Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New BFL ram

I was in need of a new ram that would compliment my girls that I have here. I was going to do AI this fall but with the terrible luck I had this spring with the BFL lambs I figured I would just do ground breedings again this year.

I purchased two straws of the new Rossiebank ram that Brenda Lelli imported a few years back but since I'm not doing AI I wanted to utilize this bloodline a bit still this fall.

Meet Beechtree Wycliffe. He is an F2 Rossiebank out of Beechtree Chasewater and Beecthree Opal. Chasewater was on my top of my list for a ram, but Brenda and I agreed that since I had his half sister GlenLuce already I shouldn't over use that line. Chasewater's dam Beechtree BlackwaterDee (Barleas Titus line) was the reason I fell in love with this breed at Michigan Fiber Fest now back in 2007.

Wycliffe will be put to all of my BFL ewes for purebred breeding. Burma, my natural colored ram from Stephen Rouse, will be used to make Shetland Mules before being sent to Wisconsin for more mule production. Wycliffe carries color and is a strapping young lad so I'm eager to use his genetics this fall and see what I get!

Thanks Brenda for all of you help and guidance!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Micron Results Part 3 Shetland Ewes

The below microns are from all my yearling to mature (nine years old) ewes.

This fleece sample is 10 months of fleece, on only grass/forbes pasture, some very high in green alfalfa and red clover, but all had grasses and other forbs in them. I cannot find any correlation between higher protein in the pasture and higher microns as most ewes stay fairly consistent from last year's microns.

All samples taken first week of March before shearing, from last rib, mid-side.

Many of these ewes were used in cross breeding this past year, so their numbers were not passed on to purebred stock.

Mic Ave SD Mic CV Mic CEM SF Mic
FirthofFifth ASHANTI 24.4 5.7 23.2 9.6 24.2
WhitePine BETHANY 24 5 20.9 8.7 23.3
FirthofFifth BOOTO 27.3 6.9 25.4 13.5 27.7
Owl Hill BUTTER 23.8 5.5 23 10.3 23.6
WhitePine CANDACE 25.9 6.5 25.1 12.3 26.1
WhitePine CENTENNIAL 27.1 5 18.6 8.5 25.8
WhitePine CHARITY 22.5 6.2 27.7 13.1 23.3
Justalit'l CHLOE 30.3 6.5 21.6 12.6 29.6
River Oaks ELIZA 26.7 6.5 24.3 12.5 26.8
Sommarang EMERALD 28.3 7 24.7 14.1 28.5
Sommarang EVA 28.3 5.6 19.7 9.5 27.2
WhitePine EVE 25 6.1 24.5 12.7 25.1
WhitePine FAITH 21.8 5.1 23.6 9.5 21.7
WhitePine FESTUS 25.9 5.8 22.2 10.2 25.5
ShelteringPines FLEUR DE LIS 28.8 6.1 21.4 10.9 28.1
Minwawe FLOPSY 27.7 7.5 26.9 15.1 28.5
Wintertime GALINA 27.6 7.2 26.1 14.9 28.1
Justalit'l LAMBO 26.9 5.8 21.5 11 26.3
WinterSky LAYLA 26.8 6 22.2 11.6 26.4
River Oaks LUCY 29.6 4.6 15.5 7.1 27.6
WhitePine LYDIA 24.4 3.9 15.8 6.7 22.8
Owl Hill MISS LILLY 29.4 5 16.9 9.3 27.7
ShelteringPines MYRA 28.2 5.3 18.8 9.3 26.9
WhitePine NAOMI 25.5 5.5 21.8 9.9 25
WhitePine NERIAH 23.7 5.5 23.1 9.8 23.5
ShelteringPines NESSEBAR 28.1 6 21.2 10.5 27.4
ShelteringPines NIRVANA 28.3 5.2 18.5 8.6 27
Owl Hill PRANILLA 30.2 5.3 17.5 9.3 28.5
RYL RACHILDAS 32.2 6.6 20.5 12.3 31.2
FirthofFifth RAHU 29.3 5.4 18.5 9.2 27.9
Minwawe REDBUD 24.4 6 24.7 12.9 24.6
WhitePine RUSH 27 5.1 18.9 9.2 25.9
WhitePine SALOME 27 5.4 20.1 9.6 26.1
Minwawe SEA BREEZE 28.2 8 28.2 18.8 29.4
WhitePine SEDALIA 26.6 4.8 17.9 8.3 25.3
WhitePine SKOR 24.6 6.1 24.6 13.1 24.7
FirthofFifth TAIKA 24.2 6.1 25 12.9 24.5
WhitePine TERAH 24.7 5.2 21.2 9.8 24.1
Black Forest TILLY 23.9 6.5 27 14.6 24.6
Underhill ULLA 31.3 8.1 25.9 15.9 31.9

