Monday, July 14, 2008

Phew!

Well its a good feeling to have most of the first round of animals that I needed to sell or wanted to sell, SOLD! I have kept back a fair number of ewe lambs in hopes of microning them mid-late September to get a rough idea of where their lamb fleeces will end up come spring time. This part of the evaluation, as well as my final goals that I want to try and obtain in fall breeding groups will determine who definitely stays, and who goes. I still have a few older ewes that I've decided NOT to AI, so they will be available for sale any time. Most of them carry spots and/or modified genes, possibly polled too.

This fall I am keeping a larger than usual amount of ewes for several reasons:

1. I am doing a massive AI this fall and many of those ewes are my tried and true girls that have proven to me in their fleece reports and lambing stats. These are definetly my girls with the most to give, and also the most to lose.

2. I am learning my lines and by keeping more lambs to breed, I'll be able to see the true range of what they can do for me. I know for a fact that both my F1 rams proved to me they can put crimp on even 100% domestic ewes, as well as only throw black based lambs!

3. I have a unique opportunity to test for the polled gene in several of my ewes by using a smooth polled ram (possibly a full poll) and this will help determine which way those ewes need to be bred in the future, either for polled genetics to a polled ram to hope to get more polled stock, or back to horned rams and hope the boys inherit the one horned gene.

4. I'm really trying to find or obtain F1 rams from most of the UK imported rams. Its my hopes that these F1's, bred to each other's daughters will produce more UK style fleeces, and softer, more uniform to boot.

5. Oh did I mention modified and spotted recessives that I'm trying to see if I can bring out? :)

2 comments:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Okay, another micron testing question: What time of year is best to obtain fleece samples, and why?

Garrett808 said...

Michelle,

I was told that its best to do it in the spring, after the coldest weather has passed, and/or before lambing. When the ewe lambs and has to nurse the stress from that shows in the fleece.

The lamb fleeces particularly are better after the coldest part of winter as it shows that under adverse weather how well the fleece holds up. Sometimes from a six month old lamb fleece sample to a 12 month old lamb fleece sample, there is quite a change, and sometimes hardly at all. Linda W. would be a great one to ask this also.

Testing roughly a year after you shear is best, as it gives you the entire year in one sample, versus only a few months worth...and that of course is only a concern when you decide where to send your samples too.

I've also heard that once you cut them, to send them off ASAP as the longer you wait, the coarser they will become....so don't send in any samples that you collected say last year, today :)

A breed I can't stay away from

its true I guess that I would be first known for the fine wooled Shetland Sheep that I have procured and traveled across the USA and UK to ...