I recently added Google Friend Connect to my blog and soon discovered a bunch of terrific and interesting sites. I kept finding other folks interested in fiber, sheep, etc., and came across several blogs about Shetland sheep. They looked SO cute and small! The Suffolk and Rambouillet sheep we have are pretty big sheep, so that really made the difference obvious, too. Anyway, it's getting time to put a ram in with our ewes for spring lambs. We were needing a new ram this year since some of the ewes are related to the one we had.
I wondered what kind of fiber you'd come up with by crossing a Shetland ram with the Rambouillet ewes. They have really soft, fine, crimpy fiber, but it doesn't have a very long staple length. I understand that the Shetlands' fiber is soft, too, and long. That sounded to me like it might be a good combination. Also, I love the beautiful natural colors found in the Shetlands.
My search led me to Fairlight Farm and Tammy's registered Shetlands. She had a ram for sale that I thought would fit the bill. He was being boarded at another farm, and Tammy agreed to meet us over there to see the ram. With the help of her excellent directions and our GPS, we found the place without any trouble. We met the Jacksons of Three Ring Ranch, who happened to have a few registered Shetland ewes for sale also.
Here's what we brought home:
The ram, whose registered name is Fairlight Omen...
And this little ewe, whose registered name is Three Ring Mai Tai...
Check out these gorgeous fleeces:
The ewe was just born this spring, so although some people go ahead and breed them the first year, we'll probably let her wait until next season, so hopefully it will be a little easier on her. I have another young ewe lamb I'm keeping back till then, so they'll each have some company.
The ewe seems really friendly already. She likes being petted and doesn't seem to mind my fascination with her wool. The ram is still a little wary, but that's probably normal for rams.
So as soon as the paperwork all goes through, I guess we have the beginnings of our own flock of registered Shetlands. Their registered names will stay the same, of course, but I'm hoping the previous owners don't mind if I give them each a nickname. Haven't settled on anything yet, but am still thinking.
Hopefully over the weekend we can get everybody situated and let the ram get on the job. I'm thinking he's hoping so, too. :)
P.S. Be sure and check out the Fiber Arts Friday Blog Carnival at Alpaca Farm Girl!