Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Change of Plans

After a lack of sleep last night from a fear of breeding the AI ewes to the wrong rams, I conferred with my mentor, whom I respect highly and appreciate her opinion more than anyone else!

After much discussion both pros and cons this will be my final decision on the ewes to AI. the CIDRs go in on Friday. 18 Shetlands and 2 BFLs, read on about all of them! (maybe get a cup of coffee or tea).

I still after all of this is said and done will have 9 straws of semen to use down the it next year or 5 years...depends on how my lambs keep turning out :)

Campaign Timothy - black ram - a ram with unknown microns, a more intermediate fleece type that was not super consistent. His strengths were his perfect horns, his non iset fleece at 8 years of age and conformation that was astounding. These ewes we picked for him are ewes that are consistent in fleece and its structure, soft, crimpy fleeces. They excel in conformation as well so the lambs should have spot on conformation, with hopes of improving fleece style and consistency.

Timothy will be bred to the following three ewes:

WhitePine Centennial - gray katmoget ewe 56% UK F2 Jericho F3 Minder F3 Drum Ram etc
AFD 26.7, SD 4.9, CV 18.3%, CEM 8.6

RiverOaks Eliza - white ewe 18% UK - (Holly and Greyling genetics) four year old ewe.
AFD 26.6, SD 5.6, CV 21.1, CEM 10.8

OwlHill Pranilla - gray ewe 75%UK F1 Greyling, F2 Orion
AFD 29.9, SD 5.9, CV 19.8, CEM 10.2.

Greenholme Holly - blaget black ram - Holly is a proven poll carrier and some have said he is a modfied ram or carries it. Not much else is known about this ram from trying to find any information. The thing to remember about these rams that were in the first importation was that they were used on ewes that are not of the caliber of todays current ewe flock. That being said I think the results will be better as the ewes overall have better conformation and fleece qualities that I can find any information on. Again someone correct me if I'm mistaken!

Holly will get the following two ewes:

RiverOaks Lucy - gray katmoget ewe - proven poll carrier (produced my Levi this year from a non poll carrier ram Jamie). She is F3 Dillon F3/F4 Holly. I wouldn't really call it a linebreeding as its fourth generation now in the lamb, but it still goes back to Holly :)
AFD:27.7, SD 4.9, CV 17.8, CEM 7.9

ShelteringPines Fleur de Lis - smirslet gray katmoget ewe. F3/F3 Minder, F4 Holly, F4 Timothy, etc. I'm trying for spots with this breeding as well as a good fleece improvement incase the ram is super high, since we don't know his tests.
AFD: 27.3, SD 5.8, CV 21.3, CEM 11

Willowcroft Jamie - moorit ram. His conformation and depth of color were stunning and he had no iset in his fleece as a mature ram. I'm saving one of these straws for a future breeding, and the other is going to:

FirthofFifth Rahu- white illget ewe F3 Dillon, F4/F4 Lightning, F4 Greyling. Her conformation and fleece structure are fabulous! Her lambs have been great and her numbers are very promising from an improvement standpoint. She carries solid and 'could' carry moorit. I'm dying to find out!
AFD 27.6, SD 5.1, CV 18.6, CEM 9.2

Heatheram Lightning - white ram- I was so surprised to have SIX different breeders inquire about white ewes this past year, and didn't raise a single white ewe lamb! Aside from my four white ewes and a white F1 Orion ram I'm using this fall I thought it wise to use a few of these Lightning straws I had here. He carries black so we could have the possibility of something other than white, but white we are hoping for! Lightning in the photo I have seen of him seems to be quite large and long, with a 'coarse' looking face. By breeding him to two typey, feminine ewes with more breed characteristic, and finer fleeces, we are hoping for the whole package. I can be optimistic right?

FirthofFifth Koosi - gray katmoget - F1 Jericho F3 Minder etc. Proven producer and homozygous katmoget. Even the white lambs will carry katmoget so that is good to know! Consistent from front to her rear, with crimpy, even lock structure.
AFD 25.6, SD 4.4, CV17.2, CEM 7.2

BlackForest Tilly - black gulmoget - F3 Dillon etc. I had thought about using her to Orion but wanted to use those straws on solid black carrying moorit or moorit ewes to try and find those fine fleeced solid ewes and rams!
AFD 22.8, SD 5.7, CV 24.1, CEM 12.7

Shirehill Minder - Ag katmoget (moorit based). I've heard he carries or is modified and he is a proven spot producer too! I was really impressed with his ram lambs out of Ulla this year. Consistent from front to rear, very crimpy and decent microns for lambs. Not super fine but not garbage (25.5 and 25.7 AFD). Conformation and horns are stunning on them and I needed to use Minder on different styles of ewes to see what i could get:

FirthofFifth Taika - black gulmoget. She was my last 'meet the ewe' in my previous blog post

OwlHill Butter - musket - F2 Greyling F2/F3 Orion F4 Holly etc. A tall, large bodied yearling who has super soft and crimpy/consistent fleece. I am praying for no AgAg lambs but I'm sure if I got one it would be nice :)
AFD 24.4, SD 5.6, CV23.1

Justalit'l Chloe - fawn katmoget. yes she's homozygous. I can only get fawn katmogets or fawn Ag katmogets from this pairing. Chloe has really proven herself with AI to Jericho and to Holly. This will be a linebreeding as she is F2 Minder. she previous post on 'meet the ewe'

ShelteringPines Nessebar - smirslet gray katmoget. carries moorit and spots. Minder produces spots and is moorit based. The worst? Ag katmogets or AgAa lambs or homozygous katmogets. If the fleece is great why complain? Greyling, Minder, Timothy lines.

