos, she has a brownish cast to the wool by her neck and on her rump. I would say small, compact and blocky.
I am in Missouri, I am close to the Arkansas border....but I do have things to do in Minnesota and Wisconsin this summer....I am registered for the AGM in Indiana....I hope to go to the november show in Kentucky. So transpots through Iowa and Illinois is not out of the question....but please remember I am not making 200 dollars on any of these ewes...and gas will be high this summer.

I'm going to start her out....she is already $60.00......not a bad price for a shetland who is a proven mom....AaAaBBBbSSSs...I don't consider head spots to be Ss....I can't tell you if she carrys a modifier...but her dam does.
This is Saturday day one....Wednesday, is the last day to consider Taffy for sale. In the meantime....if you are looking for a new ewe...her price goes down every day....tune in tomorrow.


the state of my own flock

When I am writing, I am also trying to arrange my own thoughts.
So if I am talking about is because I am thinking about that possibility.
So...I am following my own advise, and looking at my own flock in terms of who is my best sheep. all know I am a sheep-aholic. I can't just think about one sheep....I think of a whole genetic line of sheep.
So my best sheep numbers that is how many are my best! Really!
I have, count them, five lines of genetics, I can't do without. One of those lines includes my original ewes....Kitty and Donna, who are still with me and do on-occasion produce a show sheep.
So my best sheep equals 26.
I have a second best line of sheep too.....these are genetically different. The thing that makes them second best, is that they have all had at least one fully spotted lamb. I may not be impressed with each and every lamb they have had....but I have been impressed once. Remember, I breed for spotted lambs. There are other factors involved, but the main spots. Always has been, since I bought my first three ewe lambs, and saw the shetland poster on the wall. My first ram had spots in his pedigree.
He didn't have any spotted lambs, actually he only produced one lamb in two years....and that was a ram. I admit, I do go through lots of rams.
Whole other line of thought there....

Are you waiting to find out how many ewes are in my second best group?
14 at last count! That's not bad....I maybe don't really NEED those 14 ewes, but I have no real reason to think of culling them. Six of them just had their first lambs, well spotted lambs. I would like to see what they have when they have year.
Now I am down to a third string of ewes. Maybe I bought them for a different reason than having spots....maybe I raised them and they can't have spots. Some of these same ewes will refuse-for years-to have spotted lambs for me, and the minute I sell them to some one else....They immediately produce adorable yuglets.
My third string covers a number of old there are actually five ewes I will not part with for any reason. One of them lives in my backyard, because she likes the grass better. She will follow me through the gate once in a while to visit the other sheep.
So now I am down to 18 ewes, who are not producing the type of lambs, I want to produce. AHhh Ha!.....
Without even taking a photo...I can tell you three are unsalable. All three are black, two are flighty, one has a long tail...and one has a bad fleece. I kept that one, so that she could have a lamb...her first lamb this spring she had a ram lamb....let me tell you, her voice would put me right out of my chair. Have I mentioned bad-voice for a reason to cull before? If you have to listen to one long will agree that it is a good reason.

So, at the end of this line of thought there are out in my fields.... fifteen ewes I do not need....they do not or have not produced any beautiful spotted lambs for me...they might have some for someone else...three of them are yearlings who haven't lambed yet. I think they are all salable. Two of them, I originally bought myself....and paid good money for them.
So definitely salable. Two of them were from ewes I bought bred, two were trades. Some could actually be dark brown genetically....I have given up on deciding for myself.
According to my last post...I had a plan for removing ewes from a flock....Set a date, and try selling that ewe. Well I think a couple of these ewes are already on my bargain sheep list....I listed them all for one hundred dollars each on my web page....and these ewes have not yet sold.
There are two or three reasons something doesn't's not priced hasn't had enough doesn't show well.
Perhaps a webpage isn't the ideal place to sell bargain ewes....If you look at some of those web pages....some folks charge a LOT of money for their sheep! I'm not complaining...
(please note here...if you charge a lot of money for your sheep...good for you....way to go...sell those sheep, congratulations!)
They can charge as much as they want...they are their own sheep....maybe they don't really want to sell them, so set a high price. (Thought censored for my social health.) I sell my ewes so I can buy fence for my other ewes. I think of it like selling them into bondage for the fencing. But then again I have a strange view of life and don't believe everything you hear.
Are you laughing yet?

The end of this an experiment.
If the $100.00 price tag hasn't sold my ewe....I can always go down.
If my web page hasn't had enough exposure for these ewes, I can use my blog and the yahoo groups for more exposure. I will also have to take some photos, so that the ewe in question shows as well as possible.
So beginning today....or tomorrow...when ever I get a couple of photos. I am going to have a dutch-auction for my extra ewes.
I am going to try for five days to sell my ewe. At the end of those five days...she reverts to my cull list, and I will write a long story about culling ewes. If you have bought ewes from me before, I may even send you spam, saying this ewe is a possible one for you.
I'm guessing that a starting price of sixty dollars might move some ewes out....but I am always looking on the bright side. So in case you are actually looking for a ewe, not just trying to get rid of them....the price tomorrow starts at $60 .00...registered, you transfer....and goes down from there. Did I say down? Right....dutch auction.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

when to cull a ewe....really!

