Sunday

 
Adopta Sheep: Save Australian Sheep: Unique Gift: Last Minute Gift: Our Sheep Need You


Hello there,

These are our sheep. And they need your help. You see, they are fine wool Merinos and they live with us on a 1760 acre farm called "Uamby" in a beautiful valley here in Australia's best woolgrowing district.
We have 17 rams, 420 ewe lambs from 2006, 1500 ewes and they are lambing at the moment. Many are having twins. Unfortunately we had to sell 400 wether lambs from 2006 - but they went to a good home nearby. We are still suffering from the after effects of the most devastating drought in living memory. Many call it the worst in 1,000 years.
Last year we had less than a third of our normal rainfall. We carefully managed our pastures to give the grasses the longest time to regrow before the sheep graze on them again. We do this to protect the soil from erosion, because soil is our most precious asset. Despite our best efforts, we were forced to handfeed the sheep everyday for six months. We were able to do this, thanks to the generosity of many people who "adopted" our sheep and lambs. In the last 6 months, we have been blessed by rainfall which brought the grasses back on those paddocks we were able to save (less than half the property). Normally we would go into the low growing season of Winter with good cover of feed. But this year is different. The water table is so low... The roots of pasture grasses so stressed... Mother Nature needs a long convalescence.


To make matters worse, we seem to be headed back into drought. That will be 5 years in a row! Normally we would sell the flock, wait for the break, then restock. But this drought was so long, the price we were likely to get at market was less than 10% of what it would cost to restock when the rains returned. Besides, these are our breeding flock. We have been breeding this flock for extra-fine, extra-soft wool for the best part of a decade. By the time we thought of “Adoptasheep” we had already sent 1000 wethers (neutered males) to the slaughterhouse. (We were expecting $40 a head and got $5. And lost our boys, our best wool producers.) Our wonderful Adoptasheep supporters helped save the mothers and lambs.

Instead of hand feeding, we are now urgently trying to 'drought-proof' the property - using methods we also hope to share with other farmers. (See below.) We are looking for a permanent solution to drought, to cut down the need to hand feed. (We'll never be entirely safe from drought,but we can make a difference.) I bless the day I thought about you and all the people like you who love the land and love animals. I bless the day I had this stupid idea to offer you the chance to adopt one of our ewes or lambs. Or one of the rams. They've all got beautiful natures and loads of personality. Sheep are more intelligent than many give them credit for. They can identify up to a dozen faces, including humans. They can learn their names. They have their own social circles. A couple of ewes will conduct a creche of lambs, for instance, allowing the other ewes to go off foraging for feed.

Our sheep are precious to us and we'd hate to lose any more. We grow sheep for wool because it's not the same as growing animals up to slaughter them. We make sure they have enough shade and water and we use the most humane handling techniques. And we're always looking to improve. Because we believe contented sheep produce better wool, and better karma for everyone.



HELP US DROUGHT-PROOF “UAMBY”

We have lovely green stuff all over the paddocks, but there is not much feed in it for sheep. The first things to grow after drought are weeds that sheep can't eat. Like this huge thistle bush...

This is why farmers don't dance for joy at the first sign of rain. There is so much to be caught up. Even now (September 2007) after good rain during the year, we are still hand feeding.

We have been working to drought-proof the property (as much as possible) so we have grass to feed our lambs and their mothers even when it doesn’t rain for long periods. We are fencing our paddocks into smaller units and running water to them because this will allow us to use ‘time-controlled grazing’ which encourages native grasses to grow more thickly. We have planted a wildlife corridor of trees and shrubs, connecting stands of native trees to encourage birds and mammals because more biodiversity encourages the growth of soil carbon and this precious stuff helps hold water in the soil. We have plans to renovate several poor paddocks by ‘pasture cropping’ and ‘biological farming techniques' (composting).

You can help us finish this important work. The new lambs are arriving – ready for adoption.

ADOPT A SHEEP
So this is your opportunity to adopt a sheep. WE set the price at $35 for 100 days' feed becasue that is what it cost. So we'll stay with $35. It will mean the world to your sheep.
NAME YOUR SHEEP When you sponsor a sheep, you will get to name it. First you tell us what sheep you want: a lovely motherly ewe, a frolicking lamb, a horny ram. Then you tell us what name you want to give it. We'll tell you if the sheep likes your choice or sends you a 'Try again' message. (Sheep are very sensitive about their names. They are very proud animals. They like to be treated with respect.)
A PHOTO OF YOUR SHEEP To thank you, we'll take a photo of your sheep that you can frame. It will be sent to you by email as soon as we get a shot the sheep will agree to release.
WRITING TO YOUR SHEEP If you want to send an email to your sheep, we will print it out and read it out to the flock. (We have too much trouble isolating an individual sheep for a personal communication. So be aware and don't get too personal in your emails.)

