Shear Perfection Ranch California Red Sheep  Tunis Barbados Blackbelly American Ladybug Sheep
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The Shear Perfection

Ranch Story

Shear   Perfection   Ranch   was   born   in   1989,   when   our kids   came   to   us   wanting   to   get   a   different   breed   of sheep   for   their   4H   projects.   Eirann   (then   age   15), Darcy    (10)    and    Jared    (6)    combed    through    sheep books   trying   to   decide   what   they   wanted.   Finally they    came    upon    California    Red    Sheep    in    "Raising Sheep   the   Modern   Way"   and   two   paragraphs   and   a black and white photo caused love at first sight. Now,   it   was   our   problem;   how   do   we   find   this   breed? We   checked   with   local   ag   agents,   searched   the   net, asked   local   shepherds…no   one   had   ever   heard   of California   Red   Sheep.   Then   we   called   the   American Sheep    Industry    in    Colorado…who    had    the    same answer    as    everyone    else.    "We've    never    heard    of California   Red   Sheep,   but,   if   they're   from   California call    these    people."    We    were    given    three    or    four numbers   and   after   several   phone   calls   we   reached someone   from   the   ag   dept.   of   UC   at   Davis.   He   gave us   a   brief   review   of   Dr.   Spurlock's   project   and   the phone    number    for    Mike    &    Janice    Altomare    in Merced, CA. We   purchased   four   exposed   ewes   [264   Donnah,   271 Fancy,   274   Simone   and   197   Candy]   sight   unseen   from Mike   &   Janice   and   transported   them   home   to   New Mexico.   No   babies   arrived   so   we   decided   we   had   to get   a   ram   for   our   girls.   This   resulted   in   another phone   call   to   Mike   &   Janice   and   before   long   384 Shameless    and    two    more    ewes    [314    Evie    &    328 Paulette]   were   headed   to   AZ   with   Tom   Sellers   along with   a   couple   ewes   for   the   DeKeiffers   in   Colorado. Jerry   was   working   in AZ   at   the   time   and   brought   our new group the rest of the way. The   kids   had   a   great   time   showing   their   California Reds     which     resulted     in some   great   successes   [see Memorable   Animals   below] and   some   real   frustrations. Eirann       and       S hameless appeared    on    the    Morning TV    show    in    Pueblo,    CO, where    he    was    a    perfect gentleman        until        the camera   left   him   and   then   he   flooded   their   stage area.   Wherever   they   went   to   show,   the   Reds   always drew    attention,    a    crowd    favorite,    even    if    they weren't always the judge's favorite. CALIFORNIA RED SHEEP PURCHASES Several   years   later   we   received   a   phone   call   that   the Williams'   out   of   Colorado   wanted   to   disperse   their herd   of   CA   Reds.   We   weren't   prepared   to   purchase the   entire   herd,   so   we   teamed   up   with   the   Jones' out   of   Moriarty   NM   to   split   the   herd.   The   Jones' picked   up   the   herd   and   we   met   at   their   place   to divvy   them   up.   What   we   didn't   anticipate   was   that the   Williams'   had   not   recorded   numbers   of   babies and   what   mom's   they   went   to.   We   spent   several hours   in   a   blizzard   holding   babies   and   then   letting them   go   to   see   which   mother   they   went   to.   At   last we   had   everyone   matched   up   and   loaded   our   half and   headed   for   home.   Notables   in   this   herd   were: the ram 147 Titan, and ewe 184 Lizzie. Somewhere    around    1997    or    1998    we    purchased another   dispersal   herd   from   the   Sweeney's   in   Idaho. We   gained   lots   of   wonderful   bloodlines   from   this purchase   the   most   notable   of   which   were:   Rams-543 Sundance,   780   Chance   and   882   Taos   and   Ewes-725 Callie,    406   Tuesday,    726    Jasmine,    454   Trudy,    625 Willow and 408 Polly. There   were   a   few   other   small   purchases   here   and there   including   another   group   of   yearlings   from   the Altomares     in     2003.     