Friday, July 31, 2009

White-faced Black Spanish Bantams

I promised you photos so here are a few of my newest pair of Bantams! The rooster is a '09 hatch and the hen is an '08 hatch. They've already bonded and I'm excited to see if I can get any chicks this fall from them or not. Apparently they are quite rare and this pair came from a breeder who shows all the time. I'm not intending to show but like to have birds that resemble the breed they are supposed to be. Nothing wrong with mutt chickens but I would at least liek to know what they are made up of :) And mutt chickens are way better than crappy purebreds (same goes for dogs, pigs, cattle, sheep etc)!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Updated lamb photos

Gosh I just got in from taking photos and I see Theresa at UnderTheSon beat me to the punch! :)

This is WhitePine Enoch. He is an F2 Timothy out of FirthofFifth Barish (2yr old) and River Oaks Eliza (4 yr old). He 'could' carry moorit and it looks as though he is going to be a poll carrier with his aberrant horns/long scurs. He has a silky soft intermediate fleece and he is very fine (sire this year microned as AFD 22.4, SD 5.9, CV 26.4 with a CF of 89.1%. his dam microned AFD 26.6, 5.6 SD, CV 21.1 and CF of 79.3%). He is available for sale. $350. He is just 12 weeks this week.
Here is Justalit'l Chloe (f2 Minder) with her F1 Holly son WhitePine Caiphus. I was hoping for polled (Bartok, Chloe's sire was a poll carrier) but no luck! Look at these gorgeous horns on this boy! He is being retained.
WhitePine Candace is Caiphus' twin sister. She was spotted at birth and a moorit based ewe WOHOO! She is also staying. They are both 17 weeks old today.
WhitePine Benaniah is an F1 Orion son out of Justalit'l Black Lambo. He is quite single coated and so far his horns are looking good. He may be available for sale after micron tests.
WhitePine Barnabas aka 'Bug' is my 76% UK F1 Orion, F2 Timothy ram that is being retained. He looks to be going to have the smooth UK style horns (round vs. D shaped).
A fleece shot of WhitePine Levi (F1 Jamie out of River Oaks Lucy). He has the most gorgeous soft and uber crimpy fleece I've raised in a lamb. He is staying.

A head shot of Levi. He carries moorit and spots and is polled!!
Stephen thought this white ram was spotted as look as his horns....gray tips and white base...the other ram (his twin) has stripes in his horns. Have any of your white rams had stripes or streaks in their horns?WhitePine Fortunatus. His birth coat and his now 12 week old fleece is to DIE FOR! Unfortunately his horns looks as though they will be fatal. I'm almost weepy as this ram has flock sire written all over him (build, bite, fleece, conformation) but those pesky horns. Sometimes I wonder if the horns are worth it......
His gorgeous twin sister WhitePine Faith who is staying right here with me thank you!
ShelteringPines Snow Cloud with her daughter WhitePine Salome. Snow Cloud carries modified as her mom is emsket (and spotted) and Salmoe looks to be going 'modified' as well..How cool...spotted AND modified! Very single coated. Special thanks to Suzanne for letting me keep her :)
This is WhitePine Reuben. He has been sold to a great flock out in Pennsylvania! His sire is UnderTheSon Arapaho (Yearling fleece AFD 25.5, SD 5.3, CV 20.7, CF 84%) and FirthofFifth Rahu (two year old fleece AFD 27.7, SD5.1, CV 18.6, CF 73.8%). This lady purchased Rahu's fleece from last year and already took this years clip too! When she found out her ram lamb was available she took him in an instant! He is just gorgeous, beautiful build, wide sweeping horns, good level bite, crimpy soft fleece.
Two more poll carrier boys available for sale. WhitePine Phineas (musket) 75% UK ram out of Heights Orion and Underhill Peep. The 'black' behind him is WhitePine Seth who looks to be going modified as well. His dam is behind him and she is shaela. Phineas is $500 and Seth is $300.
The rear of WhitePine Naomi. (Wintertime Blues (Jazz's twin brother) and ShelteringPines Nirvana).
Side shot of Naomi. I am in love ;;)
WhitePine Ulam. Fawn katmoget (I still think he's light badger face as he is NOT Ag and his purse and belly are turning white (not modified). look at these gorgeous horns! he is really turning into a looker. I was going to offer him for sale but I will winter him over. He is F1 Minder out of Underhill Ulla (F2 Jamie)
Below are two photos of WhitePine Rhodes and F1 Orion out of RYL Rachildas. Either Rhodes or his brother Roman WILL be staying here. I just haven't/can't decide on which to keep.
He is just stunning!

