Bonanza!

The place to chat, fluff your feathers, and let off steam!
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Hen-Gen
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Bonanza!

Post by Hen-Gen » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:08 pm

ABB9C6B3-586E-4168-9FEB-B9D19FF92FA4.jpeg
ABB9C6B3-586E-4168-9FEB-B9D19FF92FA4.jpeg (41.9 KiB) Viewed 995 times
I’ve wanted one of these (Clun Forest) ever since I’ve had sheep but Shropshire was too far. Now there’s a guy in Aberdeenshire who breeds them. Joy!
Island of Fetlar, Shetland
Margaid
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Re: Bonanza!

Post by Margaid » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:17 pm

Gosh, I didn't know we had our own breed! Who's the good looking human - you or the breeder?
bigjim
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Re: Bonanza!

Post by bigjim » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:22 pm

That's a big ol unit.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Bonanza!

Post by Hen-Gen » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:52 pm

Margaid wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:17 pm
Gosh, I didn't know we had our own breed! Who's the good looking human - you or the breeder?
Me! No, I’m balder.
And yes, not only the Clun Forest but another breed called the Shropshire. Back in the day when the wool trade was flourishing you’re part of the world was very important.
Island of Fetlar, Shetland
Margaid
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Re: Bonanza!

Post by Margaid » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:17 pm

Ah well, I'm not from round these parts ...

You mean you're balder now or balder than the breeder?? :?
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Bonanza!

Post by Hen-Gen » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:24 pm

Margaid wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:17 pm
Ah well, I'm not from round these parts ...

You mean you're balder now or balder than the breeder?? :?
Balder than the breeder. That’s why I have a rabbit tattooed on my head. From a distance it looks like ..................
Island of Fetlar, Shetland
bigjim
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Re: Bonanza!

Post by bigjim » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:30 pm

Hair's overrated. I've a hat for every occasion.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Bonanza!

Post by Hen-Gen » Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:20 am

In the end decided not to. The breeder I’ve dealt with before has a batch of Rouge x Texel lambs so Ive booked a ram lamb now to be sent up next year as a teenager, or shearling to any sheep fans. They are of such quality that I couldn’t resist. This should throw quality stock in both carcass and milk yield. This year I’m using a black Shetland x Zwartbles ram of my own breeding. As with my hens I’m happy to cross breed to maintain the characteristics I need.
So 2021 lambs will be 11/16ths terminal sire breeds for carcass, 3/16ths Zwartbles for prolificacy and milkiness and 2/16ths Shetland for a dose of hardiness. And black! So job done after 9 years. Or they may combine the worst characteristics of their four ancestral breeds and be rubbish. But who said breeding stock was easy?
The only other ram I’ve kept of my own breeding grew up to be aggressive and dangerous and got a bullet in the head so this time I’ve avoided contact with him to maintain his natural fear. What with rams and cockerels I sometimes wonder why we do it though it’s a few years since I had a bad cockerel.
Island of Fetlar, Shetland
bigyetiman
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Re: Bonanza!

Post by bigyetiman » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:25 pm

I know you worked for London Transport, did you come from a farming family or did you just have an interest and decide "that's it I am going into this full time" ?
It certainly is a challenge for you and you seem to be doing well with it, and makes fascinating reading.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Bonanza!

Post by Hen-Gen » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:48 pm

I first holidayed in the Scottish Islands when I was 17 with a schoolmate and have returned every year since to one island or another. I always knew that I would end up on one or another and retirement gave me the freedom to do so. I sometimes muse that I must have lived on one in a previous lifetime because the draw each year has been unremitting.
As to which island I had a checklist. Excluding some for being too big or too small or too populous or too flat or too Gaelic left me with just four. There is a saying hereabout that “you don’t choose the island, the island chooses you”. Soon after I moved here a neighbour said to me that every Fetlar man needs a shed, a sheep and a boat. Stifling any bawdy remark relating to the purpose of the sheep I nodded sagely. I have the sheds and the sheep but have drawn a line at the boat. Most fishermen here have never learnt to swim because sinking into the sleep inducing cold water is better than a long struggle. There is a kind of reverence here for the interplay of life and death that is actually quite refreshing.
Obviously we all have the benefits of 21st century living but there is a kind of pride of living with and then enjoying the challenges that living on a small island in the far north presents. There is also an almost infinite amount of time available for drinking tea in the daylight hours and whisky once the sun is over the yard arm and yarning. Yarning is the local word for a combination of story telling, gossiping and musing about the future. This is not because people are idle but because the true value of human interaction is appreciated. Coupled with the insatiable curiosity about one another’s goings on is an intense appreciation of place and kindness and concern for anyone on their uppers.
So all in all I find a kind of spiritual homecoming.
Island of Fetlar, Shetland
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