Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Whirlwind afternoon

I came home at lunch after running last minute errands for my big trip tomorrow. I was about to hop in the work truck to do some afternoon work and tie up all loose ends and I went out to check on the girls. Naturally everyone is way past overdue. Needless to say that today of course, was the day I'd be so busy, that the ewes would decide to lamb for me.

Lunch time: FirthofFifth Taika (Wintertime Black Forrest x FirthofFifth Twiling) gave me a black gulmoget ewe lamb and a moorit krunet ewe lamb! Both were up and nursing and still wet, so mom had her work cut out for her :)

Back around 6pm and started evening chores and Underhill Ulla (Winter Sky Jamison x Justalit'l Ewenique) gave me a moorit krunet ram and a moorit ewe lamb! Both up and nursing and I was only gone maybe 20 minutes to feed the cows. (which by the way we had two new calves born today too......must be something in the water?)

I ran over to the neighbors to look at a fifth wheel stock trailer and some lovely grass hay for the sheep. I came back and Black Forest Tilly (full sister to Taika from a different year) have a gorgeous black gulmoget krunet ram lamb and a moorit ram lamb!

I'm just tickled to know that both gullie girls carry moorit. What I am bummed about is that they were both bred to AI but their due date was April 5th and neither of the rams I put to them seemed to take on these girls.

The father of all of these lambs is WhitePine Ephraim, my F1 Orion mioget yearling ram.

I'd love to say photos will be coming but i don't think I have time tonight!! I leave tomorrow morninga t 5:30am and won't be back until the 3rd. You can wait....right?

The following ewes are left to lamb:

Sommarang Eva: She was bred to FirthofFifth Angus, but it looks as though she didn't get bred to him. She is also bred to Eprhaim then.

WhitePine Sedalia: She was also in Angus' group (as was Bethany) but it doesn't look like he settled any of his girls. Sedalia would also be bred to Ephraim. They are both due any moment.

WHitePine Columbine (Jazz x RYL Corlid) is bred to the BFL. She is due any moment as well.

WhitePine Twix (Bourbon x Love-E-Ewe Cleo) was also bred to the BFL. She is due on the 24th.

Justalit'l Shasta is bred, but not due for a while it looks like. She also to the BFL.

WhitePine Candace, didn't cycle with Jazz so is bred to Ephraim...or possibly Levi, as I used Levi as a clean up after Eprhaim went to work at Cynthia's house. She could be off by a week yet or so.

WhitePine Neriah (Wintertime Blues x ShelteringPines Nirvana) was in Roman's pen but didn't cycle that early, so she is bred to Ephraim also. She is due imminently.

I was going to leave late tonight but I must stay at least til morning to see if any more are going to lamb. I can' t make my dad do any more than he already is doing!

phew!

now to finish last minute packing and try and sleep before my alarm goes off!

I'll try and update from the road if I can!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gulmogets finally and a gorgeous moorit based ewe!

Minwawe Sea Breeze gave me this very large, 9 pound Shetland Mule natural colored ewe lamb. Sea Breeze is an 'itty bitty' girl, at 65 pounds, so this lamb was quite large in body ratio to her momma. She seems to have a lot of white on her head now that she is dried off. I took another photo of her tonight I"ll have to put up tomorrow.

Wintertime Galina (Wintertime Black Forrest x Sheltering Pines The Holy Grail) was bred to WhitePine Ephraim (Heights Orion x FirthofFifth Evidence of Autumn). After all the singles i figured she'd have a big single, but when I came out after lunch on Sunday, she had both these buggers up nursing already! It was a dark corner and it looked like two black gulmogets, but when I took photos, there was my moorit gulmoget! He has minor smirslet markings and has soft crimpy fleece. Both lambs weighed in over 6.5 pounds!
Here is Galina and her little girl. Notice both lambs are solid sided like their momma! I just love that 'black and tan' marking in animals! I've always loved Dobermans due to this pattern/marking. I'm so glad I finally have some gullies in the lambing pens!
The next two photos are of the same girl. A gorgeous and beautiful modified moorit EWE lamb out of WhitePine Ephraim and WhitePine Bethany (Heights Orion x Justalit'l Black Lambo) I guess I thought she was a krunet, but with TWO white spots, is that technically a smirslet? What a 'weak' smirslet :)
GORGEOUS fleece on this girl. Yum yum yum. And I'm just TICKLED that she's SOLID Aa/Aa and moorit based! I love my katmogets but I'm so happy for another moorit!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Photos