And to show you some nice 'rears' here is Wintertime Jazz...
And FirthofFifth Barish...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Daily Evaluations

Isn't it funny how day after day I sit and watch the lambs grow and yet every once in awhile there will be a lamb that catches my eye that hasn't in awhile. I guess with about 50 lambs that can happen from time to time :)

There are also ewes that I sit and scratch...that I realize must be moved on. They are such loves, but I am not raising sheep to be tame pets, although its nice to have a few that appreciate me :)

Of all the ram lambs that were born my biggest 'fail' was not the fleece or horns or bite. Shoulders are good, toplines are all acceptable, growth is fantastic, but some seem to be a tad hocky. Am I just being too picky?

I will have five F1 ram lambs that will be available for sale pending their horns continue to grow nicely. A few have that slight in at the hock, but not all. Three of them will be intermediate , a fawn, a black and a gray (Ag). The other two are very crimpy and single coated. I am ONLY keeping 9 F1 ram lambs to over winter. Yes you read that right. NINE. As in one less than 10 :)

With the straws I have left these could very well be the last F1 rams from these UK sires and the whole purpose of the AI was to keep ONE ram out of each ram via imported frozen semen. I just so happen to be keeping THREE Orion sons as I just cannot decide which of the 7 of them to keep.

I also have a yearling fawn katmoget ram that is 50% UK and can be sold with a starter flock of proven ewes. Up to 8 ewes available (all yearling or older) Trades for something I may be interested in are also a great idea:

1. cheviot x shetland ewe lambs
2. BFL ewes of high% UK
3. sheep fencing (new or used as long as it can be strung up and used right away!)
4. short cattle trailer or horse trailer
5. patio pavers (for dog runs) or chain link fencing/dog kennels

I WOULD prefer cash but if it means moving these 'extra' sheep out, I'd be interested!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

stress management

I had a few moments to sit amongst the sheep this evening. Its always a great time to reflect on not only the progress with your sheep and/or farm management/breeding program, but also a time for me to think, talk to the girls , reflect on my day or week or life and just a good 'end of the day mind release' that i can 'zone' out if need be and just be attentive to the obnoxious girls who are begging for scratches.

Sometimes life is at its best when its so simple. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Last weekend

Last weekend I was in the Tomah, WI area where I found my Mac a new home (check out my dog blog: for the whole story).

I also picked up a pair of White-faced Black Spanish Bantams to go with my Old English Game Bantams (I have fawn silver duckwing and Silver duckwing). They are a larger than my OEGB but I'm not going to co-mingle them until this winter when the breeding season is over.

I also picked up FirthofFifth Angus, a dark emsket/light shaela gulmoget with full horns. He is not as fine as my other rams but I am happy to use him for his modified genes as well as the gulmoget genes and the full horned genes (no poll carrier like most of the gulmogets in the US)

I am gleaning a photo of him from Cynthia as I haven't had the time to take new photos!
(photo taken early spring 2009)

After visiting with Cynthia and Christopher very briefly at a truckstop in Mauston I headed due west to Sharrie Smith-Brockhaus' farm where I was to pick up ShelteringPines Pumpernickel Pogo. He is a smirslet, sokket gray katmoget ram with gorgeous wide sweeping horns. His two year old micron came back at AFD 27, SD 5.3, CV 19.7, CF of 76.1%. He'll be used selectively this fall. He is out of Underhill Thelonius Monk and Justalit'l Bedegrayne. He is AbAa, SsSs, MMM?, BBBb.

