Monday, December 30, 2013


This yellow vest is made from 60% Shetland X Merino wool, 30% mohair and 10% silk threads. All from my flock, except the silk!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

RIP Craigrothie

RIP Craigrothie.

 My poor Craigrothie had to be put down. Craigrothie was  a special pet. I have had many sheep (um well, over several hundred, last year I peaked at about 230ish sheep/goats) most are just sheep. Craigrothie was special. He was one of a set of first AI twins from UK semen and he was white, all my other sheep up until he was born were colored. Craigrothie was named after Craigrothie, Scotland.

He was a tame and friendly boy. He loved his scratches and would come running over to be petted.
He was a peacemaker in ram pen, not aggressive ever. Craigrothie also attacked a dog once. My brother came home with an adult male black lab and every day Craigrothie tried to get out until he succeeded. He butted the poor dog several times and "won", I caught
him and put him back (that dog was rehomed with a very nice lady who had dogs.) He was protecting "his" flock. Most sheep are scared of dogs and will run away. (It was summertime and I run my ewes and rams together as they don't breed in mid-summer.)

Craigrothie was an excellent jumper, yeah, he got to stay because he was my pet. He was a pest at breeding. BUT he NEVER smashed a fence.

Craigrothie had a very nice fleece and his lamb fleece won a Champion under Martin Dally at the WI Sheep and Wool Festival. I kept his last fleece from spring and am going to spin it . :) A couple of his daughters live on in my flock, but they are just sheep. There will never be another Craigrothie.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sheared Goats


My beauties waiting to be sheared.
New goats! Everyone looks different and they have to make sure they still have the same 'spot' in the butting order.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

First Shearing Contest!

I entered my first sheep shearing contest and competed in August! There were shearers from Canada, Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa between the blade and machine shearers.

The contest was at the Genesee County Fair near Flint, MI. There were 12 professional machine shearers, 2 beginner machine shearers, and 5 who entered in the blade shearing (3 of whom are professional machine shearers.) There are not enough blade shearers to have more than one division. I was competing against Kevin Ford, shearer of more than 30 years; Doug Rathke; Sy Caryl; and Alex Moser. All of these guys have been shearing for way longer than me!

I placed fourth out of five. Doug Rathke placed first; Kevin Ford, second (by 4 points); Sy Caryl, third; Alex Moser was fifth. (I believe was also on the US team for the World shearing competitions last year) placed first in the professional machine shearing division and would have done better with better blades (the ones he had were some that were given to him and were dull), he was the fastest! We are judged on quality and time. The judges have a clicker and click for any second cuts, and flesh cuts, and tags left on. I was second for quality in the first heat. Kevin was 33 and I 39 for quality in the fist heat. I was the slowest though. I didn't do as well in the second heat as I got really nervous and cut a few (minor nicks.) Overall I am happy with how I did. There was also prize money which helped pay for the trip and everyone who entered got a free shearing singlet, I didn't take one as I could have worn it for a dress! They had X large and XX large only!
Kevin was also kind enough to help me grind my blades before the competition. Doug and Kevin showed me a slightly different (more correct) way to go up the neck.

This was my list of breeds that I had sheared from spring:

Now my list includes Rambouillet, CVM Romaldale, Teeswater, BFLs, Suffolk X Hampshire (big heavy sheep), Cotswold, Romney, Tunis, Suffolk (that was an amazing job! I got up to 3 1/2 sheep an hour and they sheared beautifully), East Friesian (dairy sheep.)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sheep and Goats on Holiday!

Looking down from the road to the pasture where the sheep/goats are. Andy, the guy I'm renting this from had the land divided into three pastures for beef cows. He wants to get beef cows again, but hasn't used the land for 10 years. So I can graze it for, at least this year.


Two crossbred lambs getting a drink.

No sheep! They are all up and over the hill.

The bottle babies still stick together and come running to me!

Snooze time. (Crossbred lamb.)

Coopworth crossing sire looking good, er a bit fat. He is the only fat sheep I have, but what can I do!

Sheep! The pasture has a way of disguising how many I have, I think there are just over 200 sheep and goats grazing.
The rest of the pictures are scenery from where the sheep will graze, but isn't fenced yet. (Yes, I'm fencing with temporary electric netting. It is a good work out!)

