Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Monday, November 01, 2010

It's That Time of the Year....

....just not here at Fairlight Farm! Elsewhere though, folks are rearranging fencing, moving sheep, and setting up breeding groups--and trying to stay one step ahead of their rams. It seems very odd not to be doing that this year. However, I did take a little trip over to see Jama and her small flock on Friday. Over the last several years they have bought several sheep from me--four wethers (Angus, Aberdeen, Kirby & Kelly), followed the next year by Selena (ewe) and Jackdaw (ram). This Spring they also purchased Lark (ewe) and Jasper (ram lamb). To round out their small Shetland breeding/fiber flock they purchased two more ewes (and three wethers) from another gal just a few weeks ago.

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:

Fairlight Jackdaw
(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.

12 comments:

Verde Farm said...

They are both just gorgeous. I have lambs and to see these guys full grown with full horns--wow! The spotted one is so unusual. I love the coloring. You did good and I'm glad you got to visit them!
Amy

Brenda (Prairie Daisy Handspun) said...

They look great! Beautiful pictures!

Michelle said...

Jackie is truly impressive, with PRESENCE. So glad you have get to look forward to using Jasper next year!

Donna said...

We are not breeding here this year either. Now it is easy but come spring's lamb blogs it will be tougher.

Christine said...

Hubba, hubba! Jackdaw is handsome! Wow!

Kathy said...

Both rams are simply gorgeous, Tammy. How fortunate that Jasper didn't make it as a wether. ;) Someone must be looking out for you - and your breeding program.
I may not breed this year either. (Did I start a fad by not breeding a couple of years ago???) Loki really wants a girl, but I need to sell off some sheep before I even think of breeding this year.

Kathy said...

And I'veeen meanign to ask, Tammy...How's Blue doing this fall? b

JK said...

Photos turned out excellant Tammy!

Give Jasper a year and I bet he will be just as handsome as Jackie :-)

Karen Anne said...

Amazing.

Vicki Lane said...

What a beauty Jackdaw is! Great pics!

Lois said...

Two handsome boys! Yes, you are right; that Jackdaw is a knockout!

Tammy said...

Thanks everyone! He is eye candy that I don't have to worry about! ha.
Donna--I know--it's easy now, but when every one else has lambs, maybe not so much!
Kathy--good luck getting your flock 'reduced'! It's my least favorite part of raising the sheepies.
Thanks for stopping in Karen Ann.
Tammy