The photos below are of Pogo in full fleece this spring at Sharrie's house. I'll promise to get new photos soon!

Thank you both Cynthia and Sharrie for letting me try these boys out!

I didn't really NEED a fourth katmoget ram, but used selectively he'll be worth it!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mature Shetland Ewes

Lisa at Sommerhill had asked about SD and CV in one of the last posts. Here is what I gleaned off of Yocom-McColl's website:

"To analyze the micron test report histogram, find the Average Fiber Diameter (AFD) on the horizontal scale showing fiber diameter in microns. Standard Deviation is a term representing an average of individual deviations (plus or minus micron values) from the mean or AFD. The smaller the Standard Deviation, the more uniform the population of fibers measured. It is the most stable of variability measures and is used in the computation of other fiber statistics such as the Coefficient of Variation (CV).

The Coefficient of Variation is the Standard Deviation divided by the Average Fiber Diameter multipled by 100 and reported as a percentage. The CV is used in the statistical analysis of different populations of fiber (different animals)."

I have found in my experience with Shetlands that the lower the CV the more 'improvable' the animal is towards finer fleece and a more single coat. CV is just as important as AFD and SD in my opinion. A low CV I believe also indicates a more consistent fleeced animal from head to britch. Someone stop me if I'm wrong :)

Mature ewes are at least 2 years of age with the oldest being 8 years old.

FS = For sale, NFS = Not for sale

FifthofFifth Evidence of Autumn - mioget 4 yr old ewe - AFD 29.2, SD 8, CV 27.5, CF 62.2%. She is herself not fine, but she throws some amazing lambs when bred to a fine ram! (FS)

FirthofFifth Booto AI - fawn katmoget 2 year old ewe - AFD 26.1, SD 6.8, CV 26.3, CF 77% (NFS)

Justalit'l Chloe - fawn katmoget six year old ewe - AFD 30.3, SD 6.3, CV 20.7, CF 56.8%. She has produced four outstanding lambs here and all have been retained. Great ewe! (NFS)

RiverOaks Eliza - white four year old ewe - AFD: 26.6, SD 5.6, CV 21.1, CF 79.3% (NFS)

Minwawe Flopsy - moorit seven year old ewe - AFD 29, SD 8.2, CV 28.3, CF63.6% Produced great things when bred to Jazz this past year! (FS)

Minwawe Dixie Cup - shaela smirslet 2 yr old ewe - AFD 28.7, SD 8.3, CV 28.9, CF 65.7 (Sold)

ShelteringPines Fleur De Lis - smirslet gray katmoget 2 yr old ewe - AFD 27.3, SD 5.8, CV 21.3, CF 72.2% (NFS)

Justalit'l Black Lambo - black 8 yr old ewe - AFD 27.2, SD 6.2, CV 22.7, CF 70% (NFS)

BonoCreek Lavender Brown - six year old fawn ewe - AFD 27.8, SD 8.4, CV 30, CF 66.9. She threw amazing lambs the last two years bred to Jazz. (Sold)

WinterSky Layla AI - mioget two year old ewe - AFD 25.3, SD5.5, CV 21.6, CF 84.6% (NFS)

RiverOaks Lucy - gray katmoget two year old ewe - AFD 27.7, SD 4.9, CV 17.8, CF 70.6% (NFS)

Sheltering Pines Nirvana - horned gray katmoget 2 yr o ld ewe - AFD 28.5, SD 5.9, CV 20.6, CF65.2% (NFS)

Underhill Peep - six year old musket ewe - AFD 30.2, SD 7.5, CV 24.7, CF 56.2% (NFS, unless Juliann wants her!)

RYL Rachildas - seven year old white illget ewe - AFD 31.7, SD7, CV 22.1, CF 49.9%. Her lambs have been way softer than her when bred to fine rams. I've retained all her lambs so far. (FS)

WhitePine Rahu - 2 yr old white illget ewe - AFD 27.6, SD 5.1, CV 18.6, CF 73.8% (NFS)

Minwawe RedBud - 2 yr old shaela ewe - AFD: 22.4, SD 6.2, CV 27.8, CF 87.5% (FS) (I'm moving out my 100% domestic sheep so this is a great find!)