Todhill Jericho - homozygous gray katmoget. carries moorit and spotting. He is one of the two rams who I think can do the most for the NA flocks. His micron test was 25 AFD and his lambs fleeces that I've seen are incredible (think Jazz/Blues and Koosi). Since all he can throw is MORE katmoget, I'm using him selectively.....

Justalit'l Black Lambo - black ewe, no iset at nearly 9 years old. Lambo has proven herself as a producer to Dillon, Orion and hopefully to Jericho. She truly is a great ewe! Check her 'meet the ewe' profile for more info on her.

FifthofFifth Ashegon - moorit ewe - F2 Jericho. Yes we are breeding her back to her grandsire. A linebreeding may be wise in this situation. Again all lambs will be katmoget but will carry Aa (solid). Its a win:win situation
AFD 23.5, SD 5.2, CV22.2, CEM 9.8

ShelteringPines Nirvana - horned gray katmoget ewe - F3 Minder F4 Timothy/Holly/Holly/Jamie. She really produced with Blues this past year giving me two great ewe lambs so wanted to see what she'd do bred back to Jericho.
AFD 28.5, SD 5.9, CV 20.6, CEM 10.2

Heights Orion - moorit modified ram - with the ultimate in fleece improvement and modifier genes. Wide sweeping horns, consistent from neck to britch, he's been our best import to date in terms of fleece fineness. His 5 or 6 year old fleece microned at 26 AFD. Amazing for that old of ram here in North America. I used him heavily last year and was impressed with most of his offspring. This year he is going to three solid ewes to improve those lines in my flock.

OwlHill Miss Lilly - F1/F4 Holly, F2 Orion black ewe that carries moorit. She is 81.25% UK, my highest % ewe and consistent from front to rear, conformation is spot on and she looks as though she can really produce put to anything! Thanks again Susan :)
AFD 28.5, SD 5, CV 17.5, CEM 8

FirthofFifth Ashanti - moorit smirslet F3 Dillon, F4 Timothy with a gorgeous deep moorit color and so consistent. I'm really hoping Orion might carry spots? :) Regardless the lambs will be moorit and soft and that is what I'm hoping for!
AFD 26.1, SD 5.2, CV 19.9, CEM 9.2

WhitePine Skor - shaela ewe. My first homebred girl that I retained for purebred breeding. Please check our her 'meet the ewe' blog post from earlier today.

That's 18 Shetland ewes I've decided on using. Underhill Ulla who I thought I'd use on Orion, is instead going to an F1 mioget Orion son Ephraim instead. Ephraim thanked me :)

The two BFLs that I am AI'ing are both going to Beeston Titan who is a heavier fleeced ram that was collected and imported. Both girls I am using are finer fleeced mother/daughter duo.

Beechtree Kearsley - homozygous white ewe. Always produces nice pigemented lambs. She only has two UK rams in her background so I can use her in just about any direction.

Beechtree Kershope - white ewe carries color. Again lovely pigment in her. She's also finer fleeced so breeding to a heavier fleeced ram should do them both good in that department! Thanks Lisa for letting me get the Titan semen from you!


Jen and Rich Johnson said...

Pretty amazing choices Garrett! Did you meet your mentor in a dimly lit underground garage?


Juliann said...

Exciting. You'll have another spring of incredible lambs.

Michelle said...

Interesting; I had no idea so many of the UK sires available through AI have so much unknown - like micron counts and the like. Because of that, I'm kind of surprised you're using all of them. (Jericho and Orion, of course, make PERFECT sense.)

susan said...

One of the papers I got when I originaly baught seman years ago was put out by elite genetics the company that originaly sold the seman for the first imports. Enfeild was listed as Fine wool over body, overall average 20 microns.
Greenholme holly was Dark brown blaeget with bletted markings. Mid-side wool crimped 8-10 per in.
Willowcroft Jamie Fine wool not containing any white fibers.
Capaign Timothy, well proportioned fine fleece.
The description for Lightning said attached on another paper, but I did't have that paper.

One of the interesting things I remember reading about lightining, It was found on the heiritage genetics web site? Described Lightning as being in a rundown condition and having rooed off after being out breeding some Iclandics to improve their fleece finess? I thought that seemed kind of strange. The lambs I got out of him from one of my ewes had a super soft very long straight fleece(not unlike an nice iclandic?) One of these lambs was a ram lamb, and I wethered him too soon, like I did alot in my early years. He was born black but by 5-6 months had changed to a gorgeous pewter color, super soft long fleece. Lightnings decendents that I have seen have had the silky hand, but huge, long fleeces. I have no idea what the microns for them have been.

So back to the discusion that was going on about fineness and how a fleece with a good hand can trick you into thinking it is lower in microns than it really is, then you put in there to that the crimp does not seem to apply to the microns either, we really have no idea what these rams were microning at.
That said I still think that these rams have alot to offer, even if they don't have the super low microns we hoped they did.
I am wishing that I had hung onto some of my line that had the Lightning blood. I was way to selective and ignorant of what I had in the beginning. I wish I had been able to keep a larger flock at the time. 7-12 ewes dosn't really give you much to work with.
I am thinking I may need to do a little ram shopping like Michelle.


Garrett808 said...

Hi Susan!

I agree. I think that there are many reasons to still use the semen. I had read Heritage Genetics' info on them and had talked to Kim Caufield about them. She had said in all of her searching and researching for information that is what she could find on them. I know of someone who has talked to the Timothy owner and so I can kind of grab information from each.

I think structure, horns (or poll carrier) modified gene, spots, pattern are all, wool on poll, etc are all good reasons to use them.

I feel that by using the majority of them THIS year on my ultimate group of ewes to date, I can use them and hope that the fineness will come from their mothers, when everything else is equal. With Shetlands it seems to be more of a crap shoot, so not as much can be assumed, even with the most careful breeding selections.

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