A Happy Shepherd — Sheep Skins
Another aspect of raising sheep, a very satisfying aspect, is what arrived via UPS today (though the C.O.D. was a little intimidating.)
No, Nash did not arrive in a cardboard box, well, at least not in the totally physical sense. Nash was a lamb I had born here last year by our ram Debonair and out of our ewe, Stella. He was a beautiful dark chocolate color, had a really consistent fleece but his horns were too tight to his skull. Being that they would be too tight, it is something that should be culled and thus he ended up in our freezer.
Nash arrived here once again, but in the most beautiful form — washable. His dark chocolate spots are loud and clean and look great on Grandpa’s old chair. I am telling you this story of Nash’s arrival with his photo because I do not intend on selling him — I had salted his hide with every intent to keep it, and still do.
The following sheepskins (below) you will not recognize or be able to put a face with. They are simply “sheep skins” to those of you who get a little attached to the faces that grow with them. I know that I post their photos from when they are born to when they magically disappear from our pastures and some of you tend to grow a little fond of their fun little antics but this is life here on the ranch, and we can’t (and won’t) keep them all.
Our number 1 contender was a lovely four horned ram, culled for various reasons but his lucious long fleece is really very gorgeous. It is about five inches in length on average though his britch is about nine inches. He is black and white, nicely marked and soft. He has a good amount of crimp and is also completely washable which means you put in him the washing machine; rinse with cool water, wash with woolite in warm water on gentle cycle for about 3 minutes, rince in warm water twice allowing to go through the spin cycle, air dry, then brush.
You can then put him in your dryer at 120 degrees or you can air dry, then put in the dryer to fluff without heat. Not a bad thing eh? Your very own spotted sheep that you don’t have to feed or clean up after! Contender number one is about 46″ in length by 26″ in width at his mid-section.
Contender number 2 is a cute little guy, a very fluffy lilac and white with not so many spots but the spots he does have are the pretty chocolate color. His fleece length is about five inches and he is 40″ in length by 24″ at his mid-section.
I think his little white pantaloons are great!
Here’s his over-all shot.
I am going to contact a couple of people who had already expressed interest in these guys and let them purchase them if they still wish to. If anyone else is interested in this type of thing, I will be expecting more in the fall, hopefully a bigger batch.
This is one side of sheep raising that I am really excited about and I’m double happy about being able to use most of the animal instead of throwing parts out.