FirthofFifth Rooibos - 3 yr old fawn ewe - AFD 28.5, SD 8.8, CV 30.8, CF 68%. (sold)

Justalit'l Shasta - four year old Ag smirslet flecket ewe - AFD 28.9, SD 6.9, CV 23.7, CF 63.6% (FS)

WhitePine Skor - 2 yr old shaela ewe - AFD 22.8, SD 6.2, CV 27.2, CF 85.9% (NFS)

Sheltering Pines Snow Cloud - 2 yr old gray katmoget ewe - AFD 28.1, 6.3, CV 22.5, CF 66.9% (NFS)

Minwawe Sterling - black krunet 2 yr old ewe - AFD 23.4, sd 5.9, CV 25.2, CF 87.7% (FS) Another really low, fine fleeced domestic ewe available!

FifthofFifth Taika - balck gulmoget 2 yr old ewe - AFD 23.2, SD 5.7, CV 24.8, CF 88.5% (NFS)

WhitePine Twix - moorit iset 2 yr old ewe - 26.3 AFD, SD 7.9, CV 30.2, CF 75.1 (Sold)

Underhill Ulla - 6 yr old moorit ewe - AFD 29.7, SD 6.5, CV 22.1, CF 59.2% (NFS)

I will be microning the yearling ewes this fall as I completely forgot to take samples from this as they were in a seperate pen! UGH!! :)

Shetland Ram Microns

I had microned all of my mature and yearling rams (including those I just butchered) and had some great microns come back! Unfortuantely no one wanted them. They taste good nonetheless but I guess that is the buyers loss ;)

UnderTheSon Arapaho yearling moorit ram: AFD 25.5, SD 5.3, CV 20.7, CF 84%. I'm going to hold him over another year to see if he holds. Lease for this year is available.

UnderTheSon Mohican yearling fawn katmoget ram: AFD 24.2, SD 6.5, CV 26.7, CF82.4% He is more intermediate. He will be for sale or lease.

WhitePine Lyons shaela yearling (Jazz x Lavender) AFD 24.4, SD 5.7, CV 23.5, CF 83.7% He is a tasty burger now! (too bad for someone else)

WhitePine Romeo black yearling scurred ram (Barish x Rahu) AFD 24.3, sD 6.5, 26.7 CV, 82% CF. He also is quite tasty!

WhitePine Rico yearling bersugget (Aman x Rachildas) AFD 21.3, 5.7 SD, 26.8 CV, 92.1% CF! He is also tasty..pity.

WhitePine Masonville (Heath x Layla) yearling black ram NCWGA: AFD 21.2, SD 5.8, 27.2 CV, CF of 89.3. He is also very tasty! :)

FirthofFifth Barish AI (Timothy x Boppitty) two year old gray katmoget scurred ram: AFD 22.4, SD 5.9, CV 26.4, CF 89.1.

Wintertime Jazz AI (Jericho x Izzy) two year old gray katmoget smirslet ram: AFD 25.4, SD 5.6, CV of 22.3, CF 80.7%. Interestingly enough he doesn't FEEL any less fine. He still has an amazing handle is still quite soft for any two year old out there! ;)

Microns are IN!!

I was a procrastinator with the fleece samples to be sent in. I knew whose fleece I didn't like and kind of knew who would probably move on just based on their fleeces, although they had many other outstanding attributes. Since my #1 goal is fineness of fleece, these reports are of a lot of merit to me.

Granted yes I still do structural exams and cull accordingly but sometimes if they have nice structure and not so great fleece I keep them around as they throw nice lambs when bred to soft rams. Opposite is true if I have a nicely fleeced animal but not so great in structure. Now that I am in a position where I feel I really have the basis for what I want my flock to look like, I can start to move out ewes that are not necessarily the softest themselves, but will produce it, and can move out softer ewes that are not so structurally correct. Again, all have their merits or I would not have kept them so long! :)

I did all yearling and mature rams as well as all of the BFLs and all of my mature Shetland ewes (I did not do yearling shetland ewes as I did them last fall).