Along the same theme, getting your flock to where you want it, is the question of culling.
Now, I know this word is harsh. If we decide to cull, we are actually pulling the trigger...even though we don't have to physically do the deed.
I don't like to cull ewes...I have said that. I mean it too.
But what can we do if a ewe is bad for our flock? Is that ewe likely to be any better for someone elses flock? OK....sometimes, there is a reason the ewe might be helpful to another flock.
If someone is just starting to breed a flock of sheep. They may want to get a ewe....for whatever reason she is not a great ewe....but all they need is a ewe to breed once. If there is nothing physically wrong with our ewe, maybe she just needs a second chance. We can sell her cheap.
Examples: a ewe who didn't lamb well the first time....a ewe who doesn't fit well in a flock...the flock is too large, or too small for her personality. ...a ewe who doesn't like you, but maybe would like the next shepherd.
Maybe you have too many grey ewes. They aren't necessarily bad, they are just the wrong could try to sell that ewe to someone who could use a grey...or a black...or whatever color is over-whelming your flock.

What about flighty ewes?....the same reasons might save a ewe if she has a good fleece and tail...and legs....but you had better warn that new breeder, or the ewe will wind up being on their don't want list for the same reason. Now, yes, in that case you saved the ewe...but did you really help out that other shepherd?....or would they have been better off buying a ewe from someone else....and getting a keeper.
What are the reasons we might cull a ewe?....birthing problems that could be genetic....prolapse. Bad teeth/jaw.....dam throws really bad horns, so does the daughter....twin is malformed.
BAD tails....rebred and still bad tails. Even bred to a third ram...still a bad not only have to get rid of a ewe...but you may have culled a number of rams...and had to find some spinner who didn't care about the lamb's tail.
There must be a number of spinners out there who don't care about long as they like the fleece...otherwise folks wouldn't wether their ram lambs. is a spot you have to think out for yourself. Our breed allows for different type fleeces.....the ewes do often grow a harsher fleece when they get older, too. So think about what you need to do with fleeces. If you are selling them what sells best?.....are you stuck with all your black fleeces?....why are you breeding black sheep then? If you are selling grey fleeces, but don't like grey sheep you could have a conflict.
What is the bottom line for your many sheep can you take care of? many lambs can you sell? many lambs can you cull? Can you sell bred ewes to a new shepherd and move adults? How many fleeces can you much roving? much yarn?

Maybe we should do it the other way?
Who is your best sheep?
Who is your next best? you really need the rest of those sheep? If you would be happier with fewer sheep. Decide who CAN be sold....then decide the last date you will take care of that sheep before culling them....then try to sell that sheep....just that one....if she/he or it doesn't sell by that gave them a chance.....try to work on another salable sheep.....maybe in a month...maybe in 6 months you will have a few sheep you just can't sell, and you just don't want to keep...for whatever reason. Those are culls.
Now you can decide if you want to sell the meat...use it yourself? Get the skin and have it tanned for a rug? Have a big barbecue? Cry all the way to the market? It doesn't matter, really....we are the way we are. However sometimes the world would just be better off without that fence jumping, knee butting, lamb losing...ear-back ewe out in the garden. I won't hold it against you....send her spirit on, and celebrate a flock without her! Looks better already doesn't it?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

picking your breeding stock

What do you want to do?
Do you have a plan at all for breeding sheep together?
How many sheep do you want to keep on your place?
How many do you want to sell in a year?
Count the sheep you you like them?....did you buy a dud? What are you going to do with it now? Do you breed it to improve you cull it? you try to sell it cheap?
I personally think everyone should have a plan for breeding two sheep together....sometimes the plan works...sometimes you don't get the results you wanted.....what to do then?
I seriously doubt that anything is gained...or lost by out-crossing.
I wish our breeders could spend a few years moving their breeding groups around and playing with the results.
Hey...I'm not dumb enough to say something controversial here...I have learned that my blog can be held against next thought is censored.

But, I think much can be gained in sheepy type knowledge by breeding what you already have in different ways to see if you can improve the odds of liking your results.

What do you want to do with sheep?....Are you going to be happy with a dozen fiber sheep, and a few lambs in the spring? Do you have a way to advertise your product...wool or lambs?
Have you tried the local shopper...the electrical monthly....bulletin boards?
If you will be happy with a few....limit your expenses by using free web fiber board ads....local shops in town to sell spun yarn.

