Monday, December 19, 2011

More modern sheep tales

This story starts somewhere back in the beginnings of this blog - or maybe way before that. When we started with Jacob Sheep, we gathered flock members from two flocks out of Colorado, Broken O and Rising Sun. We also purchased a flock out of Texas. We selected sheep that were healthy, had good wool and were true to Jacob type. Natural selection helped keep our herd's mothering ability, ease of breeding and lambing and parasite resistance.
We had good luck showing fleeces at Estes Park, Taos, Soldier Hollow and Farmington. In 2006 we took Grand Champion Natural Colored Farm Flock, Reserve Grand Champion Ewe and many other ribbons at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. We picked, bred and raised great sheep. 
When we moved to Arkansas, we sold most of our sheep. We kept 32, and discovered that was too many for our new land. So we sold many of our top ewes.
But we still kept a good ram, Beetle juice and several good ewes, including our first Jacob ewe, Thyme. In the course of things, Thyme had Basil and Basil had Dapper Dan, our current herdsire. Dan is the sweetest ram we've ever had. I have pics of goat kids riding on his back. He is also beautiful, shears a gorgeous fleece every year and  puts very nice babies on the ground. Even after this summer's sell down, we have his daughters Finesse, Fiona, Gobi, Guthrie, Gypsum as well as his mother, grandmother and sister Clementine in the flock. We need a new ram.
In October, I started looking. I wanted a registered 4-horned ram. There were several nice ones available. I wanted East Coast bloodlines, as our flock was western based. I was trying to figure out how to get transport for Unzicker Ike, when I found he was returning to his flock of origin. During the Sheep to Shawl competition at OFC  I started corresponding with Cathy Brown at Canoe Lake Farm in Georgia. She had a nice ram lamb that fit what I was wanting. His name is Canoe Lake Sonic Boom or "Boomer". I took his picture to the Sheep to Shawl and everybody agreed he was nice.
Boomer went on to show at SAFF . He came in mid-way in his class. Pretty good for a little guy who was about a month younger than the rest of his class.
My sales at shows and in the gallery were good this fall. Many of my fleecewoven rugs have new homes and I've sold more handspun shawls this year than ever before. 
Shawn set a goal for the Christmas Showcase show in Little Rock. If we reached that goal, he said, he'd buy me my new ram for Christmas. We reached it, and tomorrow morning we are leaving for Atlanta. I'll post pics and keep you updated here. 
Tomorrow night we are staying with our wonderful friends Wayne and Leesa Thompson in Leighton, Alabama. Shawn will get to see some of the north Alabama hills that I grew up in. Fun travels, fun memories - all for the love of sheep.

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