I'm very happy to report that my flock average is AFD 26.1, SD 6, CV 22.9! My goal of 25 AFD, 5 SD and 25 CV is within reach! And all from just choosing the sheep with the most promise and breeding specifically for an end result as well as culling quite heavily!

Yes that is for all mature ewes even! Like eight and nine years old! :)

I did also butcher a ram that I didn't like his hind end the last few months and he was my most cosistent along the fiber, as well as softest yearling. He was out of Jazz and Bono Creek Lavender Brown. Lavender incidentally found a new home this weekend in Wisconsin :P

I"m a very happy shepherd! I'll be adding numbers as I have time. I had a busy weekend this weekend :) :) More on that later!

BFL micron results:

BFLs are known for their fine fleece for a longwool breed, but that is not their main purpose. That is for the crossing onto hill and upland ewe breeds to make mules. Currently in the UK they are the most heavily used ram to make crossbred lambs in the UK!

What is great is that they really do have a fine and consistent fleece!

My ram:
Sheltering Pines Burma - natural colored yearling ram 62% UK -

AFD 24.5, SD 4.4, CV of 18. Comfort Factor of 91.1%

Beechtree Kershope - white two year old ewe - 54.5% UK

AFD 29.6, SD 4.8, CV of 16.3. Comfort Factor of 56.4%

Beechtree Kiloran - natural colored yearing ewe - 45% UK

AFD 25, SD 4.3, CV of 17.3. Comfort Factor of 90.1%

Crosswind Bea - natural colored yearling ewe - 54% UK

AFD 25.2, SD 4.2, CV of 16.8. Comfort Factor of 90.4%

Crosswind Clover - white yearling ewe - 53% UK

AFD 26.8, SD 5.3, CV of 20. Comfort Factor of 76.1%

Sheltering Pines Nubia - natural colored yearling ewe - 58% UK

AFD 24.4, SD 4.3, CV of 17.6. Comfort Factor of 91.9%

Sheltering Pines Morovia - white yearling ewe - 56.5% UK

AFD 24.4, SD 4.1, CV of 16.8. Comfort Factor of 93.3%

Potosi Llandewi - white yearling ewe - 59% UK

AFD 25.3, SD 4.5, CV of 17.8. Comfort Factor of 87.9%

Potosi Glamorgan - white yearling ewe -

AFD 25.2, SD 4.2, CV of 16.5. CF of 91.2%

Beechtree Mayburgh - white yearling ewe -

AFD 22.2, SD 4.1, CV of 18.6 with a CF of 97%

I am really happy with how nice they all are! I'm already excited for next year's lamb crop!! >:)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Newest Additions

About two weeks ago I had my first yearling hen (3rd generation of my breeding) hatch 6 of the 9 eggs she was laying on. She had laid 15 eggs earlier in the year but the Guineas had hit the plastic pail she was nesting in and disturbed the nest so badly that she abandoned her nest! i was so upset! Fortunately she hatched out 6 of the 9 eggs and has only lost one chick (this weekend while I was away at a dog show). She has five remaining. She is shown in the photo above.

The next three photos are of a hen (half sister to the hen above) that is also a yearling and this is her first round of eggs. She laid 11 eggs and had 9 hatch while I was away this weekend and we lost one somehow (I found it pecked to death on Sunday when I arrived home). She has 8 little youngsters that are just so adorable. I forget how tiny the babies are!

So if anyone wants any chicks (ahem NANCY K!) do let me know! They are bred down from top show quality stock from South Carolina called CHOICE BANTAMS and I am so extremely pleased with them!

And last but certainly not least is Owl Hill Butter. She is line bred on Heights Orion and Enfield Greyling and is 72% UK. She came from Michelle McMillen in OR but was bred by Susan Kimball in CA. Her yearling fleece test was AFD: 24.4, SD 5.6, CV 23.1 with a Comfort Factor of 85.7%. I am planning on AI'ing her this fall. She is currently in quarantine in a barn on the other side of the farm with Sea Breeze and her ewe lamb as we await our OPP, Johne's, CL, BT testing as well as fecal testing and health exam :)

Updated lamb photos - PHOTO HEAVY!

