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.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Can you believe this? First fair with animals
The first fair with animal projects has turned out to be a very memorable one for our family, and life changing! One bantam rooster, and one yearling dairy doe have given us memories we'll never forget! In both projects, trophies were taken in showmanship all the way up to the top, even over experienced teenagers who have good stock, and have shown for a long time!! We can't wait to get started on next year's goals!
Many people asked why we didn't take sheep to the fair. Truth is, many people are still trying to figure out why we are not in the horse project, for horses have been a love and passion for ME, not our 4-Her for my life time. The horses were left at home for two reasons: first, the project is not top priority for our 4-Her, and second, the project is not a good fit for our family. So then everyone was asking, why not the sheep? Easy. Disease. We treasure our flock and have come to realize we have really good genetics of genuine Shetland sheep. The real deal. We have very soft, fine, easy spinning fleeces that are a joy to wear. Since we have worked so hard to build our flock up, (even though it's still small), we didn't want to risk bringing home disease to our land or flock. The market sheep at the fair, by the way, exploded! More than doubled from last year...that's a lot more pens!
Considering that the fair is all about youth, we really carry that on here at home. It's not about what us adults are doing, rather, it's about what interests youth. It has become a top priority to protect our sheep from disease. They are outstandingly healthy with very little input. What a joy it is to have sheep like that! I wish our dairy ewe was like that!!
And what have we learned about goats?? They are not sheep! They are fun and personable, and were a great first year project. And the chickens were a natural because we've always had and loved our chickens. Right now, we have a really mixed small flock that is soooo pretty when they are out on the lawn! Penny is a six-year old Australorp, Sweetie Tweetie is a five year old Polish, Silks is a five year old Silkie (and we ADORE her!), Chickaline is a four year old Silkie cross, Muffy is a five year old Americauna (who lays blue eggs), Mable is a beautiful Barred Plymouth Rock who lays LOVELY brown eggs. There are four roosters, all Bantam Partridge Cochins or Cochin crosses...Eddie, Teddie, Half and Half, and Jazzy. They live in separate cages with rotational release for bug diving in the grass.
Company's here...gotta go!