averages 26.748 5.89 22.11 11.19 26.31

thoughts? :)

Micron Results Part 2 Crossbred ewes and BFLs

I had five cross ewes I purchased from Theresa last fall and picked up at the Jefferson, WI show.

Three Shetland-Cheviots (the preferred cross in the UK for Shetlands) and two Shetland Mules (BFL x Shetland) which is gaining popularity here in the US.

Since I took samples from EVERYONE this spring I wanted to include them as well. These are all lamb fleeces so without a doubt will coarsen as they age, even if slightly.

The three Shetland-Cheviots are the first three, the two Shetland mules the last two:
AFD, SD, CV, CEM, Comfort Factor are the columns.

27.2 5.2 19.2 8.9 73.5
30.2 7.6 25.2 13.4 53.3
30.2 8.7 28.9 17.7 59.2
30.4 6 19.7 10.4 52.3
27 5.7 21.3 10.1 73.8

Numbers are as good or better than many Shetland purebreds our there ;)

Then the three rams...a yearling texel, a 2 year old BFL and a yearling BFL. Again

AFD, SD, CV, CEM, and Comfort Factor. These breeds are NOT typically considered wool breeds but crossing (BFL) and terminal (Texel) breeds.

CHAMP 29.5 5.6 18.9 9.4 57.3
BURMA 27 5 18.5 9.2 78
KIRKDALE 27.9 5.3 18.9 8.8 71.3

And then the BFL ewes. Yearlings to four years of age. Again these ewes are a crossing breed typically. Not known for their wool in their homeland but in the US spinners love this fiber.

BFLs CATALONIA 26.2 4.7 18 8.2 82.4

LLANDDEWI 27.8 5 17.8 8.8 72.7

BEA 27.9 4.5 16.1 7.7 74.2

NUBIA 26.4 4.7 17.8 8.1 81.9

SINE QUA NON 25.3 4.2 16.8 7.3 90.4

PRIMA FACIE 26 4.2 16.2 7.5 87.3

MOROVIA 26.9 4.7 17.4 8 78.4

GLENLUCE 28.9 4.6 15.9 8.3 66.5

CLOVER 30.4 5.7 18.6 10 54

KACY 26.3 5 18.9 8.5 79.7

KEARSLEY 26.9 4.3 16 7.5 82.4

KERSHOPE 30.1 4.6 15.1 7.7 54

KILORAN 30 4.7 15.7 8.4 54.4

One thing Martin Daly said at the BLUNA banquet at the National Show was that BFLs should have high SD and CV because their wool should be less consistent.