After 3 inches of rain fell, I decided it was a great time to get some photos of the lambs with their lock structure a bit more apparent.

WhitePine Barnabas (Heights Orion x FirthofFifth Booto F1 Timothy). He will more than likely be getting a group of girls this fall, pending microns of course. AbAa, BbBb, SSSS, MMMm. 76% UK.
WhitePine Ephraim - mioget. (Heights Orion x FirthofFifth Evidence of Autumn). Full brother to FirthofFifth Aman that Bill Stearman has now. He will more than likely also be getting a breeding group this fall.
This is Ephraim's twin sister Eve. Both are 62.5 % UK. It looks as though both will be mioget. Both are BbBb, SSS?, MmMm, AaAa.
Eve walking
Eve walking again...

Below is Justalit'l Black Lambo (Bramble Dixen daughter) and her twin moorit lambs (ram and ewe) out of Heights Orion. Both are beautiful single coated sheep. Her ram lamb will more than likely be for sale.

Sheltering Pines Fleur de Lis with her black ewe lamb WhitePine Festus out of Wintertime Jazz. She has a powerhouse of a build and I'm waiting to see how her fleece will be. It looks to be long single coat at this point.WhitePine Faith walking away from me (Wintertime Jazz x Miwawe Flopsy) She carries moorit and is built beautifully.
Here is Faith from the front.
Her is Underhill Peep (F2 Greyling/F2 Jamie) and one of her sons out of Heights Orion. He is looking to stay moorit (maybe a dark fawn) with nice horns and build. He is 75% UK and will more than likely be staying here.

Another shot of the pair. I couldn't get him to raise his head up!
WhitePine Lot (Wintertime Jazz x Bono Creek Lavender Brown) has been sold to a great lady in Florida. He will making the trip back with several ewes this September. He is the bluest fleeced katmoget I've had to date and is super crimpy. Very single coated!

Winter Sky Layla (F1 Orion) and her gray katmoget ewe lamb out of Wintertime Jazz. She is 76% UK and very soft, even and single coated. In the background you can see a dark gray katmoget ram lamb and a fawn katmoget ewe lamb. They are twins out of Justalit'l Chloe and Greenholme Holly. The ram is WhitePine Caihpas who will more than likely have a breeding group this fall and his sister is WhitePine Candace. They are 65.5% UK.Another shot of Lydia.
And again...These boys below are with their mother in the background (Underhill Ulla). Their sire is Shirehill Minder. The musket on the left is also smirslet (almost yuglet) sokket with a white tail. the ram on the right is a fawn katmoget that I think is light badgerface as I'm losing the pattern on him and he cannot be Ag as his sire was AgAb and the lamb either had to be AgAa or AbAa as their mother is in the photo and is AaAa. I haven't decided if either one will be for sale yet. Micron tests will tell the story.

The next two photos are of WhitePine Skor's ram lamb. She is shaela and he looks as though he will be shaela as well. His sire is FirthofFifth Barish so this ram lamb is an F2 Timothy and looks to be a scurred boy.
This handsome man will be available for sale.

And look whose back! Minwawe Sea Breeze is back and this time with a ewe lamb! The lamb is named Ivy and is out of Wintertime Jazz. She is a smirslet sokket with a white tail ewe lamb. I may keep her or I am wililng to sell the pair together.

Serving Time

These two boys are serving time behind 'bars' as they are constantly sliding underneath my woven sheep fencing! I haven't had time to go and add an electric wire to the 'temporary' fencing so they are being forced to spend a long 'time out' in the barn.
Jazz is REALLY sorry and was begging for chin scratches.
Mohician seemed a bit confused as to why he was inside.
Here he looks a little more guilty. Shame shame!!

Available sheep

With my work load continuing to pile up, and less time to spend with the sheep, I am offering the following: My entire flock of BlueFaced ...