Monday, January 4, 2016

Decisions- Part 2

       So, spring 2011. I had all the makings of a very nice 1927 Standard Flock, but no concept of what the 1927 Standard was, and very little concept of what a Shetland Sheep was. I had a great group of lambs, but I essentially went nowhere with my flock. I was fairly gung-ho about things, but still wasn't sure what I was doing.

Korsvejgaard Sting (Wintertime Moth x Whistlestop 0427 AI), our "logo ram" from my first batch of registerable lambs. His genetics influence my current flock.
     I had chatted with Garrett Ramsay and Jared Lloyd about fleece a little bit on the Shetland Sheep Forum, and joined in on many blog discussions and Facebook discussions, but the takeaway here is, I started out wrong, and am pretty embarrassed these days when I find some of my old comments when scouring the internet. So naive. Keep in mind, this was during the time when the whole "Defund NAILE" and "Fleece Battles" were in full swing. Not a good time for someone who's overly confident and doesn't know what they are talking about to be super active.

This photo.
Underhill Iago AI (Roban Dillon x Underhill Bianca), a ram who I was going to use for an " all polled flock".
     All that teen angst that I had pointed out earlier? That was going crazy here, and I caused all sorts of trouble for myself and others (accusing Stephen of having barberpole in his flock, arguing with Theresa Gygi, accusing people of blackballing me, buying and selling lots of animals, complaining about other's breeding decisions, criticizing polled and fine fleece breeders, the list goes on...). I could go into far more detail but, it was mostly bad decisions. I'd rather not re-live all that and it probably wouldn't be all that constructive. In any case, this is what lead me to come to my first flock dispersal. Very few of my starter flock remained afterwards, and I gained a bit of humility.

Korsvejgaard Corrina (Sheltering Pines Blanc De Riz x Farview Farm Rosie), a favorite ewe from 2011, who I sold off. I currently own her aunt.
       In 2012, I went through a similar cycle, and again in 2013.

Wintertime Blues AI (Todhill Jericho x Whistlestop 0427 AI), a great influence on my current flock. One of my all-time favorites.
Hillside Charlie Chaplin, a ram I had wanted to have a "primitive line" from.
         I went a few different directions with my flock, and made a few interesting decisions, but none of it seemed original or not necessarily sincere (some out of spite)...very rough period. School plans and different jobs were not panning out how I had wanted them to, and so I was struggling with direction in life as well. Looking back, it's interesting to see how things lined up like that.
         2014 was better and I began to do actual legitimate research on the breed itself and I think that is when I began to put together this website, but I nearly sold off my entire flock while under the charm of a very regret/stress-inducing girlfriend. Some of you may know that after that relationship ended, I kind of fell off the face of the earth. I had no job, no direction (yes, and almost no sheep). It was time for me to figure things out, and so I did. I now know what I want to do in life, and I also know that I do indeed want to be a steward of this breed, and how I want to do so (breeding for good representatives of, and promoting the 1927 Standard, as well as preserving the p' gene).
      I have had just about every kind of fleece in my flock you can imagine, and just about as many different genetic and lineal combinations. I've experimented with just about everything. I don't know what your story is with your flock or how you have settled on what you want to breed for, I don't know all your flock goals. We may disagree on some things and agree on others, and that's okay. Our experiences and knowledge shape our choices. Even the most experienced breeders have more to learn. If you are looking for your niche, I encourage you to talk with others and visit as many flocks as you can, and research, research, research.


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