I must disagree with him. Longwools in general have a more consistent wool. Granted some do get more britchy, but the above numbers do NOT lie. With low SD and CV numbers like those (and super low CEMs)certainly makes them feel softer than they are. While I do like fine fleeces, and BFLs are SUPPOSED to be the finest longwool breed, I won't specifically breed for the finest fleeces in them, but I will keep it in check to not get the fleeces that look like Border Leicester fleece. There is nothing wrong with BL fleece, as it certainly has its place, but BFL wool shouldn't be the same as BL fleece. I'm just sayin'

Micron Results Part 1 Rams

These are the micron results of the rams I am retaining and using:

WhitePine Barnabas - mioget katmoget F1 Orion F2 Timothy - 76%UK yearling

AFD 22.3 / SD 5.3 / CV 23.9 / CEM 10.6 / CF 92%

WhitePine Roman - white illget F1 Orion 56%UK yearling

AFD 22.3 / SD 5.1 / CV 23.1 / CEM 10.1 / CF 92.6%

White Pine Christian F3 Orion/Jericho black yearling 49% UK

AFD 23 / SD 5.4 / 23.3 CV / CEM 9.7 / CF 91.9 %

ShelteringPines Veni Vedi Vici F2 Jericho (Blues x Guinevere) yearling gray katmoget

AFD 25/ 4.6 SD / 18.4 CV / 7.9 CEM / 89.7% CF

FirthofFifth Nekomis - F2 Jericho F3 Timothy gray katmoget (Blues x Bramble Nadeen) two year old.

AFD 21.8 / SD 4.6 / CV 21 / CF 97.8%

Wintertime Jazz (for sale to the right home) three year old smirslet gray katmoget F1 Jericho

AFD 26.7 / SD 5.4 / CV 20.1 / CEM 9.1 / CF 74.5%

WhitePine Caiphas (also for sale) F1 Holly gray katmoget carries spots and moorit yearling

AFD 21.9 / SD 4.7 / CV 21.5 / CEM 8.8 / CF 95.8 %

I also am retaining WhitePine Levi - F1 Jamie, black krunet polled yearling ram. He rooed in February and I therefore do not have a micron test from this spring, but he did have his fall micron test last fall that was pretty incredible.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rams for sale

I have several Shetland rams and one BFL ram available for sale.

ShelteringPines Pumpernickel Pogo. Smirslet Sokket Flecket Gray Katmoget. Carries moorit and solid. Outstanding conformation, nice wide set and spiraling horns. Fleece is more disorganized fleece. AFD28.4, SD 6.1, CV 21.6, CEM 11.7. This test was his third fleece.

UnderTheSon Arapaho. dark red moorit. F2 Orion. Could carry spots. Outstanding conformation, left horn is somewhat close to jaw but has passed. Fleece is again more disorganized fleece. 2nd fleece microns: AFD 26.3, SD 5.7, CV 21.5, CEM 11.4.

WhitePine Ulam. F1 Minder. Light Badgerface yearling. Smaller ram with nice conformation and horns. Rare pattern. Could carry spots. Carries solid. First fleece test: AFD 22, CV 5.7, CV 25.9, CEM 11.3, CF 90.8%

WhitePine Caiphas. F1 Holly. Gray Katmoget. Large sweeping D style horns. Unorganized crimp. Carries moorit and solid. Yearling fleece microns:AFD 21.9, SD 4.7, CV 21.5, CEM 8.8, CF 95.8%
I love this ram but I have four half sisters of his and 2 F1 Holly ram lambs that I'm keeping.

Sheltering Pines Burma (Bluefaced Leicester) Natural Colored. Two years old. 2nd fleece microns: AFD 27, SD 5, CV 18.5, CEM 9.2. I'm going to use him on a few purbred ewes and lots of Shetlands for mules this fall but he is available after breeding season.

If anyone reads this far I'm going to use Jazz one more time and have him collected. He will be available to the right farm who can appreciate an 87.5% UK ram. He's F1 Jericho, F2 Drum Ram etc, homozygous black but he carries solid so he can throw gray katmogets or blacks. He's also very spotted and throws wild spots when bred to ewes that are spotted or carry them. His third fleece microns were better than his twin Blues: AFD 26.7, SD 5.4, CV 20.1, CEM 9.1, CF 74.5%, SF 25.8. Only super serious inquiries about him please. I have two nephew's of his out of Blue's that I am retaining....Veni, from Stephen out of Blues and V Creek Guinevere and Nekomis who is from Cynthia and out of Blues and Bramble Nadeen. I have retained 14 of his ewe lambs and I think that's probably enough :)

Micron Results finally!

