Friday, July 07, 2006

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 cull....it 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. OK....you 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 26....no... 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 focus....is 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 twins....next 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 friends....so 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 died....so 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 enough...you 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 sell.....it's not priced right....it hasn't had enough exposure....it 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 sheep....so don't believe everything you hear.
Are you laughing yet?

The end of this exercise.....is 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.

2 Comments:

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Emporium said...

Is the ewe in the picture "Kitty"? Jane wants to know, also Jane can't find her "Hot babes with wheels shirt" or her MSSBA shirt. Now she doesn't know what to wear.
Emporium

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger sheperdchik said...

Hi. I love your blog. I got the link from the MSSBO yahoo list. I live in NW Iowa. Will you be passing through here anytime in the months to come? If so, I might want to purchase a few ewes from you. Thanks, Rebecca at Shepherd's Hill Farm, Mapleton Iowa

p.s. my blog is on the shetland sheep breeders webring

 

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