Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Seven Cutie Lambs!!!

Whewwwww! What a Whirlwind (giggle, giggle) the last two weeks have been! Our farm is still standing, and we have seven extremely cute, lively, social little lambs! This year's little lambing season has taken us through one tornado, one two -day near blizzard that blew in eight inches of heavy snow right in the heart of lambing, and multiple wind and flooding events! Our sub-pump is still working, there is a frog croaking in the basement, and we have one tree leaning, but all is ok! The trek to the barn goes like this: splosh, splish, splosh, splush. YUCK!!! So tired of the mud! The farmhouse floors are constantly in need of sweepingmoppingsweeping, and the laundry pile stubbornly refuses to be gone. Even the ONIONS are sulking!

Speaking of mud, we have one very silly Border Collie puppy that sails right through, err, over the mud, and two horses in gunk up to their knees (which DOES NOT stop them from ROLLING in the muckiest spot...sigh!!)! This mud is NOT good for cute little ponies! So they are stuck hanging out mostly in their stalls, twiddling away the days....and two VERY, VERY happy ducks! This has been a VERY ducky kind of spring! Life is GRAND if you're a DUCK! (I'm not.)

So back to lambs! This is the first time I've had to update everyone, and I know many of you are anxiously waiting for pics of the lambs! (I only have about a thousand of them!) The camera batteries are charging right now, and I'll put them up hopefully today!

Wait til you see what Wooly Bear gave us!! Again, he covered all his ewes and the lambs are very high quality Shetlands (plus one extremely cute surprise!)! They are strong, friendly, playful, and CUTE! And we are very proud to be raising GREAT fleeces on these lambs and GREAT temperments! Lerwick also covered all his ewes and also produced great lambs! Wait until you meet Wheely Wooly Splash! Splashy is the softest lamb our farm has produced yet! And he's terribly cute, and very friendly! He's Gwennie's lamb, a large single. While we did have twins, I think we specialized in large single lambs this year! (giggle, giggle) Lil' Rainbow effortlessly gave us a lovely little ewe between checks! (Wheely Wooly Lacey) I found them on my check, resting side-by-side and oh so cute!! Rainbow has proven to be an EXCELLENT mom, who follows her sweetie all around the playground. Now the lambs are old enough to be racing about in lamb preschool. FUN, FUN, FUN! Rainbow has realized she can relax and have coffee at the Hay Cafe with the other moms now and not keep such close watch. Honey had a cute ram lamb (Wheely Wooly Hap, named after the working hap shawls of the Shetland people long ago.) who will fade to fawn I think, and he's spotted! Sweetie had a VERY cute little ram lamb (Wheely Wooly Twilight) who is loaded with sweet personality! (He's actually a powerful whacking package currently all tied up in teddy bear cuteness! Wait til you see his little EARS! Sooooo cute!!) He's all black and has excellent fleece and conformation, too! Sweetie is pure sweetness, also a great mom, and her lambs are so special!

So in assessing our lambs from last year, we've come to see our breeding stock is meeting our breeding goals outstandingly! It's a scary thing for me to try to set goals, then spend so much time carefully selecting stock to breed. I hemmed and hawed a lot.... It took us a few years, but the payoff was worth it! We are producing just what the standard demands of us, which is soft, fine fiber that is longish and wavy. Our secondary goal was to produce ultra friendly sheep who are personable. We've got that (giggle, giggle)!! We are handling all of our ram lambs for future halter training, while teaching them how to be good when they grow up...for they WILL grow from little cuties to powerful whackers in time. :) We want all of them to be used to people and handling while keeping them respectful, with our expectations of them always present in their minds. We feel this creates a safer ram to have around the farm, while keeping instincts, which are needed, in place. We also expected no less than beautiful horns on our rams, something else we've gotten! We will be selling two or three (can't decide) ram lambs this year, and they will be sold with a horn guarantee, something you won't find at many other farms. We do have a waiting list for lambs, especially good breeding rams, so we'll know more if anyone is available this summer. If you're looking for outstanding Shetland fiber, great personality, ease in handlability, great personality, crowning glory horns that are guaranteed, outstanding health, and breed standard conformation, you'll find it all in Wheely Wooly Farm's lambs! Pictures coming ASAP!

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