Wednesday, September 30, 2009

UK photos

Brenda was over in Scotland for 10 days and was super nice enough to stop in at Robin McEwen's house to take some photos of sheep for me!!

Two posts worth!

Even a poll carrier in there Juliann!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ground Breeding Groups

If you missed it, I did my BFL breeding groups a few posts ago....

My Shetland breeding groups are actually quite tiny!

Wintertime Jazz (F1 Jericho) 87.5% UK - Ab/Aa, BB/BB, Ss/Ss will have the following ewes:

ShelteringPines SnowCloud - smirslet gray katmoget ewe. This year she gave me the little black yuglet sokket ewe lamb that really belonged to Suzanne in AK. She graciously let me keep her and I'm repeating the breeding so Suzanne can get something out of her too!

Sommarang Emerald - black flecket ewe. She has not been bred as of yet, and she is already two. I wanted to use her on AI but don't want to use a virgin ewe on AI just incase she isn't breedable. It sounds silly as we AI all of our virgin heifers. I'm hoping for some flashly loud lambs.

WhitePine Rush - white ewe - F2 Orion. She didn't lamb as a yearling, so she'll go back in with Jazz in hopes of a lovely white ewe lamb.

BlackForest Tilly - black gulmoget ewe - She gave me a gorgeous black ewe lamb this spring and will go with Jazz in hopes of a pretty black gulmoget lamb.

FirthofFifth Angus - shaela gulmoget 25% UK ram will get the following ewes: (and of course all gulmoget lambs!)

WhitePine Sedalia - smirslet sokket gray katmoget ewe. Finest of my yearlings.

WhitePine Centennial - gray katmoget ewe. She gave me a gorgeous ram lamb this spring.

Sommarang Eva - gray katmoget ewe. She hasn't been bred before either and is already two. If I could, I would also AI her but afraid to take that chance.

That's it for ground breedings!

I know!

Crazy huh?

I am not planning at this point to use any of my F1 ram lambs, unless perhaps as back up rams. I had also hoped on using Angus heavily this fall, but with so many ewes slated for AI, and no ewe lambs being bred, I don't have the ewes left to put to him!

My other 10 Shetland ewes will go to the BFLs for Mule lambs.

WhitePine Columbine - black ewe with double coat. Its super soft for a primitive.
WhitePine Twix - moorit two year old who went iset. Lovely build.
WhitePine Castle Rock - gray katmoget yearling. She may get ground bred pending micron. Gave me a gorgeous ewe lamb this spring.
Minwawe Sea Breeze - moorit smirslet sokket. Too coarse for my taste.
Minwawe Dark Chocolate - jet black yearling. Beautiful structure. Very coarse (30 afd as a lamb!)
Minwawe Flopsy - moorit ewe. Proven aged ewe. I kept her daughter this year so can use her now in crossbreeding. Perfect conformation
Minwawe RedBud - shaela ewe. Smaller ewe with soft fleece for a domestic. Would like to use her to ground breeding but don't want another pen to water.
FifthofFifth Evidence of Autumn - mioget ewe. Does wonderful with AI rams, but other nice ewes to AI with this year.
RYL Rachildas - white ewe. I've kept every lamb produced here so far from her so can use her now in the crossing.
Justalit'l Shasta - Ag flecket smirslet horned ewe. She hasnt' produced what I've wanted from her in the past two years so I'm putting her to the BFL until something wonderful can be used on her.

The Shetland-Cheviot crosses and Shetland Mules will go to a Texel ram lamb. That i have yet to purchase or pick out. I have two weeks to find one and go and get him. Let's home the money comes in from working so I can do that :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

SABRINA ROCKS! (lots of fleece photos!)

After a sunny morning the day grew dark and it got windy and started to pour out. Sabrina arrived around 5pm and we started looking at sheep in the very cold weather! She mentioned she had her 12x zoom 8.8 megapixel camera along and we took nearly 100 photos! It is SO wonderful to have a fellow shepherd around to help take photos....they seem to know the kind of photos we both like ;)

These are the best of each sheep that we took photos of (we were extremely cold..working with wet sheep in the wind!)

