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Dixie Class Fair - 1st Sheep Show! Update on Lexi... :(

Updated: Oct 12, 2019

I get excited every year about the Dixie Classic Fair! Since I was a little girl I have gone just about every year. The must sees on the list with my family: the sheep, cows, draft horses, yesterday's village, the farm exhibits, quilts, and art work in the annex. This list used to include the carnival game where you throw ping pong balls at fish bowls and win fish for getting the balls in. But I can't ever keep the fish alive.... oops. I shouldn't mention the food that we HAVE to have each time - turkey legs!, corn dog, roast corn, fried Oreos, and funnel cake. With less than a week to go - I'm ready!!

But this year is also something new for me. It will be the first time I'm showing my own sheep at the fair. I'm both elated and terrified. I love walking down the animal pens and seeing the sheep huddled together after being sheared for the show. The farm signs hung on the gates with pride. And now Skybrooke Farm will have two pens of our own! I've only entered two sheep for our first year. Carson is entered in the Late Ram Lamb (rams born after Feb. 15th) and Aria is in the Junior Ewe Lamb (ewes born after Feb. 15th). YAYAYAY!!!!

I have ordered the supplies I think I'll need - buckets for water, hay bags, and show halters. I'll make a simple sign to pin to the fence. And I'll take a chair to watch them in their pens. I'm nervous about the show because I've never shown sheep before! I've shown our previous Rottweiler in an AKC dog show years ago, but never sheep!

I've been working with Carson and Aria on halter training. There are good days and bad, but over all I think we will be passable. Not perfect! But I think we'll make it around the ring. :) I work with them on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for a while. I wish I had time to do 15 minutes a couple times a day, but I don't. Aria is progressing slower than Carson and will still have traumatic moments where she lays down and refuses to go anywhere. We have to end on a good note, so I stand her up, we go a bit farther and before taking the halter off we do a treat, a few scratches and then she can go slowly. No rushing off! *** Update*** As of today we have gone 5 days without laying down on a walk!

Fitting the sheep is what I'm most nervous about. Debating trimming at the farm before the show or do I wait until we get there. At the farm is easiest since I don't have a stand to transport with me, but then I have to groom again after they will be in the pen for a couple days. There are a few other classes that are going before the wool breeds that I can watch and learn from about the pattern the judge is looking for in the ring. But clipping the fleece before the show - I have no mentor and no one to ask questions from. I've been looking for a youtube video and think I found an old one to model from. It'll all be a learning event! They might not been the best trimmed sheep and we might end up going the wrong way in the arena, but I will so proud when its all over! No matter what happens.

The next important is what to wear. I'll need something comfortable that the colors don't compete with the sheep. I'll have to think on this! This is my least favorite part! I'm not a good shopper for clothes lol.

I dropped off my two watercolors I entered this year in the traditional and abstract watercolor categories. I started a mixed media piece I was going to enter, but just didn't have time to get it done. Well time, and I just didn't feel the creative inspiration to finish it in a way to do it justice. There are great artists entered this year and steep competition from the quick peek I saw while dropping off my paintings.

On a sad note we lost Lexi, the brown alpaca last Thursday. We don't have a clear answer on what happened. The vet checked her and took a fecal and blood work. Nothing obvious stood out as the cause. She was anemic but her fecal didn't indicate a parasite load that would cause this. The other alpaca and animals were all looked over by the vet and given the clear. I've increased grain given each day since our grass and hay is poor (we still have had no rain!!!) and just keeping a close eye on everyone. Lexi was a sweet girl and will be missed on the farm. She was curious, polite, and dainty like a princess. Just graceful in the field. Sky, Luna, Oak, and Maisy have been staying closer together in the pasture. They miss Lexi in their own way.

Following Lexi's passing, I told her breeder about what happened. I had called him for advice when she first went down when the vet didn't come out. He had an alpaca that just passed away a few weeks before, that had a baby! So he had a 12 week old bottle baby that was cute as a button that needed a home! So Scarlett made it to our farm Monday morning! She's a beautiful bay and a mix of the two types of alpaca. She's suri and huacaya. All of our alpaca have been huacaya so I'm excited to work with her fleece!!!! Her face and neck are fluffy like huacaya, but her body looks like soft wavy curls. Scarlett is so sweet! Part of my dream for Skybrooke is agricultural education and allowing people to come visit the farm. Having an alpaca that actually likes to be pet is awesome! The others love coming in for food but are not fans of scratches or many hugs! I'll put up more Scarlett updates soon!

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