Andy's farm (the guy I'm renting the land from)

The UCC Church, which is just down the road from where we live. Where the pasture is is the next road over.

I love this picture, it makes me think of the prairie, taken from the top of a hill.

I have to say sometimes I wonder why I work so hard and keep sheep (like in the winter when it is freezing cold or when things go way wrong, like this spring's horrible kidding or when hay price jumps and lamb price dives) and then I remember how enjoyable and relaxing it is to see a happy flock grazing. It is also enjoyable to set up fence and pull weeds (I pulled armfuls of milkweed-poisonous to sheep) in such pretty surroundings. Who else gets to live and work in "vacation land", hiking and sight seeing as part of their job!

And something new and improved, a water tank! I used to use 5 gallon pails, but they  would not work going down a hill so my sheep kindly bought me a present! I like this and am going to be glad to use it on our land too where a hose is hard to reach.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sheep/Goats for Sale

Shetland Ewes:

I have added a few more Shetland ewes to my sales list. Fleeces range from super fine single coats to a couple more double coated girls. All have lambed (except the yearling.) They are all good mothers. Some roo.

Ewe lambs:

So far I have...

Moorit-super fine fleece out of PS23 Irene and PS23 Huckleberry, F1 Drum Black. Both parents rooed. Single out of a yearling ewe. $300



White- super silky and fine fleece out of PS23 Hope and PS23 Fife. Twin out of a first time lambing 2 year old. $250

White- silky and fine fleece out of PS23 Glitter and Sommarang Gilroy $250

Moorit-very soft and super silky fleece out of SheepyHollow Sienna and Sommarang Gilroy $325

"Pet Grade" (no registration papers) ewes and wethers $125 ea.

Black with horns-soft silky fleece

Black HST / Spotted

Back Gulmoget (Mouflon)



Grey Katmoget (only wethers)

Ram Lambs:

Grey Katmoget, very soft and fine (full sister from last year rooed), twin. Out of  PS23 Funzie, F1 Jings and Sommarang Gilroy $300

Half poll/scurred black (may carry spots)  twin out of PS23 Goldenrod, F2 Orion and Sommarang Gilroy . Super soft fleece. $275

 White- Crimpy fine fleece (may carry spots) twin out of PS23 Grettle, F2 Jings and Sommarang Gilroy. $250
I also may have a few moorit and possibly another black ram lamb/s to sell. I want to keep one and after that I will have the rest available.

Commercial Ewes:

I also am going to be selling a few crossbred ewes. I have two BFL X Shetland ewes, one is a grey katmoget and the other "English Blue" or charcoal. I have white Corriedale X Shetland, Shetland X Merino and Coopworth X Shetland ewes. I am not particular as to who gets sold vs. kept so you can choose. All types of fleeces (these girl's fleeces have won prizes at fleece shows including Champion, Reserve Champion and a Best of Show) sell for me and they are all good milky mothers or they are sold for slaughter only. I bred the crossbred ewes to an Ile De France X Dorset ram and the lambs are growing fantastically well.

 If you are looking for crossbred ewe lambs I have plenty of white Coopworth X Shetland ewe lambs and also one black Corriedale/Coopworth/Shetland (very nice fleece on her!) $150-175 each. Group discount available depending on how many you take.

The commercial girls in full fleece.

 The commercial girls a week off from lambing after being (blade) shorn.

 Here are some picture of some of the crossbred girls with their Ile De France X Dorset sired lambs. The ewes will do well under a variety of rams. They could be bred to a Coopworth, Romney, BFL, CVM or Corriedale ram for more commercial ewes with great fleeces or put to a terminal sire for market lambs.



Friday, June 21, 2013

Fleece Shows

I entered these fleeces at Hoosier Hills Fiber Show in southern IN.
 First place on a white Coopworth X Shetland, "Henrietta".

 Second clip kid, "Indonesia"/ #613 won first place. (I never showed a mohair fleece before, their aren't too many shows for mohair.)


And Best of Show with...

A silver Corriedale X Shetland lamb fleece, "Iola".

I also showed a couple at Greencastle, IN Fiber Show. 

I won a first place with a white Corriedale X Shetland/BFL,  "Hava". (Hava should also win a prize for having the biggest lamb. He was 15.5# at birth and is close to 80# now!)

I won a second place with a 3/4 Coopworth X 1/4 Shetland lamb, "Idalia"