Thursday, June 11, 2015

With A Little Help From Our Friends.

Sharon Astyk got me into this.
Then Joel Salatin gave me a big push.
Diego Footer started getting people together.
Marcin Jakubowski then put a bug in the Shuttleworth Foundation's ear - and they added a nudge-

And here we are.  Knee deep in sheep! And moving forward with them; after four winters and four lambing seasons, we are moving our flock of Icelandic sheep from "Experimental", to "Permanent".  We've tried them here, and there, in the operation - we can winter them without insane expenses, keep them healthy, and they earn their keep just by "mowing" the grass in the nut crops.

Now with the gift of a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant, we're able to make the leap to a full-time integrated component of the woody agriculture crops here.

Yes, I'm going to explain all that... and don't worry if you don't have time to dig through it right now; we're going to be here for a long time; "long term" is what we're about at Badgersett, after all.

And, be aware; our approach to integrating these wonderful sheep is a bit different from most operations that deal in Icelandic sheep.  We have no quarrel with other directions!  Every Icelandic farm we know of has wonderful contributions to make, and of course we got our start from all those who have pioneered.

Our goals are that our flock should be healthy; very "low maintenance" (which was one of the original requirements of the Icelanders); not aggressive towards humans, ever; and they must earn their keep.  The ewe above, Minnie, was one of our starters, and was rather inexpensive- because she does not have a "pretty" face.  But- she's a wonderful mother, smart, friendly- and her lambs have absolutely wonderful fleeces- her ram lamb "Baldr", and his son "Peter"- crossed to a couple of our other starters who have great mothering abilities, etc; resulted in greatly improved fleece in their lambs.  And Minnie's lambs, like Baldr (our first herd ram), below; and grand-lambs - are gorgeous, to boot.

You bet we track all that, as well as the other characteristics that go to make great genetics and flock management.  We care more about those things than we do about being "registered" - and we do believe there's a place for that.

More here very soon!  We have a few great ram lambs we'll offer for sale this year, and the details will be here.  I'm still learning how this new blog format works- they keep changing things on me!  So - sign up; join, follow, and all that.  Back soon!

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