Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sheepie road trip

Today we took Isabella and Duncan to their new home in Wisconsin.

Much of what I do here with my sheep would be considered a hobby by most. After all, I am doing what I love to do and I adore each and every one of the fuzzy and feathery creatures that reside here. This is what makes me happy. The down side is, that this is also what I do for a portion of my income, so I often have to look critically at my little friends, deciding which sheep are going to fit in best with the goals that I have set for my flock, which will produce the best fleeces for spinning, which have the best conformation traits that I want to carry on in my future lambs. Whenever I have sheep that are not going to fit into my breeding program, for whatever reason, tough decisions have to be made...this is my least favorite part of raising these lovely little sheep. I hate letting any of them go, but unfortunately, I can't keep them all.

Once the decisions have been made, I am very careful about finding suitable new homes for my sheepies where I am confident that they will be cared for in the manner which they have become, spoiled. We found just such a place for Isabella and Duncan with a very nice couple in Wisconsin that needed some companions for their Shetland ewe who recently lost her buddy.

Isabella was the first ewe lamb born here in '07 ( also known as the year of the ram lamb overload), and is the subject in one of my favorite lamb pictures ever....yeah, her tail is a little long, but she was still pretty darn cute.

Here they are in their new home getting acquainted with their new 'sister', Pepper ( why are black sheep so difficult to photograph?).

Duncan, a wether, wasn't sure what to think of their little dog...he's used to our BIG girls.

The sheepies will have to get used to the beautiful view from their new pasture.....where we live in Iowa it is much more....uh..flat....treeless....yeah, we basically live in the middle of a corn field.
It was a good day. I am so happy the sheep have found a good home, and as for us, after enduring the first half of this eternal winter, it was nice to get away for the day and enjoy the heat was over 20 degrees ABOVE zero today! On the drive along the Mississippi river, I was reminded how plucky we Midwesterners are. The photos are blurry (taken out the window of a moving vehicle...dirty window of a moving vehicle) but these are some of the ice-fishing villages that pop up on the river once the ice is solid enough. Yeah, frigid temperatures...let's go out on the ice, cut a hole in it, and hang around there all day hoping to catch a fish...awesome! Generally speaking, I think there is more beer consumption going on than fishing....just a guess.
Oh, yes, I added a different blog roll on here and don't have links to all of my favorite farmy blogs, if I have omitted yours (it's not that I don't read your blog.... it's just that I forget stuff), or you would like to be added, send me a note or comment and I will add you :-).


Claire MW said...

Well this is my first year with sheep, so I'm a newbie at this, so I apologize in advance if this is a dumb question, but why did Isabella's markings change so much from lamb-hood to adult-hood? Is that normal? She almost looked black and white to me in that lamb photo, but the current photo looks like a caramelly brown color. Do they all change like that?! She's lovely in both pictures, as is Duncan!

Nancy K. said...

Along the Mississippi River?
In Wisconsin??
How close were you to ME????? You should have come for a visit. I would have given you some pumpkin cake...


Glad you found a good home for your babies.

Crosswinds Farm said...

Hi Claire,
Not only is that NOT a dumb question, it is very observant of you to notice! I believe Isabella is modified (info on the modified colors here ). She did start out quite dark and is now a beautiful light honey yellow at the skin, there are lots of modified genetics in her background...not to be confused with the Ag pattern....ahhh, Shetland genetics. LOL

Nancy, I really did think about trying to make it up there, we just got short on time....all those windy roads up north!!!

Sharrie said...

But that didn't answer Nancy's queston.........Where in Wisconsin. It looks like the land near our farm. Where did your little cuties find their new home?

Crosswinds Farm said...

Hi Sharrie,
Sorry about that, we were in Ferryville, which I think is south of you. Funny though, I looked up Sparta, where you live, and it looks like you are straight up 61 from us..we live right near 61 here in Eldridge...we're practically neighbors....sort of!!

Anonymous said...

You can't fool us. We know you love all the seasons. Winter in the midwest can be a beautiful place and you catch it wonderfully in your photo's.
Hopefully your bruising is going away.Hang in there, your carmic bank account will start things going your way.

Gone2theDawgs said...

That is going to be the hardest part for me too....I love ALL my sheepies, but I know I'm going to want to improve some and keep some of my will definitely be a tough call. :(

Yeah, I think that ice fishing is just another form of male bonding (complete with beer!) :)

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