The first two photos are of the modified moorit ram lamb out of ShelteringPines Myra (Sheltering Pines Starry Night x ShelteringPines Canosia Farm May) and WhitePine Roman (F1 Orion). I could be wrong and this could be WhitePine Ephraim's (also F1 Orion) as he was the clean up ram at this point. So he's either way overdue (like 10 days) or to the clean up ram (3 days early). I'm guessing its the 2nd. shoot. Regardless he is quite lovely.





The next three photos are of Minwawe Dark Chocolate and her twin ram lamb Mules (BFL sire). The first photo shows the smaller krunet ram with crazy English Blue markings that almost mimic the gulmoget marking. Note the brown on the sides and legs.
These next two photos show his brother. With the krunet on the head and the white chin (and eye flashes like a gullie)

Check out the brown on the leg too!
I realize that English blue is a co-dominant as is Ag, At (katmoget) and Ab (gulmoget) as well as several others like Alb (light badger face) and 'just' blue (Abl). These boys are both Aeb/Aa, and are quite large (9 pounds each).


In other news...I had a VERY busy day today with three more ewes lambing! Photos tomorrow. Let's just say I finally got some gulmogets...AND a stunning F2/F2 Orion ewe lamb out of one of my yearlings...and another Mule EWE lamb! :) :) :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A few lambs trickling in

On Tuesday ShelteringPines Myra (ShelteringPines Starry Night x Canosia Farm May) gave birth a beautiful mioget ram lamb out of WhitePine Roman (Heights Orion x RYL Rachildas). He was another big 8.5# Shetland single.

Minwawe Dark Chocolate gave me twin Mule ram lambs! That English Blue sure is funny...one almost looks gulmoget marked...but that's impossible as the ewe is black Aa/Aa (not extension). That Aeb sure has an array of markings in it! Photos soon.

On a side note I've created a new yahoogroup called ImportedShetlandSheepSires. This will be a place I can hope that we can talk about all of the past, present and future imported rams, their impact on their lambs, their strength and weaknesses, share photos of them and data etc.

search for it, or I can send you an invitation

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Farm visits on route to a DOG SHOW???

A week from tomorrow I head out towards Gettysburg, PA for our Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America National Specialty. Over the coarse of 9 days there are herding, tracking, agility, rally, obedience, sweepstakes, conformation and a special "champions only" show called the "Megan". It is going to take me two days to get out there, and two to get back, so what better way to 'kill two birds with one stone" and invite myself to stay over at several sheep friends' farms? >:D

I have NEVER been to any of these farms, so I am VERY excited to be able to evaluate sheep, fleeces and spend a lot time talking sheep and maybe a little (or a lot) of wine :)

I will be heading right to Little Country Acres where I will be very eager to see my good pal Juliann Budde. I've only seen a handful of her sheep at the shows, so I will be excited to see her and her polled stock. I think Juliann has some serious goals with her flock and I've always respected how much work she puts in to her sheep and I think her sheep should tell their wonderful story with their conformation and polled genes.

Friday morning I will leave and drive all the way to Glen Rock, PA to Potosi Sheep Farm and the home of the wonderful Kathy Davidson! She is a premier breeder of the Bluefaced Leicesters and she has a small flock of Shetlands. I'm bringing her a ram and a ewe from last year to help her get her soft, silky, crimpy fleeces that she is hoping for, after having spun a few of mine that she took from me a while back. I'm even thinking we'll take a quick trip to Baltimore and maybe even D.C. as I've never been that far east before, or at least not that far north, and east. I'll stay there a few days and then head to the CWCCA National (which is why I'm really going remember!) I have two intense days of agility and rally planned with Sadie and I'm taking the slough of puppies I have (ok just Ell's litter of 7, and Ava) to have them evaluated by all the long time breeders and my mentors. Should be fun!