The photos have been re-sized as they wouldn't download otherwise to if you click on them they may be ok. Its really hard to photograph super fine crimp with any kind of flash (so we found out today!) so some of them you have to look really hard :) But I can assure you its REALLY there!

Below is WhitePine Barnabas - fawn katmoget - 75% UK F1 Orion F2 Timothy. His crimp is so fine, it was hard to get a photo of it!
WhitePine Benaniah - 62.5% UK - F1 Orion out of Lambo. He MAY have abherant horns as they are growing funny. nice moorit color. MAY be for sale pending microns.

His twin sister WhitePine Bethany. She is just lovely.
My F1 Holly boy out of Justlalit'l Chloe. He is also super fine. WhitePine Caiphas gray katmoget.
WhitePine Ephraim - dark mioget - 62.5% UK F1 Orion. Full brother to FirthofFifth Aman.
OwlHill Miss Lilly F1 Holly, F2 Orion (81% UK) black ewe. Perfect conformation, wonderful cushy, soft, dense fleece. And the crimp shows up too!
WhitePine Lydia - 81% UK F2 Jericho, F2 Orion etc. gray katmoget ewe lamb.
WhitePine Naomi - fawn katmoget - Wintertime Blues x ShelteringPines Nirvana. She's just gorgeous!
WhitePine Philemon - fawn F1 Orion F3 Greyling F3 Jamie (75%UK)
Owlhill Pranilla 75%UK F1 Greyling F2 Orion. Gray ewe. Super depth of body, width, dense, soft fleece.
WhitePine Reuben. black ram. perfect horns and conformation. Lovely crimp coming in. UndertheSon Arapaho x FirthofFifth Rahu.
WhitePine Roman. twin to Rhodes who now lives in Mississippi. Gorgeous conformation and lovely crimp with luster.
Owlhill Queen Sarafina. Gorgeous fine crimp, luster, density, cushion, conformation. This ewe has it all.
WhitePine Sedalia. Her fleece is nearly more BFL like this year, but still super soft and fine.
Her full sister from this year, WhitePine Selah - gray katmoget smirslet ewe. May not be as fine but still lovely crimp and soft.
The last two photos are WhitePine Ulam, the F1 Minder son who I believe is light badgerface and not Ag. These were specifically for Corinne :P

Ram Lamb Photos

Well this post was SUPPOSED to be one where I have updated photos of all the ewes. Yea. That didn't happen :) It went from a nice sunny day to a cooler, windier, darker day with rain in the forecast for this afternoon. I figured since I had the ram lambs collected in their lean waiting for Sabrina to come and pick up Courante, I would just take photos of the boys.... :) Hey its Sunday, its SUPPOSED to be a lazy day :) All of my AI ram lambs were recently weighed in between 60 pounds and 75 pounds. Not too bad for six month old grass fed Shetlands huh?

And WOW do I need a different camera!!

The first few photos are of WhitePine Ephraim. He is 62.5% UK and is an F1 Orion .Yes he is mioget, but the flash made his face much darker and less golden than it should be. His fleece is just to die for! NFS.

Side view of Ephraim.
Ephraim hiding behind WhitePine Reuben (who is out of UnderTheSon Arapaho and FirthofFifth Rahu) Reuben is going to PA in the spring.
This photos shows the nice wide rear of Eprhaim and again with Reuben.
WhitePine Barnabas (aka Bug) is my 76% UK ram lamb. F1 Orion, F2 Timothy with some Lightning way back in there. His fleece is super crimpy also. just exquisite! The last few fleece buyers that came up really loved my F1 lamb fleeces and couldn't believe how crimpy, soft and fine they were! Most of their fleeces are already reserved :) NFS