But     since     2003     we     have maintained    a    virtually    closed    herd    and    stand    5-7 rams to maintain diversity in bloodlines. MEMORABLE SALES We   have   sold   California   Reds   from   the   West   Coast   to the    East    Coast    and    have    met    lots    of    wonderful people in the process. Our   most   memorable   sale   was   64   head   to   the   United Arab    Emirates.    We    could    not    fill    the    order    by ourselves,   so   Jerry   called   around   and   located   other breeders   with   animals   for   sale   and   trucked   them back   to   our   ranch   where   we   keep   them   quarantined from   our   own   animals.   Eventually   we   delivered   them to   San Angelo TX   and   they   were   flown   out   of   Chicago airport   to   the   UAE.   All   the   animals   arrived   safe   and healthy.    On    last    report    from    the    exporter,    the California    Reds    were    tolerating    the    140    degree summers very well. We   also   flew   two   rams   to   Canada;   a   very   interesting process since 911. MEMORABLE CALIFORNIA RED SHEEP RAMS: 384   Shameless-   He   was   a   beautiful   ram   with   a   slight attitude.   He   wasn't   really   fond   of   any   people   except our   oldest   daughter,   Eirann.   For   Eirann   he   would   do anything.   He   stood   Grand   Champion   Other   Breeds Ram    at    Colorado    State    Fair    and    was    3rd    in    the Overall Grand Champion Class. 147   Titan-Titan   was   a   mellow   old   boy   when   we   got him.    We    found    several    niches    with    certain    ewe bloodlines   that   produced   nice   big   ewe   lambs.   And with Evie he produced Curly Sue. 543   S undance-When   Sundance   arrived   from   Idaho, he   weighed   a   whopping   285   lbs. and     had     rolls     of     fat.     We slimmed   him   down   to   250#.   He was    the    longest,    tallest    and most   mellow   ram   we   have   ever owned.   He   left   us   way   too   soon as a result of a snake bite. 882    Taos-This     beautiful    Sundance    ram when   bred   to   Curly   Sue,   gave   us   our   most prolific ram, Tank. 1105   Ta nk-This   son   of   Taos and   Curly   Sue   produced   the largest   babies   of   any   ram we    have    ever    owned.    His average   single   was   11lb   and his   twins   were   often   10lbs each.     Big     healthy     lambs were    his    trademark.    With 725   Callie   produced   Supreme   Grand   Champion   Ram Harvest Sheep & Fiber Festival, Humvie. 1137    Ivanhoe-   Not   as   big   as   his   grandfather,   but   what a   producer.   Great   disposition.   He   has   8 rams    in    the    registry    to    date:    How's Bayou,   Hocus-Pocus,   Zubber   Dude,   San Antonio,   The   Grateful   Red,   Hail   to   the Sheep, Rude Dude and Korkonov MEMORABLE CALIFORNIA RED SHEEP EWES: 197   Candy-Candy   was   the   widest   ewe,   she   looked like   she   was   carrying   lambs   even   when   she   wasn't. Very, very dark red. 264   Donnah-Had   the   most   compelling   eyes   and   knew how    to    use    them.    Won    best    fleece    at    show    and passed   it   on   to   her   offspring.   She   was   a   light   red, almost Palomino color. 274   Simone-Sweet   Simone,   if   you   were   in   the   yard, she   was   by   your   side.   She   was   so   special.   She   had her   last   lamb   at   age   11   and   didn't   get   milk,   we bottle   fed   him   but   she   still   raised   him.   She   would bring   him   to   the   fence   for   feeding   and   wait   for   him and then walk proudly back to the pasture with him. 31 4   Evie-   A   dark   beauty,   she   stood   Reserve   Grand Champion   Ewe   at   the   Colorado   State Fair.   She   behaved   so   well   for   the   whole show.   That   evening,   she   accompanied Eirann   in   the   Ladies   Lead   Contest.   She was   jumping   almost   6   ft   straight   up   all the   way   around   the   ring.   She   was   awarded   the   Most Stubborn Ewe Award. 683 Curly   Sue-Evie's   hard   luck   daughter   was   born   in   a 22   below   blizzard.   Her   twin   brother   died of   hyperthermia   and   she   lost   her   ears   and tail    to    frostbite.    