On May 2nd I will leave bright and early and head to Under The Son Farm on my way 'home'. I'm very excited about this visit too as I have purchased a ram from here, Arapaho, who is the darkest red moorit I've seen, and he is quite lovely. I'm excited to talk pasture management with them, stocking rates, mules, third tier market lambs, marking fleeces, breeding stock etc and going over sheep. I'm hoping to see something i absolutely must have.... I even get to accompany the Gygi family to church, which I think should be great! I love going to new churches!

I should be gone a total of 11 days, which I'm sure by day 11, will feel like 30. I still have no new lambs and am going to try drastic measures to get them to go into labor before I leave :)

I hope to have a lot of photos taken and I hope to come back with a TON of new knowledge, history and good laughs about the Cardigans AND the Shetlands :)

If you are on my route perhaps, let me know and I'll try and sneak a few hours to visit with you....

Lisa? Kelly? Sandy? Just a few names that come to mind that live out 'east' of me....

Monday, April 12, 2010

Still waiting day 154

Its been a week since the last two AI girls were supposed to be due. They are definitely OVER due, by the size of their udders and bellies. I also have 7 other ewes that were all over due bred to their rams.

In a week I'll have 7 more ewes that are due to the clean up rams...I cannot believe I still have 16 ewes to lamb. I thought I'd be done super early this year!

No rain. Our pasture is brown still. And its still freezing. That is not conducive to pasture growing. Yes its early this year, but this high wind every day is not helping things retain what little moisture it had.

Since no one wants to get into a debate with me in regards to anything Shetland related I guess I'll close for today

Saturday, April 10, 2010

more lambs

FirthofFifth Rahu (Wintertime Black Forrest x RYL Rachildas) was bred to Willowcroft Jamie. She produced a 7# 5oz ewe lamb that is WHITE and lots of phaeo, just like her momma. Cute huh?

another shot of her fleece....yummy...
Minwawe Flopsy was bred to my BFL Burma. These are Natural Colored English Blue (Aeb/Aa) and carry moorit. Both rams :( They are for sale with their mother at a package deal.
Below is a Shetland-Cheviot ewe with her Texel sired EWE lamb. That's three ewes out of the Texel and ram lamb. These one has a more Cheviot type fleece than the other two, out of the Shetland Mules. I also had a Shetland Mule lamb out a Texel cross ewe lamb. Both of these were 7 pounds on the mark.

I still have two ewe to lamb via AI. (day 152 today) and seven more bred naturally that are all over due the same amount. Naturally all five ewes that could produce gulmogets are still holding out. Naturally I'd like a moorit gulmoget ewe. I guess I keep waiting. I still have one Shetland-Cheviot ewe to lamb also and then in another week and a half the clean up ram gets to see his babies. Looks like three of the F1 yearlings are bred, and then 5 to the BFL!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Umm...Michelle....(and other lamb photos too!)

Ok I'm going to wait and keep Michelle in suspense until the end (don't skip ahead either Michelle!)


OK so the first three photos are of the F1 Lightning boy again out of the F1 Jericho ewe Koosi that I am borrowing from Cynthia. p.s. how in the heck do people get photos of their sheep standing with their head up in a profile pose? I sit there for what feels like hours and they never stand still.

What a sweet face! He's 83% UK. His fleece is ok too ;)


These next two are out of my very last Holly straw. I am in love with this years' Holly boys. Dam is ShelteringPines Fleur de Lis. Yummy fleece!
And he is spotted too :) 72% UK
This moorit ewe lamb is Ashanti x Orion again. Still not a great photo, but better than that last terrible one!

FirthofFifth Ashegon (Wintertime Blues x FirthofFifth Ashanti) was bred back to Jericho (grand daughter x grand father line breeding) and gave me THIS gorgeous girl :D
Spotted face, big black spot on back (what's up with THAT) and she is 79.5% UK. All three girls bred to Jericho gave me only ewe lambs this year!
Ok Michelle. You can officially be upset.

Owl Hill Butter (F2 Greyling, F2/F3 Orion) was bred to Shirehill Minder. This gorgeous musket smirslet EWE lamb was happily nursing when I went outside this morning. Her fleece is incredibly crimpy and soft. Dynamite! She is 86% UK.

