Friday, February 26, 2010

I just started this Blog

The BFL/Shetland "mule' is Opal and her Shetland dam Maybeline
I added the pictures last to be at the bottom and they are on the top...
I have been reading everyone else Blogs from Gail's list and decided I would start my own.

So I clicked create a Blog and foraged ahead. I do not proclaim to be a computer whiz but it seemed easy to do.
I had sheep for many years. A commercial flock of Dorsets and Dorest/Finn crosses selling market lambs and 'giving' the wool away to the shearer (15 cents/pound). A new job moved us across Minnesota to St Charles near Rochester. We lived in town (I prefer country) so the sheep were sold.

I was a bank manager. Spring 2003 I went to the Clinic with a lump on the right side of my neck. I was refered to Mayo. They discovered a lump on both sides of my neck. The lumps were cartiod body tumors--not cancerous- like a blood sac/mass in the fork of the cartiod artery. The lump on the left which was not visual from looking at me was the size of a pop can. It was causing slurred speech and air way constriction. So it was decided to remove the big one was the size of a pop can.....I was a big boy I thought I had a fat neck! It was suppose to be a easy surgery and back to work in a month, Surgery to remove it did not go well. Due to the excessive fluids pumped in to save me, I lost most of my I see out of the lower half of my right eye no side vision, no sight in my left eye I have less than 20% vision. At first I bumped my head a lot! Swallow nerves were severed so I can't swallow anything. So I have a PEG feeding tube. not as bad as it sounds. One vocal cord and one side of my tongue doesn't work. I challenged myself, learning to talk, walk and learn to see as well as I can. I care for my sheep, chickens and a large perennial flower bed. Positive attitude not one to sit and have a pity party.
So that's why I am 'retired' and hobby farm.

First I had Icelandic sheep, great sheep but not friendly and hands on. I sold them and bought Boer goats. You shear sheep and they warm up the barn, with goats the barn was always cold.
I got tired of being bruised from thier horns and wrestling 200 pound does. So December 2009 I sold the goats. Next day I purchased four grade Shetland and three BFL/Shetland cross ewes.

I sheared my ewes early as the lambing dates were guessimates. So I could see the udder developement. Beautiful fleeces. I skirted my fleeces, hand picked out the VM and sold them all in one week! Next year mid April lambing and I will shear end of March. With our Arctic temps the ewes are in the barn. They and I are waiting for a warm sunny day so they can go back out and be in the barn or outside as they wish.

Shetlands are wonderful. Small, easy to handle and very tame. One ewe "Maybeline" loves crackers and she loves a good petting. Now that's my kind of sheep! By their look, they will lamb end of March and into April. This summer I am adding a ram lamb and more Shetland ewes.

Till later


1 comment:

Michelle said...

Welcome to the Shetland "fold," Jerry! I followed Gail's link over here; you have quite a story. Appreciate your positive attitude; I would think it so easy to be bitter, though it does no one any good. Do you think you'll learn to spin? I got asked that a lot when I first got Shetlands and answered "No." Well, guess what....