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.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wooly Bear's Posie

Wheely Wooly Posie
Ch. Wooly Bear (Shetland) x Claire (dairy ewe)
unregistered ewe lamb

What a surprise! I couldn't believe it when this little lamb was born! Meet sweet little Posie, who's mother is not Shetland, but a dairy sheep! Oh, have we been having fun!!!!

Last year, I purchased a wonderful dairy ewe, whom we named Claire. We got the name Claire from the person who was hired last year to promote and organize dairy sheep in our state! When we told the REAL Claire that we named a sheep after her, she was FLOORED! Fun! Thanks, Claire, for letting us use your name for our dairy sheep! And thanks for your help!

Anyway, fun, fun, fun!!! Our Claire is a very docile, easy sheep. We've been enjoying her immensly. The plan was to breed her to Wooly Bear, to get lambs, and thus milk. I had NO idea what lambs out of a Shetland sire would look we waited anxiously to see what would happen. What happened?? FUN!!!

Little Posie is a very sweet little ewe lamb. We worried that since Claire was, of course, raised on milk replacer, if she would be a good mother. Would we have rejection? The answer is, NO! Claire is an outstanding mother who must have read the manual over the winter! She is very attentive but relaxed, talks to Posie a lot, and keeps her close. They sleep very close together all the time.

You can see Posie wants to be just like her Mom!

I sheared Claire awhile back, since dairy sheep do not roo. Her fleece was washed right away and is now mostly spun. It was over five pounds of crimpy fiber fun!! Since we are in the business of wool, we took care with Claire's wool since she arrived on our farm to get her fleece in shape for spinning. The staple length was five to six inches and very crimpy, and much softer than I thought dairy sheep wool would be. The yarn would be GREAT baby yarn, for it practically bounces itself off whatever it's sitting on. I cannot wait to dye some, and knit some, and crochet some.....
Note her little tail...not too long!

One of the things I worried about, was will the tails need docking? I really, really, really didn't want to do that! Another happy event! Her tail is longer than a Shetland's tail, but not by much, so we're gonna leave it as is. Besides, having no tail is...well...indecent!

What do you think of all this sheepy fun and excitement, Swifty??!??!!?

Ready for my help yet??

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