Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Subtraction and Addition


Skittles left yesterday. His new home is with Jared Lloyd in Colorado. Jared has a bevy of beautiful ladies just waiting for Skit! And yes, I had a few tears in my eyes when Jared walked him into the trailer. Skittles was my first Shetland love. Oh, I loved the girls when they came with their babies, but it was Skit who turned my head and heart the Shetland direction.

What made it easier letting him go was knowing that his genes will have more of an opportunity to be best utilized at Jared's place. The fact that Jared is interested in collecting and saving Skittles genetics (for AI) showed me that he really appreciates all Skit's attributes. The fact was that I needed some new genes in the flock and Jared had a young up-and-comer I was interested in.
Meet soon to be named, Jehovah's Loki. Jared had wanted me to pick out a name for this youngster and after seeing that impish look on his face, "Loki" seemed like a fit. His sire is Skeld, a top ram on the Shetland Isles. No, Skeld didn't visit Colorado...except in a little tube. ;) Loki is the result of an AI breeding.
All the lambs we get from Loik will probably be white. White is a color that has been lacking in my flock. I am hoping to use Loki for a few years, then he may have to do some traveling as well. When you have a very small operation, you have to make hard decisions as to whom to keep and whom not to. It's the one aspect of this sheepy-business I really don't like. But I do not have the luxury of having different fields in which to stockpile sheep I want to keep. We have limited space. I would never want more than two rams on this place at any one time. The fact is, it's easier to replace the rams than the ewes, so most rams do not get to spend their lives on one farm. sigh.
Loki's fleece feels just like soft clouds. I realize that this is his "lamb fleece", which is always the softest fleece any sheep has, but his fleece is softer to the hand than some of the others we've had here. I can hardly wait to see what he throws next spring.
Normally, I don't like using ram lambs for breeding. In fact, this will be the first time I've ever done it this way. We'll just have to see how it goes. I am a believer in letting a sheep mature before breeding, usually not using them until they are a year old at least. Since we did not breed last year, and I have a growing list of people wanting lambs from us, I think this year we'll just have to see what Loki can do.


Bye, bye, Skit, my love. I will miss you and always cherish you in my heart. I know you'll make us proud.

Welcome aboard, Mr. Loki. Just in case you didn't know it, you've got some mighty big hooves to fill.

15 comments:

Michelle said...

Uh, wait. Weren't there TWO ram lambs making the trip with Mr. Jared? Loki is very nice indeed (LOVE his head and face!); I just thought I'd get to admire TWO.

You know I'm singin' the same song here. I THINK Blackberry is going to have a finer fleece - if not a better structure - than Braveheart, but he can only be used on two of the ewes I own. But perhaps I will get a replacement ewe out of Braveheart next spring who can be crossed with Blackberry in the future. I feel like it's truly a juggling act in a small breeding establishment, trying to meet all our goals while keeping diverse genetics in a very small group of animals. But maybe it forces us to be more focused, because we HAVE to be!

Kathy said...

You're right, Michelle...there were supposed to be two rams. The other ram had one parent who was leased and requires certain signatures and paperwork to go into NASSA before he can be registered. Jared may still deliver him the next time he comes this way to see his grandmother.
The only problem with Loki being here is I have no youngsters to keep him with. I have to think really hard to see which wether I put in with the little guy. I don't want him bashed as he's still a baby. :)

Michelle said...

Well, you could do what I've done with Blackberry. Knowing that the adult ram and wether could hurt him, I just put him in with his one intended ewe early. Couldn't Loki go in with the girls you plan to breed him to now? Or do you need to time the breedings for other things that are going on next spring?

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Loki is beautiful! I love her face! Not much for shetlands usually but she has such a feminine face.

Kathy said...

I hate to mention it, Becky...but Loki is a "he". :) Let's hope his growing horns give him some masculinity when he grows up a bit more. heeheehee

Tina T-P said...

He's a handsome dude - I'll bet he wins your heart over in a few days. I know, those first loves are the hardest to get over. T.

Kara said...

Kathy,
Congrats on your new addition, he is handsome! I do understand how you feel. I have been rotating my rams out after two breeding seasons here and it is a lot harder than I thought. I am so careful to make them friendly enough to make them easy to catch and work with, but respectful so bad behavior will get them flipped in a heart beat. So by the time they go the "know the deal" and are such nice boys. Bahama will leave mid breeding season and I am a little sad to see him go, and I still miss Kermit that left last fall. Knowing they are going to farms where they will have lots of ewes makes it easier for sure. Congrats on finding him a great home!

Tammy said...

He is a beauty, Kathy. I think you'll get some really fine lambs from him...AND I'll start wishing for you now that they will be EWE lambs! I know it had to be hard to see Skittles go, but he will be so very happy once he gets adjusted. Having his own ewe flock and it sounds like Jared will treasure him. I try now to just lease/swap/co-own rams so that I don't have to go through all that with mah boys. Except I do have a pretty little spotted rammy right now....
Take care, and thanks for updating us!
Tammy

Theresa said...

New beginnings can be so emotional. Skit is a handsome fellow and I know the girls will welcome him into the fold. Loki looks quite lovely and I'm sure will fill those big hooves admirably. Did you decide to give Skittles a traveling companion bak and not take the second ram?

Mim said...

Oh his beautiful! I do put new rams with the wethers. Mine do push around the new guy but I've found at least the wethers here are not as pushy as the rams would have been. I'm getting a large ram next week and have the same problem, who will he get along with? Guess I'll face that soon!

corinne said...

It sounds like he will have a good home.....with all those girls he won't even miss his tire : ).

Laura said...

Don't be so sure that he'll produce only white lambs. With the dark skin around his muzzle and "eye-liner" he could very well throw color. I just love sheep genetics!!

Leigh said...

Skittles is very handsome but Loki sure is a cutie. He will become a truly handsome ram. Lucky you!

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Mim told me that I fupahed, sorry, but he does have a very pretty face :)

Mim said...

Hey Kathy, Tammy sold Duncan to me so his is coming to Nevada. I will be getting him today when my friend Laura comes to the neighborhood to visit Sharon "In Stitches" our friend for Labor Day. Can't wait to see him. Laura says he's built like a Brick shit house! And his fleece is sooo nice. Duncans four year old picture is on my blog.