Monday, October 19, 2009

Flock Changes & 2009 Breeding Plans

Well things have changed a lot in the past 10 days or so!

As I went through my paperwork prior to my annual SFCP inspection last week, I came across photos and information on LOTS of sheep that have come and gone over the years. There were so many special sheep that I had to let go. That got me started thinking I should concentrate more on fiber and a less on lamb production. So I decided to get out of the third tier market lamb portion of my flock and just stick with the purebred Shetlands and BFLs.  Fortunately I found a new home for my Shetland Mules and Ile de France/Dorset ram. They will be close by and I will be able to keep tabs on their production and answer any questions from their new owner.

The mules will be leaving soon and the Ile de France/Dorset left yesterday to breed a few Mules at another farm. You can see he was all ready for that assignment! When he returns in mid-November, he'll go straight to his new owner where the girls will be all settled in and ready for him.

I almost traded away my 2 year old natural colored BFL ram, Beechtree Granite, but at the last minute decided to hang on to him and trade our natural colored ram lamb, Devlyn instead.

I didn't want to let Granite go, his fleece is looking so good this time of year (I think you can click to biggify his fleece photo), and he's so easy to handle-- at least he WAS until today - he got loose twice today in his quest for the ewes.

Devlyn will get two ewes at his new home, I'm sure he can handle that.  And he may even get to serve as clean up ram too.  Lucky Devlyn!
Our new LGD, Shachah, is now in with the ewes.  He has full run of the paddocks and is doing great.  I'm loving having a BIG dog here so far.

Shachah started barking last night about 3:30 a.m.  So do I have to get up and check out what's going on when ever he barks at night?  Of course I did get up, but as soon as I turned on the outside light, he quit barking. Not sure if that was a good thing or not.

So my  2009 breeding plans for the BFLs have changed a bit. Granite will get Lanora and Rhyn again this year.  He was used on them in 2007 and gave us two nice ewe lambs, we'll hope for that again. :-) 

 Ward Harwell will get Granite's two yearling daughters. Leora at left and Rhaya below.
I'll post more about my Shetland breeding group when I have some better photos of Greyson, the button scurred ram lamb I'll be using.


  1. Oooohh...did you get Juliann's Greyson? I always thought he was nice.

  2. That fleece photo biggifies deliciously!

  3. Oh no, it's nothing that exciting Sabrina. I decided to name my Ag grey ram lamb Greyson (I didn't know about Juliann's Greyson until afterward). He's got the MOST gorgeous solid color blue-grey fleece that I've been longing for ever since I sold Rachel. He's got some length to his fleece, fineness, and crimp throughout, plus he's got a beautiful face and button scurs. For some reason I kept calling his shaela half-brother Sebastion, so when I sent in the registration, I switched names around. I'm pretty excited about using a homegrown River Oaks ram this year - finally! :-)

  4. Michelle, I think I'll be putting those extra coats I got from you to use this year. I'd like to coat the ewe lambs, maybe others too.

  5. The "BIG DOG" looks very happy, Becky. You'll get to know his barks; we just smile, roll over, and go back to sleep when we hear them barking at night. There is a bark that says "hey boss, I could use some help out here" but the rest of the time, we just let them do their jobs.

  6. Thanks for the advice Lisa. He seems so much happier now and he's eating better too. If you biggify the photos, it looks like he's smiling in them. :-)

  7. Becky can't wait to see your new breeding ram, and hear about your shetland breeding groups.
    Your BFL's are lovely, too. :)

  8. I usually don't go check on my LGD's when they bark at night unless I actually hear coyotes out there too. I am sure the dogs bark at deer, raccons, possums, and other non-threatening animals as well as stray dogs and coyotes. The light may scare away whatever your dog was barking at. It really is good to know that you have an alert guardian for your flock, and eventually, you will sleep through most of the barking.

  9. Thanks Juliann, my Greyson is just a little guy now, but I'm sure he'll get the job done.

    Thanks Carol, it's good to hear your thoughts about the night time barking too. Last night he barked quite a bit. I opened the window to listen and I did hear coyotes, but they sounded like they were at our neighbors place across the ravene. I also heard cattle and sheep making noise over there. I have to say, the barking makes me worry all night about what could have happened out there, but my ewes seem much more relaxed when I go out in the morning now. They just lay there chewing the cud instead of bellowing at the fenceline as soon as they see me.

  10. Interesting, the change in your ewes' morning behavior even though you've never lost one to a predator! I'm glad you have a dog on duty, and hope you are soon able to sleep through his barking. (I would have trouble with that, too, I suspect.)


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