WhitePine Uphaz. 69% UK F1 Minder. He's musket, smirslet sokket with white tail. His horns are VERY slow growing in comparison to his brother Ulam, so not sure if he is a poll carrier or not? Some have said Minder was a poll carrier. NFSWhitePine Rufus. F1 Orion, fawn, intermediate fleece. Slow growing horns, his one horn when he was very little got caught in the fence and pulled off his sheath on his right hand side. He's very square and compact isn't he ? He's for sale.
WhitePine Roman. It was a toss up between his twin brother Rhodes and him. Roman has more Illget marking on his face, ears and legs, but other than that, they were pretty much identical. I did like Rhodes' face a bit better but maybe it was the Illget marking throwing it off? Roman is very crimpy and correct. F1 Orion. NFS. He was just stopping from a walk when I took this photo, so his back legs are NOT wonky!
WhitePine Phiheas. F1 Orion/F3 Greyling/F3 Jamie. 75% UK musket. long scurs or abherrant horns. Did not have horn buds at birth and took several months for any growth to start growing. He's available for sale. he could be modified too!
Phineas' twin brother, WhitePine Philemon, a fawn ram with super crimp coming in now. Longer single coat, 76% UK F1 orion F3 Greyling F3 Jamie. NFS.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Shetland AI group

The following girls are slated for LAI this fall. Each has a list of merits that I feel are worthy of using on LAI.

Justalit'l Black Lambo - black ewe - 25% UK - proven poll carrier Bramble Dixen daughter. She had fabulous lambs out of Heights Orion this past year and I need to use her again this year. She is slated for Todhill Jericho. She has very little iset as an 8 year old, good teeth yet and was in great condition feeding twins all year. Her microns were, as an 8 year old, AFD 27.2, SD 6.2, CV22.7, CEM 10.9, CF of 70%

Justlit'l Chloe - fawn katmoget (homozygous for katmoget) 31.25% UK - Underhill Bartok daughter. She has amazing conformation and a great mom. Last year was bred to Greenholme Holly and gave me beautiful lambs. This year will be bred to either Heights Orion or Heatheram Lightning. Her fleece tests were AFD 30.3, SD 6.3, CV 20.7 CEM of 13.3 and CF of 56.8%. Although not super soft, her lambs have all been dynamite when bred to AI.

RiverOaks Eliza - white ewe - 18% UK - last year we tried to AI her but the day before the sponges were to be pulled, hers came out :( We'll try again this year and we are breeding her to Campaign Timothy. Eliza is my softest mature ewe with AFD of 26.6, SD 5.6, CV of 21.1 and a CEM of 10.8, CF of 79.3%

RiverOaks Lucy - gray katmoget ewe - proven poll carrier. 34% UK - Last year we used her on Willowcroft Jamie and got an amazing smooth polled krunet black ram lamb. This year she will be bred to Greenholme Holly. Lucy's fleece test was AFD 27.7, SD 4.9, CV of 17.8, CEM of 7.9, CF of 70.6%

Underhill Ulla - moorit ewe - 38% UK - last year was bred to Shirehill Minder and gave me two gorgeous rams. This year I will breed her to Heights Orion in hopes of some pretty moorits (I have hardly any solid moorit ewes!) AFD 29.7, SD 6.5, CV 22.1, CEM 11.9, CF 59.2%. Her daughter last year out of a ground breeding had phenominal fleece. Her Minder ram lambs i think will also be something special.

FirthofFifth Rahu - white ewe - 31% UK - She will be bred to Willowcroft Jamie this fall. Rahu carries solid (Aa) and I'm hoping for moorit or white ewe lambs! Her micron was just spectacular this year. 27.6 AFD, SD 5.1, CV 18.6, CEM 9.2, CF 73.8%

FirthofFifth Taika - black gulmoget - 44% UK - She will be bred to Shirehill Minder this fall (I'm hoping for my Ag gulmoget ewe lamb!) 23.2 AFD, SD 5.7, CV 24.8, CEM 12.4, CF 88.5%

ShelteringPines Fleur de Lis - smirslet gray katmoget - 44%UK - she will be bred to Greenholme Holly in hopes of those spots! 27.3 AFD, SD 5.8, CV 21.3, CEM 11, CF 72.2%

ShelteringPines Nirvana - horned gray katmoget ewe - 36.5% UK - she gave me awesome twin ewe lambs out of Wintertime Blues (F1 Jericho) this past year and will be bred to Heights Orion this fall. AFD 28.5, SD 5.9, CV 20.6, CEM 10.2, CF 65.2%

ShelteringPines Myra - fawn katmoget - 22% UK - gave me a gorgeous ram lamb this spring from Jazz (F1 Jericho) and will be bred to Heights Orion this fall. pending new micron results

