I started writing the following blog post on December 10 but never actually posted it because before I could finish it, everything changed ...
I am facing a very difficult decision with the sheep. Since my daughters have moved away from home, the sheep are not appreciated as they once were. My daughters were into spinning, knitting, crocheting, and felting. Now one is an electrical engineer in Texas, and the other is a biological chemist in Colorado. And we have more wool than I will ever use in my lifetime. I've posted a flock liquidation sale post on Facebook a few times, and each time I get a few people asking questions, but no one actually buys any sheep.
There is really no point in feeding 29 sheep through another winter when we have no need for their wool. I do want to keep Winnie and Kewanee, the twins that I bottlefed after their mother died, but other than that, the rest need to go somewhere. I am hesitant to send them to an auction because I'm worried that some moron will buy them who doesn't understand that you shouldn't breed a 300 pound ram to these little Shetland ewes. I've seen too many horror stories on Facebook about people breeding huge bucks to little Nigerian does. So, I am contemplating butchering them all. I doubt that will happen overnight though, so if you know anyone who wants some lovely fiber sheep, send them my way.I had just posted a few more Facebook ads when I started working on that blog post, and within a couple of hours, I had several serious inquires, and before the sun set, 25 of the sheep were gone. The photo was taken that afternoon when we got them all rounded up and ready to load.
I kept the twins I mentioned, as well as an 11-year-old ewe named Cheyenne and a middle-aged ewe name Godiva who had mastitis last time she lambed, so I didn't want her to be bred again. They will be our school sheep. We can still talk about wool sheep and do a shearing demo as part of a sheep-to-shawl class. But there will be no more Shetland lambs. I am kind of sad about that because they are beautiful animals, and I will miss having them in the pasture.
Did you notice that I specified no more Shetland lambs? We will have lambs in the spring, and I'll tell you about that in a couple of days.