I have some small sheep, Barbados and Shetland crosses. The Barbados Blackbelly sheep are quite small, primitive and wild. They are not attractive sheep in my eyes, but are parasite resistant and very self sufficient, being excellent foragers and great mothers. But they are small and small lambs do not sell. She goes.
There are several Karakul cross ewes. Their wool is coarse, so not really desirable by hand spinners, though felters may like it. They produce babies that are not pretty and depending on the sire, may or may not be marketable. They are good feed converters though, thriving on what some sheep would barely survive on. They go. There are three ewes.
The Suffolk sheep are akin to the meat chickens. They eat a lot and are poor feed converters and poor foragers. There is a wether, a fat, old wheezy guy and a ewe. She did have nice twins, but the Suffolks go.
Little Red is an adorable sheep, half Icelandic and half Barbdos/Shetland cross. She is pretty, but tiny and not friendly. With regrets, she goes.
There will be no lambs going to the auction this year. The Babydoll cross lambs will have their fleece assessed in the spring after shearing. They were mated to Jacobs and the wool might be pretty spectacular. The two registered Babydoll lambs stay. There is an Icelandic ram lamb I have named Thor the Second and he is gorgeous. The other two ram lambs…well, they do sell for meat in the spring, and don't eat as much as large sheep…I guess they stay. The Dorset ewe and ram lamb go.
The Jacobs will all stay unless I get a buyer for two ewes. Then I would keep just three ewes and the new ram.
The Cotswolds all stay. The Blue Faced Leiscester sheep will stay, but they are for sale at registered prices. Walter, the Cotswold ram, can only breed the older ewes because the daughters are his. The Blue Faced Leicester ram will have to do the job for the rest.
So, tomorrow, a crew of 14 year old boys and girls are coming to wrangle, tag and load the sheep that are going to the auction. I will feed them some hot dogs and chile as a token of my gratitude. The mother of one is awesome and she is bringing the kids down and taking them home. Thank you Gail. The sheep will go to the auction on Sunday evening and be sold the next day. I do not have to be present at the auction, but would like to be. It is 2 hours from here and I don't think I can spare the time. Oh well, next year, maybe.
I want to thank the sheep for their lives, their babies and their beauty. I love them all and have enjoyed them. I wish they would be going to good homes, but I think most will go for food, especially the small ones. I am grateful for the opportunity to have taken care of them for the brief time they were with me. Good bye my sherries. I love you.