So we've been planning to 'get together' for probably a year or so. Finally it worked out and I went. Probably stayed too long, but we had a nice long visit and talked non-stop about sheep and fiber and well, everything else too! Touring the farm was fun--I got to see the sheep, and goats, along with the chickens, peacocks, cats and dogs.
Inside we looked at fiber, played with the drum carder and of course talked. Hopefully it will work out that we can visit more often and put some of our ideas into products.
While I was there I got some good pictures of the rams. Of course they didn't really want to cooperate, but despite that I got a few 'on the fly'. Even though I don't often brag about my sheep, I was really pleased with both of these boys. Jackdaw literally took my breath away. Maybe it was the glorious fall setting, but that black and white pattern and regal bearing really made him stand out. I used Jackie here before I sold him and have one daughter from him. The rest of the ewes that I plan to breed next year are his half sisters, so his use here would be very limited, hence why I sold him. So here is he is at his second breeding season:
(Three Ring Just Jack x Fairlight Duckie)
I also got to see young Jasper in his native setting, with his new harem of ladies. Jasper originally was intended to be a wether but through a 'series of events' he remained a ram. I'm glad he did. The week after he left the farm, his sire, Jeff, died. Jasper is the only remaining offspring I have access to from Jeff. He is turning out to be a really nice little ram. His horns are very nice, and wider spaced than his sires. Nice sturdy little frame and his face is very much like Jeff's. Jasper has already been sheared once, so he isn't pictured 'in fleece'. His fleece was super soft and a very pretty black and white mottled (as he is an Ag grey the next fleece will likely be more uniform grey in color). There is a good possibility he will carry spots. I hope to be able to use this young ram next year at breeding season. He will be line bred on most of the ewes and I hope to retain the type I like to see in my flock. Nice bright Shetland character, sturdy, but smaller framed, level top lines etc, all topped off with a longish intermediate soft fleece. The sun and shadow made getting a picture of Jasper a bit difficult (not to mention his sudden interest in his lady friends), but I was able to get a couple.
And so, while no breeding season here this year or lambs next Spring, I will get to enjoy it all from afar, with lots less work!
Have a great week.