WhitePine Skor - shaela ewe - 28% UK - will be bred to Heights Orion in hopes of getting more modified lambs. AFD 22.8, SD 6.2, CV 27.2, CEM 13.4, CF 85.9%

OwlHill Butter - musket ewe 72%UK - will be bred to Todhill Jericho. Jericho is homozygous katmoget, but I really would like an AgAb moget faced ewe again! AFD 24.4, SD 5.6, CV 23.1, CF of 85.7%

Owlhill Pranilla - gray ewe - 75%UK - will be bred to either Todhill Jericho or Willowcroft Jamie. I'm waiting micron results to decide. waiting on results

Owlhill Miss Lilly - black ewe - 81% UK - will be bred to Todhill Jericho. Both she and Jericho carry moorit so that could be an exciting blend also. waiting on results

Owlhill Sarafina - gray ewe - 53% UK - will be bred most likely to Campaign Timothy, pending micron results.

Several others ewes I"m on the fence about (gosh you are thinking ISN"T THAT ENOUGH ALREADY?) are:

FirthofFifth Booto - fawn katmoget F1 Timothy 53% UK - last fall was bred to heights orion. her ram lamb is just stunning and would like to put her on perhaps Lightning to give her lambs some size as she is quite dainty at 60 pounds. AFD 26.1, SD 6.8, CV 26.3, CEM 13.8, CF 77%

ShelteringPines Nessebar - gray smirslet katmoget - 38%UK - I'm waiting on micron results to find out if I should use her or not.

Wintertime Galina - black gulmoget (solid sided) 47% UK - I'm also waiting on her micron results to find out if I should AI her.

I have two other yearlings that I'm thinking about using, however they haven't really grown much this year and think perhaps I should wait a year with them when I know they can carry twins with the AI more readily, but I'm so impatient..I just don't know.

And I think I'll sponge a few 'extra' girls in case any of the 'chosen' ones pop their sponge out early or can't be AI'ed at all, like what happened last year (one ewe in each instance).

AI confirmed

Our AI for November 7th has been confirmed!

Details on ewes and semen will be forthcoming.

If you'd like to AI along with us, do send me a note!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

BFL breeding groups more concrete

BFL breeding groups:

Beechtree Kirkdale - white twin ram - 65.6% UK (Titan, Titus, Laird, Ebony Boy)

will be bred to:
Crosswind Bea - natural colored ewe - 54% UK (Laird, CarryHouse V2, Titus, Loyalty, EbonyBoy)

ShelteringPines Morovia - white ewe - 56.6% UK (CarryHouse V2, Titus, Laird, Loyalty, Jamie, EbonyBoy)

ShelteringPines Nubia - natural colored ewe - 58% UK (Titus, Laird, EbonyBoy, CarryHouse V2, Ebony Boy, Loyalty, Jamie)

ShelteringPines Catalonia - white ewe - 61% UK (CarryHouse V2, Titus, Laird, Ebony Boy, Loyalty, Jamie)

ShelteringPines Burma - natural colored ram - 61% UK (CarryHouse V2, Titus, Laird, Ebony Boy, Loyalty, Jamie)
will be bred to:

Beechtree GlenLuce - natural colored ewe - 56%UK (Titus, Laird, Ebony Boy, Loyalty, Jamie)

Beechtree Kiloran - natural colored ewe - 45% UK (Laird, Titus, Loyalty, EbonyBoy, Jamie)

Potosi Llanddewi - white ewe - 59% UK (Titus, Jamie, Loyalty, Laird, Ebony Boy)

Crosswind Clover - white ewe - 53% UK - (Titus, CHV2, Laird, Loyalty, Ebony Boy, Jamie)

and if not bred to AI this fall:
Beechtree Kershope - white ewe - 54.7%UK (Titus, CHV2, Laird, Titan, Loyalty, Jamie, EbonyBoy) (will be bred to Burma)

Beechtree Kearsley - white ewe - 50% UK (CHV2, Laird, Loyalty) (will be bred to Kirkdale)

If the mother daughter duo do in fact get AI'ed, they will be to the Beeston Titan ram, or Rossiebank X3.