VISIT YOUR SHEEP
All adopting 'parents' can come and visit their sheep and enjoy a tour of the farm. You can find out more about the Kiely family and Uamby on http://envirofarming.blogspot.com)
Daniel handles the lambs only when necessary because their mothers don't like other people's aromas. They may even abandon their lamb when it's very young.
HOW TO ADOPT A SHEEP
You can send a cheque or money order to Michael and Louisa Kiely, ADOPT-A-SHEEP, "Uamby" RMB 384, Uamby Road, Goolma NSW AUSTRALIA 2852
We have a PayPal facility available on the "DONATION" button.
To have a chat, you can call us on (612) 6374 0329. (If you are calling from the USA, remember our morning is your afternoon, your morning is our middle of the night.)

(Thank you)

PS. THIS IS HOW THE GRASS CAME BACK 2 WEEKS AFTER A MAJOR RAINFALL EVENT COMPARED TO THE SURROUNDING PADDOCKS... BECAUSE WE SAVED THE ROOT SYSTEMS OF THE NATIVE PASTURE GRASSES WHEN WE WERE ABLE TO FEED THE FLOCK, THANKS TO YOU

THIS IS HOW THE LAMBS LOOK 8 MONTHS AFTER WE LAUNCHED OUR APPEAL
WE ARE STILL HANDFEEDING THEM because it doesn't rain grass. The first plants to come back are weeds that are inedible. BUT THEY LOOK MIGHTY...


*****************************************************************************************
IMPORTANT MESSAGE:

HERE'S HOW YOU ARRANGE YOUR SPONSORSHIP

1. CLICK ON 'MAKE A DONATION' WHICH TAKES YOU TO PAYPAL. IT IS A SECURE ONLINE TRANSACTION SERVICE.
2. PAY THE AMOUNT COVERING THE NUMBER OF SHEEP YOU WANT TO SPONSOR - $35 for one, $70 for two, etc. (Please ignore the fact that PayPal won't let you indicate that you want to sponsor more than ONE sheep. We are still trying to figure that one out.But in the meantime be assured we can work out the numebr of sheep by the amount donated.)
3. PAYPAL TELLS US YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS AND WE EMAIL YOU WITH 3 QUESTIONS:
Q.1. What type of sheep did you want to sponsor.
Q.2. WHat name did you want to give it/them?
Q.3. If it is a gift, what is the name of the person receiving it (so we can mention them on the Certificate of Adoption)?
4. YOU ANSWER THE QUESTIONS BY RETURN EMAIL.
5. WE THEN CREATE YOUR CERTIFICATE(S) AND EMAIL THEM TO YOU

TROUBLE GETTING THROUGH TO DONATE AND ADOPT A SHEEP?
If you have trouble with the PayPal payment system, call us on 02 6374 0329.

*****************************************************************************************

MESSAGES FROM ADOPTING 'PARENTS'

'DAD WAS STOKED!": "I did this for my father for Christmas and he was quite stoked. I placed the certificate in a frame for him, and I also pulled basic info off your site and compiled it into a quick, easy-to-read document so he would know what it was all about. Has taken pride of place in his home study and he's quite thrilled! Thank you, and good luck to not only you but to all the other farmers who take this - and other projects like it - on board."

I want to tell you all that I can't thank you enough for the beautiful adoptasheep Certificates that I received from you in time to send interstate as Christmas gifts. I adopted 5 sheep for my grandchildren,and I couldn't believe it when the Certificates came through. Whoever chose the sheep for me must have been thinking on the same plane as me.When I chose the name Cecil for a Ram I was thinking of old Cec the Ram on Footrot Flats and sure enough I get one that looks exactly like him. I used to have an Uncle Harold who was pleasantly plump with curly hair, he had two ringlets that hung down on either side of his forehead that we used to say looked like little horns, so I named my second Ram Harold. My Uamby Harold looks just like Uncle Harold, young, plump with little horns. Violet the Ewe is everything I hoped she would be. A true lady, a little bit aloof, probably because she knows her breeding. The two Lambs Fleur and Blossom are absolutely gorgeous and look just like little girl sheep. I know how busy you all must be and I'm sorry for waffling on but I had to tell you. So thanks again, Kind regards...

Hi There,
We were astounded at the positive response we had to our gifts of your sheep. As a result, we would like two more.
I’ll just go on to your web site and make the order.
Thanks again
Neil


Comments:
I'm interested in adopting the third one from the left, second row, for about 15 minutes. No, make it 10.
 
Hello there!

awesome idea & website

I stumbled across this brand new website,

http://www.efarming.com.au/

its awesome! check out the weather section, you can see the fronts coming from south Africa.
 
I think that Henry Michel would love to adopt one.
 
Very interesting blog you have. Thanks for posting and good luck!
 
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