She    gave    us    lots    of beautiful         lambs         including         the incomparable Tank. 725   Callie-This   is   one   we   wish   we   hadn't   sold.   She produced Humvie, Excalibur and Disrupter. 406   Tuesday-My   triplet   producer.   She   gave   birth   to three   sets   of   triplets   and   we   think   5   sets   of   twins during   her   lifetime.   And   she   passed   the   triplet   gene to her daughters. 726   Jasmin e-The   best   mother   and   a   well conformed    ewe.    Mother    of    Jess,    Rhexx Ronin, and Jaina 454    Trudy-This    ewe    was    not    only    beautiful    and sweet,   she   was   the   strongest   willed   ewe   we   have ever   seen.   in   her   prime   she   weighed   over   200#.   At age    11,    she    had    a    stroke    while    delivering    her triplets.   For   three   weeks,   she   was   unable   to   rise.   We kept   working   with   her   moving   her   legs   and   we   kept her   triplets   with   her.   She   eventually   was   able   to   get to   her   feet   and   struggled   with   getting   her   legs   to work,     but     she     eventually     was     walking     almost normally.   She   lived   for   five   years   more.   We   never bred   her   again,   but   she   became   Grandma   Trudy.   She was   always   surrounded   by   lambs   even   to   the   day   she died.   She   will   always   have   a   special   place   in   our hearts. 625    Willow-Willow    the    Pillow.    We    never mention   her   without   thinking   of   her   babies, who always slept on top of her. 408   Polly-One   of   our   most   prolific   ewes.   Fiercely independent.   If   the   rest   of   the   herd   was   going   to   the north field Polly was headed south. 1645   EweKnowWho-Born   to   12   year   old   Rumor,   who did    not    get    her    milk    in, EweKnowWho    was    bottle raised.    When    the    Daniels called   us   about   purchasing CA     Reds,     we     tried     to convince    them    that    they should    take    this    ewe    for their   kids   to   show.   She   was just   one   of   those   lambs   that   drew   your   eye.   Mr. Daniels   was   adamant;   he   did   not   want   a   bottle   lamb. We   finally   convinced   him;   after   all   she   would   be weaned   by   the   time   he   got   here   to   pick   her   up. EweKnowWho   ended   up   taking   Grand   Champion   Ewe West   Tennessee   Expo   at   six   months   of   age   over   older ewes. The Continuing Saga. We both have served on the Board of Directors of the California Red Sheep Registry; sometimes at the same time, sometimes at different times. In 2009, Jerry took over the position of Registrar from Janice Altomare. Jerry passed away in September 2014 and I have taken over the registrar position. In recent years, we have found it is harder to find unrelated bloodlines, so in 2012 we conducted a census of the Registry members and found that a large number of animals had been lost to the breed due to members dispersing herds at their local sale barns. The registry submitted the registry records and current census to Dr Harvey Blackburn of the National Animal Germplasm Program who completed An Inbreeding Assessment of California Red Sheep which concluded that “by 2020 the average inbreeding level will be 0.216. At this level the potential for observing reduced performance due to inbreeding depression increases.” For that reason, the California Red Sheep Registry is currently developing a rebuilding program which will open the books to new foundation animals which will be developed based on the original Tunis x Tunis/Bardados cross of Dr. Spurlock and the other founders of the breed. Shear Perfection Ranch will be an active participant in the California Red Sheep rebuilding program. Since this program involves the procurement of top Tunis and Barbados Blackbelly breeding stock, which are also limited in numbers, we will be adding a purebred Tunis and purebred Barbados Blackbelly breeding projects to our ranch as a natural accompaniment to the new foundation line California Red Sheep project. We are looking forward to this new adventure. The Tunis division of Shear Perfection Ranch will be called Roadrunner Tunis and the Barbados division will be called Enchantment Barbados.