Kearsley is homozygous white, so bred to either Kirk or Rossiebank X3 (who are color carriers) will only produce white lambs, ideal for those who want to produce mules and only get white mule lambs.

I'm not breeding my twin white ewe lambs that did so well at Jefferson, nor am I breeding Kacy, my natural colored ewe lamb out of Burma x Kershope. They will stay in the bachelorette pen this fall with the Shetland ewe lambs :)

To say I'm excited about these BFLs is an understatement! With only two ewes that have any kind of obvious fault (others having only slightly minor ones) the opportunity for great lambs is pretty high!

I plan on putting the BFLS together around October 15th, that's just over 2 weeks away! Yikes!!

Mule post is next......

Monday, September 21, 2009

Breeding groups so far....

I'm planning on putting my Texel ram lamb in with my Shetland-Cheviot ewe lambs and Shetland Mule ewe lambs on October 15th. I'm also putting my BFL rams in with my BFL ewes this day. I"m going to wait two weeks to do the BFL rams with the Shetland mules that I am going to do for Mule production and the ground breedings will be put together at that time as well.

With the AI planned for November 7th (pending final approval by Martin Daly), they will be my LAST group of ewes to lamb. I WILL put them in with a clean up ram 2 weeks after my AI, but if any do take to the clean up ram, they will be due the very end of April. Whatever doesn't cycle and settle by that time, will just have to sit out the year.

I realize this is about 5-6 weeks of lambing, but I do want to hope to move my lambing dates up to the end of March, versus the end of April. I found my March born lambs this year grew much faster and better on the spring pastures, than the May born lambs did on the summer grasses. I'll hopefully be able to have more/better data next year when this happens.

Depending on AI or not, I am not sure who exactly is going with who, and which rams will be used. As much as I'd love to use some of the F1 ram lambs, I may hold off using them (Pending outstanding micron results of course!)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Calves and critiques

I haven't taken many photos of the cattle this summer. Mostly because I was really preoccupied with the dogs and sheep this spring, but now have more time to 'think' about my cattle.

While I was away at Jefferson, the cattle decided it was time to come home and my dad found them in our front yard!

When I came home it was really my first time examining the entire herd that was in our Northern Pasture. When the calves came from around the corner my jaw just dropped! The calves were JUST spectacular!! Shiny coats, wonderful muscling, gorgeous conformation and just STYLE STYLE STYLE! Our shorter days makes it harder for me to take photos of them without the gold hue to the animals, which doesn't really show off their true color or physique.

I have two older heifers that REALLY caught my eye. a black baldy and a red baldy. Upon looking online they have the same sire, and their mothers are mother/daughter so they are quite related and only different in color! Photos i promise soon! The best part is their EPDs are just stacked! The black baldy is in the top 15-25% of the BREED for her traits. The Red Baldy is in the top 20-35%. I have typically had herd averages above the 50% breed average./

There are two solid black bulls, a solid red bull and a black goggle faced bull that are also very stunning. I can't decide who to keep as we sold all of our homegrown bulls this spring in anticipation of the new bull I had purchased. It turned out he was sterile so I didn't have to pay for him.

In light of that, we had no purebred Simmental bulls at home to use, or any local breeders to call on. We ended up renting a Red Angus bull to cover our cows. Although he is a nice deep cherry red color, all of the calves will be commercial calves next year. The Simmental x Angus and Simmental x Red Angus crosses are the biggest sellers now on the market, so I feel I can recoop quite a bit of expense next year by going with the crosses.

That is why I'm needing to retain several bull prospects. In the past we kept a spotted bull, a red bull and a black bull for our three herds. With our continually decling cattle herd, we dont' feel the need to keep three bulls to use for breeding, maybe one or two. We WILL be keeping 4 over the winter though.....three to butcher next spring and one to use for breeding :)

While I do have time to decide who to use for breeding, registration fees increase exponentially every month after they are 6 months old. A yearling bull would cost around 150 dollars to register. That's just not an option for me. I need to decide NOW.