My Excel Spreadsheet came via email today of the 86 samples. I like to pay extra to get the results somewhat faster. I don't get the histograms unitl they arrive in the mail but this gives me an idea of what I'm feeling with my fingers and gives me a start on what do go forward with.

That being said I am going to be culling heavily this year. I already know which lines are working, which ewes I've already retained offspring from and there will be about 10 days of ewes for sale before they either go to the BFL ram or go to the auction house.

I'll try to get photos of the girls in question.

I'm not culling only on micron. I already have lists based on lambing record, health and parasite resistance, fleece sales, handle, conformation, temperament etc. The micron testing is just another tool, and to be honest, most of the numbers i was NOT suprised by.....

One nice thing about the reports is that it helps to train my fingers as to what a 30 AFD 6 SD feels like versus a 30AFD 4SD.

more when I can

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fitting and Washing Shetlands for show

This past weekend at Jefferson there were several 'big time' exhibitor farms that show at least 6 times a year at various shows through out the Midwest. You know them. They have the large, long fleeced, double coated sheep with bone the size to rival Suffolk bone, giant heads, hair/scadder that is 10-12" long on their necks/spine. One farm even went as far as to cut the scadder out and they left large holes in their fleeces.

On top of that they were constantly brushing their fleeces out and had all the animals washed. None of this is allowed by NASSA or MSBBA rules. And if it isn't, it shouldn't be. These farms KNOW they are not supposed to fit but for some reason, they were TAUGHT that brushing doesn't fit the bill for 'fitting'. Any way you look at it. its not natural. Shetlands should be shown in their natural state. That means not washed. Not brushed. Not clipped, trimmed or tails trimmed so they don't look so 'wooly'.

These sheep ultimately win. The person who created the judges packet based on the 2004 Handbook which was written by one person's opinion and not any documented evidence! And these sheep, that do not fit the 1927 Standard keep getting the blue ribbons. Even though they are fitted. Even though they are washed. Even though they are non standard Shetlands.

You don't have to take my word for it. I don't make stuff up and then believe it as truth and then write it on my blog for all six readers to read and then do immature things like call people out by name or write things like laughter in parenthesis. I don't read old romance novels to figure out what Shetland Sheep fleece was or is. I go to the source. The Shetland breeders in the SSS and the SFBT. There is photographic evidence. There are books. There are documents. There are Standards to follow. There are over 100 proven and well documented articles and photos stating what a Shetland Sheep should be according to our 1927 Standard.

Just because a sheep lives on Shetland doesn't make it a Shetland Sheep, nor does it make it registrable as a Shetland that fits the 1927 Standard. having made dozens of phone calls in the past few months to Scotland, England and the Shetland Islands to get as much information from the horses mouth proves everything that those of us who support the Standard as described and supported by the Shetland Crofters, the Shetland Flock Book Trust AND the Shetland Sheep Society....well...its a no brainer! My sheep look like the sheep from Shetland that fit the 1927 Standard. None are perfect, but none will be mistaken for anything but a Shetland.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jefferson 2010

I need to find the time to post more but let's just say this:

1. GREAT and AMAZING friends!

2. Wonderful food, laughs and memories!

3. Wool judging was fantastic!

4. Mule show kicked butt!

5. BFL show had a good turn out of spectators and I was happy with the judging.

6. I believe everyone I know is camping next year. WAY MORE FUN!

Best Jefferson to date!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why I don't like to show

Too time consuming!

I'd rather just display my sheep. I'm proud of what i breed and raise, but this halter training...especially the Shetlands is ridiculous. They are going to embarrass me :) The BFLs need showers, trimming up wild locks on their bellies, washing faces etc...Thank goodness they are much more docile.

I'm looking forward to the show this weekend but it always sneaks up on me. And I'm always rushing around here trying to get caught up. Even with help from my friend Adam for the past week, I'm still not caught up!

Hope to see you kids there!

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 ...