If you have 6 ewes and a ram.....and breed them....the next year you might have 9 ewes and another breeding ram...and maybe two wethers. The following year you have over twenty what happens? If you suddenly want to sell some breeding type are going to need some planning....Do you know what is selling? you know who is buying it?
The last maybe 5 years spotted sheep have suddenly become popular.....the past two years modified colors have suddenly become popular.....maybe the last 8 years A-I sheep have been popular....I'm guessing here since I don't do that.
What next?....what I hear is now you have an know what to breed to sell....better plan than the rest of us have been struggling with.
Yes, I actually did plan to have a lot of sheep...after my first three that is.....once I decided what I wanted to breed for...and why....I thought I would need at least 30 or 40 I am a little over that double....
One of my problems is I think of ewes as people.....I don't like splitting up twin ewes....I like an adult ewe to be able to keep a ewe lamb once in a while....I don't like to cull ewes....I don't like to sell adult ewes to new flocks.....I have a whole bunch of mental blocks to making this stuff a business....these are my babies....I need to take care of them wheather they like it or not.
I did cull maybe 25 rams last year...I even sold some bred ewes....never do Juliann wrote...."how to make sure you have that perfect lamb...sell the ewe bred."
My breeding list is presently over 60...that is impossible.....I don't want to assist 60 ewes, I don't care what the lambs look like!....I don't want 90 lambs.....I have a no-breed list of 20 already.....What I am don't do what I do....
I do have a plan for breeding...I have five yuglet sokket or yuglet flecket rams......If I just bred them I would already have about 25 ewes bred. However, I also have fiber rams....emsket and katmoget rams....and new little rams to try out...just because they have potential and I can't sell all the good rams in a year. so I try to give them a chance to breed before they have to go on to that rammy place.
So think about it now....what you decide to do will make a difference in your life....look at I live in missouri...because I didn't want to get rid of my sheep.
what do I want to do next?...I'm not sure....know anyone who wants a few dozen sheep?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

who to breed and why

There have got to be more folks out there just like me....the minute I see that lamb out on the ground...I am planning to keep or sell the little wet thing.
Now I will admit, there are a lot of factors involved....expecially in ram lamb development.

This year I have four pairs of ewe lambs who match each other in size and I have been mentally thinking of showing one set or another in sheep shows. One of the comments of last year's judge at Jefferson was that no one took pairs seriously.
But as a breeder, we also want to show some of our best...what if there is no pair to that lamb?...I have that happening in looking at ram lambs to show.... I have one...and no one seems to match him yet in size. I do have a cute pair of katmoget ram lambs....they might grow by the end of the year....but neither one seems to me a candidate for best ram lamb...just a cute pair.
So as I think about who to show....I am also mentally pairing the ewe sheep to rams for breeding.
I already have 14 (count them) 14 ewe lambs on my keep list.....

I know that is way too do you decide who to keep and who to sell?
I do have certain genetic lines I tend to favor for keeping. It used to be lambs from Panda. Now Panda is 13 and not having lambs. So sometimes I keep her granddaughters. The same seems to be true of Pandemonium age 11. I used to keep all her she doesn't have I am keeping a granddaughter. Notice, just one.
Yes, as a matter of fact she is a yuglet sokket too....he he.

I don't really need another ram.....but this year I have a couple with nicer I am thinking of breeding them just for their fleece quality. My best showing ewe and one of my winning rams, were both part of an experiment in using an ag ram lamb just for his fleece quality.
I really really am trying to be careful of selling lambs that don't have perfect legs.....I am not afraid to breed them myself, and see if I can correct the slight faults....but I don't want to sell them. I also watch tails....why is it that the worst tails I get are from sheep I bought from others?.....Do you notice that yourself?....I spent a lot of money...for a ewe, who not only didn't ever have a good spotted sheep....but she has terrible fleece and a fuzzy tail. So what can you do?....I have thought about culling...but I hate to cull I have her on my do not breed list.
OK...all you cross-breeders out there have a solution for that....but so far all I have is my no-breed list.
I was not as careful when I bought sheep originally, as I think I am have to remember there were only a half dozen spotted sheep that folks knew about at first. This has been a long process. Now that we have lines of sheep that can produce spots, we can be a little more fussy in who we use for breeding spots.
I will admit, it is lots easier to figure out what to do with all those ram, grey-cull, long-tail--cull, bad personality-cull.....bad, ugly horns...cull.
But how do you decide what to do with ewe lambs...especially friendly ewe lambs?
Well, the to keep them all yourself....I think of that solution every year!
Next best idea, that I have to look over what will sell.....spotted ewes are selling well.
So if I have some spotted ewe lambs who seem to have straight legs...and good tails....I often do put them on my sale list. I have several spotted ewes of my own...I know they can produce spots again next year....but what about plain ewe lambs?
Well, modified colors are selling....emsket, mioget, fawn, dark brown...if someone really knows what it is....which I haven't proved yet. But what are we to do with grey ewe lambs...musket ewe lambs....moorit ewe lambs....and expecially black ewe lambs?
I'm guessing there has to be some effort as a market these sheep.
Moorit is a popular color for spinning...we shoud maybe package moorit flocks for sale....or grey and musket flocks for spinners....we all know that fleece is great for spinning and dyeing....any ideas out there?