I am very much in to the EPDs as well as the structure and temperament of the animals. While I love one of the solid black bulls conformation, his temperament and his pedigree, and he does have the most perfect head (I'm a sucker for a beautiful head!). Unfortunately he suffers in the EPDs (Expected Progeny Data....things like Calving ease, birth weights, weaning weights, milk, carcass traits, etc) and the other bulls excel more in the EPDs. I sometimes get lucky if I do my homework and find one that excels in both EPDs and conformation AND temperament :)

Photos soon. I need to stop gushing over them!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New page added to my website

I've added several links and information from other websites that describes micron testing and understanding. Its quite a lot of reading and a lot to take in, so grab some tea or coffee and settle in for a good read! In case you don't want to visit the website I've added several of the links (but not all...I know I'm a tease!) The link to my webpage is This first link is the OFDA 2000 explanation that the Texas A&M facility uses to test our fleeces (one of the many tests they perform).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gray Katmoget fleeces

Susan had asked about the bluish hue to the fleeces in my gray katmogets. I'm really loving the bluish tones that they have, and they are a good sell when I do not have enough gray fleeces to fill orders.

Tonight my dad and I collected 40 fleece samples that are going to be sent in to Texas A&M for micron testing. I did NOT do my yearlings this spring, so I'm doing them this fall. There are 11 that I collected from. Also 4 two year old ewes, 12 ram lambs and 13 ewe lambs. These are just small samples I'm keeping for myself :) And wanted to share!

PLEASE CLICK TO BIGGIFY to see any photos! I am in desperate need of a camera that will do the tiny crimp in the fleeces justice. Until then, you'll need to suffer along with me. I'd be happy to send samples to anyone who wants some to see.

Above is WhitePine Selah (gray katmoget ewe) out of Wintertime Jazz AI x Minwawe Sterling

This is the full sister to Selah, a yearling named WhitePine Sedalia (gray katmoget smirslet sokket ewe).

Sheltering Pines Nessebar is above here (smirslet gray katmoget ewe) out of ShelteringPines Starry Night and Sheltering Pines Morgan La Fey.

Above is WhitePine Neriah (gray katmoget smirslet ewe) out of Wintertime Blues AI(Jazz twin brother) and ShelteringPines Nirvana.

Above is WhitePine Lydia (gray katmoget ewe) out of Wintertime Jazz AI and WinterSky Layla AI

Above is WhitePine Faith (gray katmoget krunet sokket ewe) Wintertime Jazz AI x Minwawe Flopsy.

WhitePine Charity is my only gray katmoget ewe lamb with little blue hue to her fleece. Her sire is FirthofFifth Barish AI (F1 Timothy) x WhitePine Castle Rock (F2 Jericho). Her fleece is now just coming in with the smallest tiniest crimp out of any lambs this year! Lori Stephanson had the option to take her mother and I think she made a mistake by not taking her! Look at what she can produce!!

This is NOT a katmoget, but an F1 Orion ewe lamb out of Justalit'l Black Lambo (Bramble Dixen daughter). This is a fawn/light moorit ewe lamb with the awesome-est crimp!

My camera sucks so I had to hold the last two to the light to show you the awesome, tiny crimp!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jefferson - Sunday

Theresa and Carol have some great info on the Sunday event (with photos even!)

I had an amazing time on Sunday! I thought I would get to have the morning to roam the vendors and the fairgrounds ( I have YET to watch the working Border Collies either!) but I found out the Mule show as at 10:30am. I was asked to help the Gygi's with their mules and was glad to do, since I had decided before the show to purchase two of the Shetland mules from them. As luck would have it, they took 1st and 2nd in the class of mule ewe lambs, and then the 1st place ewe lamb also went on to win Champion mule ewe with dam and reserve champion mule ewe! To say that I was pretty pleased is an understatement :) Below is the photo of the winning mule ewe lamb with her dam.

I also had talked to Theresa earlier about her Cheviot x Shetland cross ewe lambs. I loved the faces on her ewe lamb crosses she brought last year to Jefferson. I had been really thinking about adding a few just as a small 'science project' and boy am I glad I did! These girls are just as stunning as the Shetland mules, but slightly different, which is good! I wish I could catch their pretty faces UP :)

I have plans to mate all 5 to a Texel ram lamb this fall to get my first 3rd tier UK system of grass fed lamb data for those hard to prove to local producers :) I am REALLY excited about the Shetland mules after what our judge John Stott said about them. Just because of this I've changed my entire Shetland breeding groups and am going to take 15-20 Shetland ewes and breed them to the BFL for mule lambs !!

