Monday, March 15, 2010

Boy! Times Have Changed

I raised several breeds of Bantams and Chickens 2003-2006 Old English Bantams, Silkies, colorful laying hens. Fantail, Roller and Modena pigeons.  I shipped out +300 Express Mail live Bird shipments. Once I got an email from Las Vegas, a mother wrote that last night her son's hens were lost to a coyote. She wanted to replace them fast as her son was 10. We went out to the coops, picked out 2 colorful laying hens, took pictures and emailed the pics back to her, She was thrilled!  She paid $30 for the 2 hens, $10 shipping box and $55 to ship.....she sent the $95 by PayPal and we shipped them out that afternoon. Son was thrilled!
I sold rare color Modena cock birds for $100-150 a piece. Happy buyers all over I even sent bantams to Alaska!

I had Boer goats for 5 years. Registered Colored Boers, I sold breeding stock,  I would advertise my sale goats on UMListserv goat forum on Thursday and they would be paid for and picked up by Saturday, One Saturday I have 26 goats for sale, 3 buyers made appts came, bought and left happy All 26 were sold.

Enter the economic turn down, recession, depression, or mini-crash  pick your poison.  Hobby farmers tightened their belts with higher pries for gas, food,, mortgage payments, job loss or had their hours cut back and the fear of "where it will all end?"  and they quit buying stock for their small herds/flocks. By 2008 Registered sales were real slow and prices were down  December 2009 I was fortunate to sell my entire colored herd to a young breeder who wanted my breeding stock--I got lucky..I got pre recession prices.
  I had a commercial flock of sheep for 10 years, was raised on a dairy farm with hogs. I farmed independently as a dairy farmer for 11 years 1976 to 1986,milk prices dropped the variable interest farm notes at 8% (been variable for years but not a problem) went to 18-20%. I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in my knees and hip  at 32!! We decided to sell our dairy. We had our sale at the farm. We set up a sale ring and holding pens and sold cow families...grandma cow -daus-grand daus  We sold 103 head of Registered Jerseys in 3 hours to buyers from 7 states  Again we landed on our feet.

So I am new to Shetlands, but am an out hand at hobby farming. So at this stage of life, no hype, no registration papers, no chasing big money or showing. I will raise the Shetlands I like (bigger than average) with excellent fleece. Market the fleece, keep back the ewe lambs I like, ship the rest of the lamb crop  Sure if someone wants to buy my extra ewe lambs that will work too.

We have one grand daughter, her parents are not together, her dad my son has left our family. He won"t speak to us or his siblings.He has mental issues. (he is the oldest son but I didn't include him in the family blog) We are close to Nessie's mommy. We have court order visitation on weekends and weeks in the summer. When Mommy can't handle Nessie is an angel- really she is. We get a call to come and get her...we have her a lot, Nessie was here for most of her first 6 months, then her mommy gave Nessie to her mother to raise till Nessie was 2. Mommy Tracey rarely visited Nessie, daddy not all at. We had a family meeting. Tracey's mother has Fibromylgia (sp) and said she couldn't care for Nessie, so it was our turn. We thought Great and we go for physical custody! But Tracey wanted to try to raise Nessie.....she has been "trying" for 4 years. Before Nessie started Kindergarten we had Nessie for 18-27 days a month for 7 months.....if we have Nessie more than 50% of the time for 12 months we can file for De facto guardianship and be granted physical custody. Tracey pulled Nessie back when someone told her of the 12 month guardianship rule. We've tried for legal physical custody twice....we just have to keep being there for Nessie and see what happens. If  Tracey would be the bigger person admitting she can't do it and let Nessie stay here that would be ideal  Tracey could have weekends with Nessie.
I have raised kids (actual little kids not adult kids) for 32 1/2 years and am still doing it with Nessie
It would be best for Nessie to be here -- We like our peace and quiet but if we have to raise another child we will do it gladly and passionately  On that thought I coined this phrase by sheer accident.

One's legacy is the people they leave behind, the goodness they have spread and the lives they have touched.

 Till Later

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