Since Minder is Ag/Ab and Butter is Ag/Aa, this girl HAS to be Ag/Aa just like Uphaz from last year was. I like this lamb the best so far out of my Minder lambs of either year. A lot has to do with the quality of the ewe too. So thanks Michelle for letting me purchase her. Who knew she carried spots??!!
After two terrible days of getting back to work, and lots of stress and money being thrown at the mowers and business, these lambs make me smile, which is so very important, when I'm so stressed out like I've been!

Monday, April 5, 2010

PHOTOS of lambs! And some for Juliann!

First off is the Lucy x Holly boy. For Juliann (well the photos anyway) He has a white chin strap from one ear, along his jaw, under his neck and up to the other ear. Its not quite a bielset. Shoot. This boy and the Orion x Lilly boys are my favorite so far this year out of AI. Knock out conformation and crimp down the tail. Very consistent with little 'halo'. I think this boy will stay moorit, while Lilly's will be modified.

Head shot for Juli.
Maybe a little further out?

Here is a terrible photo of Ashanti's solid moorit ewe lamb. I need to go take a new one.
Here is Ashanti's krunet girl. Her fleece is amazing.
These are the Minder x Chloe kids below. The first is the fawn katmoget ram lamb. He is homozygous katmoget.
His spotted Moget-Face (Ag katmoget) sister. I'm praying these birth coats go away! What's with the 'swirls'? I have never had fleeces like this. 65% UK, F1/F3 Minder.
Ok this is another favorite of mine. He was born today while I was out at work. This is the F1 Lightning, F2 Jericho (Lightning x Koosi). Koosi was also borrowed from Cynthia. Koosi is a Jericho x Chloe daughter. Lightning was white and I was hoping for a white ewe lamb. Seriously. Since Koosi is homozygous katmoget, if the lamb were white, it would also carry for katmoget. Since this lamb is kat, he will carry Aa from his daddy. This fleece is yummy too. And cute white tips on the ears too :) Face photo tomorrow. or soon.
Jericho x Black Lambo. She weighed over 8 pounds at birth. Not bad for a 9 year old momma :) Notice the smirslet. Stephen hate me all you want! :)
These two are out of Owl Hill Pranilla and Campaign Timothy. The ewe is very dark moorit, the ram is jet black. These are the hairy birthcoats that Pranilla has thrown before, but the lambs did come in crimpy. Pranilla is F1 Greyling, so these are F1 Timothy, F2 Greyling and 87.5% UK.
Here is my Texel x Shetland Mule ewe lamb! Doesn't the face look like Texel?? :) Crimpy until her shoulder and then the Texel fleece takes over. Having never seen that in a lamb, it looks kinda crazy!
F1 Timothy boy out of Eliza. He's all hunka hunka burnin' love. LOL. He was nearly 10 pounds and had to be pulled. He's doing lamb races today :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Today's lambs

Sorry still no photos. I promise to get them up to you soon!

Tomorrow I start my spring clean ups in earnest. Yes. The day the AI girls are officially due. I still have 7 of 18 that were bred due, so under half. But I still have a lot of ewes left to lamb. i pulled the Shetland rams the day I did AI so all the girls should have a due date no later than tomorrow. So naturally while I'm off working, they'll all be lambing. Joy.

Eliza's boy has pulled through and is jumping and running around his mom in the jug and nursing well. Phew!

FirthofFifth Ashanti (A Forrest daughter) is being borrowed from my good friend Cynthia. Ashanti is 31% UK and was bred to Heights Orion for some moorit based lambs. JACKPOT.

TWIN ewe lambs! The larger 6 pound lamb is solid moorit, the 5 pound sister is a solid moorit with the most stunning krunet I've seen. It reminds me of the white spot on black headed Holstein calf. I promise photos. Their fleeces are quite nice. I think this cross was a huge success. And both girls! I am so happy. Thank you Cynthia for letting me borrow her :)

Justalit'l Black Lambo (Bramble Dixen daughter, poll carrier ewe) is 9 years old. She has remained in great condition, pushing her way around at the feeder and aside from a more pendulous udder from 8 years of lambs, she is in great shape.