Jefferson - Saturday - Photos

I did manage to gimp into the ring a few times on Saturday, as Briony had my 'other' animal in the classes as well :) I did pay for it...having to be on crutches the remainder of the day and a swollen ankle on my GOOD foot for putting weight on it more than usual. A little pain, a little glory right?

The next two photos showed the Winter Ram lamb class. This was the ram lamb I purchased from Brenda this year. Brenda is showing his twin brother. Kirk and I were 2nd to his brother but that is ok. I really like his brother too :)

Mr John Stott going over Kirkdale while I scratch Kirk's neck below.

Below here you will see the Spring Ewe lamb class. Here, my Prima was in second place and just after this, she and the third place ewe were switched. My other ewe lamb is behind Carol and the judge. I think Briony is hiding from the camera? :)Here is another shot of Briony with GlenLuce, and Peggy is making notes and making sure everything is marked down properly.
Many MANY thanks to Leanne Reichert for sending me these awesome photos!! :)

Sunday's results when I get back from work!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jefferson - Saturday


BFLBA info board

Saturday morning EARLY we got up and headed back to the show. It was time to pick hay out of fleeces, wash faces and ears and give the 'once over' to make sure everyone was 'ready' for the show. Since I haven't been able to really halter train anyone, I was pretty nervous but true to BFL style, they were quite docile and quiet in the ring :)

I don't have the official results but I do believe that the CH white ram was a yearling of Lelli's, with ResCH going to a spring ram lamb of Carol Bators. CH white ewe was a yearling of Lelli's and reserve I'm not quite sure.

I do know that the judge really appreciated all of the lambs and I think there were 11 or 13 spring ewe lambs. He cut out 5 for his top line and my two girls placed 3rd and 5th. I was very happy with that! My yearling ewes placed highest at 4th place out of I think 7? I need to check.

The Natural Colored BFLs were next. John had never judged the NC BFLs before as he said they were kind of taboo and that most breeders didn't talk about them for fear people would find out they had them. I heard some wonderful history on them but unfortunately have been told not to share :) lol!

Champion NC ram was Lelli's and resCH NC ram I believe was also Lelli's. CH NC ewe was Lelli's and ResCH ewe was mine, which happened to be purchased from Lelli's :) My friend Briony is showing her below and being awarded the ribbon.

The overall quality was great John kept commenting and I can tell he enjoyed his judging as he was smiling from time to time and gave me (and perhaps others) compliments as he went about his work judging :)

During the "Finer points of the BFL" that John gave, I asked him what
his or their, priorities were for raising purebred BFLs. I was going to
post these to my blog, but since the discussion came up here, I'll add
what I learned. Hopefully Carol Bator and Heather Landin can also chime in?

1. Bite . They have a terrible time with bites over there. Especially
with the 'new' crossing variety with the brown spots. The mule producers
are asking for a more dramatic roman nose, which in turn, affects the
bite in the BFLs they are trying to get to have that type of nose. He
also said there that the brown spots were not a problem anymore, as they
were the current fad with the mule buyers, but that they are typically
used only for making more crosser type BFL rams.

2. feet and legs. He said a lot of times the animals will get too heavy
and that is from feeding but it is also very much from genetics. They
have to 'walk about' and need to have strong feed and legs and showed us
the proper angle that they should have.

3. thin skinned. (this doesn't mean peeling). He actually has no problem
with the animals that have thinner fleece on the points of the
shoulders, although he didn't want bare skin to crawl up the sides of
the animal from the belly area.

He showed me on my two ewe lambs after the demonstration (and i asked
him to come and tell me what he thought of my group of sheep), he said
their fleece was the most ideal for the UK. They wanted nice coverage,
but fleece that opened nicely to the skin. This helped keep the rain
from getting to the skin and getting the animals wet and then in turn
cold. I'll try to get photos of those girls again and lock samples for
anyone who is interested in seeing them.

An open, heavy fleece would not make it in the UK as they have around
65 inches of rain a year, and those animals would be completely soaked
from the rain as their fleece would be unable to deter the water from
soaking through. He also said other than that, the fleece was
unimportant to them as they had zero market for fleece in the UK and
usually gave a couple away to people who asked for them, and the rest
sent to the lamb pool.

I asked about the white spots in the ears and he said that that wasn't
an issue really either, and that that just showed that the animals had
some crossing in the background and it was just showing up as a
recessive trait down the road. He said he thought they would make great
crossing animals.

I did tell him that in the US the breed is thought of as a fleece breed,
even though in the UK they are known as THE crossing breed. He said if
we can sell the fleece as a second income then all the power to us.

I personally believe that we should breed our BFLs true to the UK
standard and if we really wanted heavier fleeces and more pounds that
the Border Leicester serves that purpose. In my very limited experience,
the more open fleeced BFLs that I have, have been coarser than what I
would consider a typey BFL of UK type. My denser fleeced BFLs also tend
to lack some breed type, with heavier ears, lower ear set, spotted ears,
fluffier fleeces, etc. John said those fleeces would not be proper in
the UK and they'd get soaking wet, cold and sick.

The people who have purchased my BFL fleeces loved the fine, tightly purled
fleeces and plus I"m a sucker for that typey BFL head and drapey fleeces...and can't imagine them otherwise.

I'd be happy to chat with anyone on the phone about any of this if it
seems confusing or not explained properly :)

I'm very proud of these yearling ewes :)

At the "meet and greet" that evening I had a wonderful time talking with John and Christine, Michelle Stuve (Clun Forests and Clun Mules..she also raises Cardigans Welsh Corgis) Shel, Carol, her friend Debbie, Brenda, Mark, and a host of other people who I was able to meet but couldn't remember names. The food was great and the talk was wonderful. I learned a lot about farming techniques in the UK, and was able to sit back and relax with a few beer :)

After the event was over, I found Leanne Richert and her husband in the building and told them I was bummed they didn't come to the meet and greet! We chatted about AI plans, our sheep, what the judge had talked about in his seminar and at the evening social hour, etc. Leanne is a great lady :) I'm happy to have met her! Another late night of talking and I finally got out of the barn and back to the hotel by like 10pm?

Jefferson - Friday

Friday morning at 545 AM, with the assistance of my dear old Dad, we loaded up the BFLs and Shetlands into the trailer I had rented (12 foot trailer is not big enough any more...egads!) and we packed the topper full of hay and straw for the weekend.

With the sheep fed and the truck loaded with MY supplies the night before I headed out. Six hours later I arrived at Briony's place in Tomah, WI. From there it seemed like an extremely short trip (mostly because we can't shut up) and we were there by about 530pm or so? I think?

Unloading Shetlands proved interesting as the first two, the halters slipped off and we had loose sheep on the fairgrounds. Me and my gimpy foot were not prepared to handle this! VERY LUCKILY, the Shetland people ROCKED and I had everyone in the barn that was there, helping to corner and catch Peep and Castle Rock. After a brief lesson in how new halters aren't as grippy (yes I think that is a word? Spell check says 'no'.) we had the Shetlands penned and fed and watered.
Shetland girls

Shetland boys

Off to the BFL barn which was on the other side of the fairgrounds (ok a few buildings away but to a gimpy guy, it feels like miles)! After trying to figure out where to be penned, we settled on a nice area with lots of foot traffic (people, not sheep) and got everyone unloaded.

Briony doing all the work while I take pictures (hey I have a gimpy foot!) Here we have the "White Pine" BFL area. Clockwise from top: 2 mature ewes, 4 yearling ewes, 2 ewe lambs, 1 ram lamb.
Another shot of the WHITE PINE area, with the show sign and ring in the background.

Briony with Beechtree GlenLuce. Lucy stole the hearts of many passerbyers and could have been sold 10 times over, but I politely declined :) More on that reason in the next post :)

After a later than planned unloading and of course yapping with people, we headed to Ft Atkinson to find our hotel. Unfortunately neither one of us knew where it was, but we did have a lovely time driving around for what felt like hours trying to find it! After a quick shower, an email check and some delivered Jimmy John's subs we hit the hay (pun heavy) and talked well into the early hours of Saturday!

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 ...