I fretted over her all afternoon as I was sure she would lamb last night. Uncomfortable and stirring up her jug bedding as if she were part chicken, she really was a sight. I knew something was wrong. Several contractions were so strong they actually knocked her to her knees, or off of her feet. No water bag. no feet. No lamb.

I feared the worst. Was it backwards? Were there two pushing around, jockeying for position? I went to the house to call Stephen. He didn't answer. Hmmm...do I keep waiting? She didn't really SEEM in distress, but she was pawing a lot and getting up and down. And those contractions were really close together.

I gloved and lubed up and palpated her. I couldn't feel anything. No lamb. No water bag. I was up to the pelvic ridge and nothing. I was somewhat relieved I didn't find a tail or something.

I went back to the house to clean up and when I got back outside, no less than 5 minutes, she had an enormous smirslet gray katmoget EWE lamb! Its the bluest katmoget I've ever raised! And big! I could tell that with the size of this lamb, she was done having babes, but what a beautiful lamb!

This puts me at 10 ram lambs and 14 ewe lambs for the purebred Shetlands.

If we are just talking AI lambs, I have 7 rams from AI and 9 ewes. So far. Last year I had only 17 lambs from AI and 14 of them were rams. Yes FOURTEEN. So don't hate on me for all the ewes this year :) I'm glad it is balancing out. I can move forward a lot faster with ewes than I can rams. I'm glad I hung on to the lambs from last year (well most of them) in case this very scenario played out. I should be really set for the next few years.

Photos . Yes. Soon.

Back to the barn and then a quick nap

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Still coming......we are on a roll now!

Photos sometime. I promise.

I must check the spreadsheet to see what happened today. Before we get to the fun part of lambs....

I ended up cleaning the leans, liming, bedding and moving all the ewes from the jugs to the new pen. PANDEMONIUM ensued. Lambs and ewes acted blind and couldn't find each other in the large pen. As is typical, after a few moments everyone found who they needed and everyone nestled in.

Bright and early at 6am Owl Hill Pranilla (F1 Greyling) gave me a black krunet ram lamb out of Campaign Timothy. I went in to take a nap and when I returned there was a moorit ewe lamb out there as well. They both have 'dog coats' but following what Pranilla had last year for Susan, I have full confidence that these birth coats will shed and change to crimp. These lambs are 87.5% UK.

I've kept the yearlings in a separate paddock all winter. this included the BFL, crosses, mules and shetlands. This morning in that pen were two ewes with single lambs out of the Texel, Champ. The BFL mule had an 8 pound ewe lamb that is probably the cutest thing to have graced this earth. I am unbiased :) One of the Shetland-Cheviot girls gave me a 5 pound ram lamb. He was expired when I found him, so I'm not sure what happened. It doesn't look like he was alive when he was born, according to his position in the straw. He looked kind of preemie so not sure if she was really due today or not. A bummer, but I can't kick myself. I've been so diligent these past few weeks...er...months..of watching and waiting...things like this happen...or are bound to.

After moving the new lambs and moms to clean jugs, I saw that River Oaks Eliza had her water break. Moving her in to a waiting jug, she started to push. And push. And push. There were two legs and a nose. The lamb was BREATHING through the nose and was choking from all the fluid coming out of her vulva. She was not progressing and I ended up pulling a massive MASSIVE huge ram lamb. I haven't weighed him yet but guess he is over 10 pounds. He is also a Campaign Timothy lamb. Jet black. As has been typical of the Timothy lambs, they seem to also have this 'dog coat' that I hope sheds out. This ram has the largest horn buds of the year so far. He's been slow to get going, in part to the traumatic start he got. I've also found in cattle the largest calves have a harder time getting up on their feet and nursing. Eliza is being a constant eye and enabler.

After their evening meal, Justalit'l Chloe was acting 'fishy' and I jugged her and sat down. Sure enough, her water bag passed and she produced me a fawn moget-face ewe and a fawn katmoget ram. For those wondering 'moget-faced' means Ag Katmoget. Chloe was bred to her Grandfather, Shirehill Minder for a linebreeding. Their birth coats to me seem funky. I'm not sure how i feel about them. I had originally wanted to breed her to Orion, but since she is homozygous katmoget I would only get katmogets. This made sense to do a line breeding and since I have loved everything else she has produced I'm going to wait and see what these kids turn out like. I haven't had an Ag katmoget since my beloved Jasmine Phoenix and I told Chloe I wanted another moget face. I'm so glad she listened.

That's five today. I still have 9 ewes bred to AI that are due on or around April 5th. I have five 'close' ewes that could go from ground breedings at any time. That's 16 that are due for sure before the middle of next week, oh plus a few of the crosses. It looks as though I'll have 9-10 ewes that were caught by the clean up rams, due in two weeks. I'm tired thinking about it.

Happy Easter to those who celebrate. My day will be spent playing trumpet at church in the morning, lunch with the extended family and lots of lamb watch. I have several that look like they'll greet me in the morning with lambs :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Last 24 hours of lambs and a markings question

I can't remember where I left off :)

Let's see....FirthofFifth Booto, an F1 Timothy, fawn katmoget gave me a 7 pound smirslet fawn katmoget ram lamb out of my F1 Orion boy, WhitePine Ephraim. Goregous color and markings. As you will see, his smirslet is only on his right side of his face, except for a tiny patch on his left cheek. Its kind of hard to see the white with the flash, and I'm sure most of it will fade as he grows up, but I know he will produce spots at least :)

RiverOaks Lucy (A Sheltering Pines Bombarde daughter) was AI'ed to Greenholme Holly. She produced a smooth polled moorit ram with krunet and bielset markings. The Bielset is extremely thin and it follows the jaw line around and up over his ears. He has amazing crimp to rival his half brother Levi, from last year who was out of Willowcroft Jamie. Last year I hoped for a moorit. I got him this year ;) Since Holly is a poll carrier and so is Lucy, he "COULD" be a full polled ram! I'm excited to see what he will produce this fall. spots, crimp (and soft) and polled! He is the darkest moorit ram I've had born here....which is what I like! His crimp rivals Lilly's ram lamb out of Orion. More photos of him tomorrow!

ShelteringPinjes Nirvana was bred to Todhill Jericho. She gave me TWIN EWE lambs! The first is a very light gray katmoget ewe lamb with super crimp, and smirslet marking like booto's boy.
Ok here is her twin sister...ahem....





This white that goes through the nose also goes under to her chin and down her throat slightly.

Is this a bleset? She also has three white socks and a fourth with a white spot above the hoof.

Since I don't breed specifically for spots in most of my breedings, I don't know what to call the marking. I haven't seen another like her.

Thoughts?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Triplet BFL lambs from Kearsley out of Beeston Titan

The ram lamb is on the far left. He was born first. Tiny crimp all over his body. VERY striking boy. The girl on the far right was born next, followed by the one in the middle. They seem to have worked out an eating system. Having never had triplets before in sheep, this will all be very interesting to see how they grow on and how they nurse in the future.

Beechtree Kearsley is F2 CarryHouse V2, with only Rossiebank Laird elsewhere in her pedigree. Other than that she is all domestic. Its lucky that I can then use her in any direction to make a slightly unrelated line. Kearsley this year was bred AI to Beeston Titan (via semen from Lisa Rodenfel). Thanks Lisa! These lambs are smashing!

Kearsley's daughter, beechtree Kershope was also AI'ed but she did not take. I'm hoping she starts bagging up from being with Kirkdale as her clean up ram. Otherwise she is open. Which would be a bummer.

More lamb photos (catching up again)

Phew! This lambing is fun. When you are first putting breeding together! Who ever thought I should be lambing 45 ewes in 14 days is crazy! (oh wait that is me!) Maybe next year I'll do it all again the same way. At least its done then :)

Below is an F1 Timothy ewe lamb out of WhitePine Centennial (Wintertime Jazz x Justalit'l Chloe)


Here is WhitePine Skor (Bourbon x Meleng) with her twins out of Heights Orion. Ram has the krunet. His fleece is not as nice as his sisters...but that could change.
Here is Skor with a shot of her ewe lamb. Modified :)
Sommarang Emerald gave me twins out of Wintertime Jazz. This flashy gray katmoget flecket ewe lamb is below. Also notice Emerald's enormous udder and nipples. I stripped her teats out several times today in hopes of the swelling to go down.
Back view of the lambs.
Mom with babes...

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 ...