Sunday, March 6, 2011

I can hardly walk (and more photos)

(just LOOK at the diversity in my flock! Fleece types, colors, patterns, size, etc)

Well my friend Kody, Bless his heart, volunteered to help me collect fleece samples today. We did NOT get 106 sheep collected. We did get the Shetland rams and Shetland yearling ewes done (40 sheep......) fleece samples collected, photos of fleece parted on every one of those, and then standing photos of the sheep in full fleece. Some are not the greatest stances, but you get the idea.

I also roo'ed Jazz's sides completely (this is an annual thing) and Levi was completely in the rise (about a month later this year) and I got some good 'action' shots of that. My carpal tunnel really hurts so much that its difficult to type almost, but type I must!

Since I'm way too tired to edit and upload photos from today, you will have to accept the photos I took yesterday while it was sunny, instead of today when it was very overcast and SNOWING! ugh.

So here are a few from yesterday of the mature Shetland ewes. I hope you enjoy them. leave me a comment so I know you are reading!!

Below is River Oaks Eliza. She is such an amazing ewe! I love her fleece, her personality and her conformation. She's mostly Bramble lines and will be available this summer for sale. I can't keep them all.

Below is WhitePine Neriah (Wintertime Blues x ShelteringPines Nirvana) She's one of my bestest ewes and when bred to an F1 Jamie (WhitePine Levi) last year she had an amazing ewe lamb whose fleece is so blue its nearly black. No lie. Photos tomorrow of that!.

With Neriah laying down is a fawn colored ewe from the flock of Jim Chastain in Oregon. Whistlestop "Yuma" Who has Orion, Jings, and Skeld in her background. Again. Notice the diversity in just these two ewes. Night and day, and yet STILL both Shetland!
Below is one of my favorite all time ewes. A matriarch of the flock, she has been improved upon with every ram she's been bred to. Her daughter from 2010 (Regine Spektor) was sold to a lovely family in Indiana. They want another :). RYL Rachildas is on the left. her breeder was from Scotland orginally and would certainly know what a real Shetland looks like. This ewe is NOT double coated, but a long intermediate. As an 8 year old her micron was 32.2 AFD, 6.2 SD and 20.1 CV. Fantastic numbers for an aged ewe. She has stood the test of time. I've retained two ewes and a ram from her and she will be available for sale this summer after lambs are weaned. She is Awt/Ag and thows spots on her Ag lambs every time.

With her is her daughter FirthofFifth Rahu. Rahu is a Wintertime Black Forrest daughter. She is Awt/Aa and last year out of Willowcroft Jamie gave me a GORGEOUS white mirkface EWE lamb who is structurally the most impressive ewe lamb from 2010. As you can see from Rahu's rear, she is quite correct (breed typical tail, fine bone) yet she is still wide, square and SOFT/fine! Rahu was bred to Nekomis and I'm praying for twins this year other than katmoget :)
This photo has Rachildas again with two Wintertime Jazz daughters. The flecket is WhitePine Salome out of ShelteringPines Snow Cloud. I believe she is also bred to Nekomis if memory serves me right (hey its been a long day). The black ewe on the right is also a Jazz daughter out of another ShelteringPines ewe, Fleur de Lis. WhitePine Festus, who is krunet (duh her mom is Fleur who is heavily spotted!), is bred to WhitePine Roman (a Rachildas x Orion son) in hopes of pulling out some solid ewes :) Hey I can order right?
Below on the left is WhitePine Skor. My shaela ewe from my very first year of breeding here. She was the pick of the crop and has such remained in my flock. She was bred to Orion last year and gave me a gorgeous shaela krunet ram and a fawn krunet ewe. this year she is bred to WhitePine Levi for solid colored lambs. Both carry spots. The sky is the limit!

The gray katmoget next to her with her head down is ShelteringPines Nessebar who is bred to FirthofFifth Nekomis. She's one of my largest ewes and looks to be carrying triplets (something that has yet to happen on this farm!) and I could care LESS if they are all katmogets I'm so excited about this breeding!
The two ewes below are ShelteringPines Fleur de Lis (front) and ShelteringPines Nirvana (rear). Both ewes I persuaded out of Stephen's flock a few years ago. Every lamb from both of them have been retained. Nirvana has given me two ewes out of Blues and two out of Jericho. Fleur gave me Festus out of Jazz and Flo Rida out of Greenholme Holly. Nirvana is also bred to Roman, and Fleur is bred to WhitePine Barnabas, a mioget katmoget out of Orion and FirthofFifth Booto.

Below, the black gulmoget is FirthofFifth Taika, out of Forrest and FirthofFifth Twiling. I have her two full siblings from the next year here also. What is interesting is that Taika has one of the least crimpy or wavy fleeces, one of the longest fleeces, but is VERY single coated and one of my SOFTEST ewes.

If you compare her to the gray katmoget behind her (Sommarang Eva) you will see that Eva has a slightly shorter fleece, with less tip, but just as narrow and extremely tall histogram. Both are fine, BOTH fit the Standard. Again, that word Diversity keeps nagging on me.....and people say my sheep are cookie cutter 'modern' sheep. I beg to disgree!
This closeup below is of FirthofFifth Booto (F1 Timothy) and one of the Shetland-Cheviot ewes. Sorry. I haven't named them. I can't. Their kids are just destined for my freezer and its easier to not name any of the 'production' animals. If you biggify and look close you will see my F1 Holly ram WhitePine Caiphus in the with the ewes yet. He was my clean up ram that I ...uh...never took out. He'll get put back in with the boys at shearing. To his left is WhitePine Naomi, one of the Blues x Nirvana lambs (twin to Neriah who is photo'ed above). She is shorter, wider and has a longer fleece than her twin sister. She was the one i witnessed getting bred to Caiphus, so she'll be later to lamb.
The moorit in the foreground is WhitePine Bethany. She is F1 Orion x Justalit'l Black Lambo. Stephen never thought Lambo would produce moorit and Lambo gave me a ram AND ewe bred to Orion. Bethany is a fantastic ewe. The gray behind her is my F1 Greyling from Susan Kimball in California. She's 75% UK and her name is Owl Hill Pranilla. The spotted gulmoget to her left is FirthofFifth Agio, a Forrest daughter out of FirthofFifth Ashanti (also a Forrest daughter).
I am SURE you are just SICK of looking at my sheep. So I will leave you for tonight. Its bed time. Right after this glass of wine.......


Michelle said...

I don't know how you keep so many sheep straight! Lots of pretty ones there...

Lynn M Best said...

I enjoy looking at your sheep and reading the descriptions you write. My head is spinning from the different genetic lines and who the parents are, but I get overloaded easily. I'm kind of new to sheep and I've been reading up on different breeds. I've read there are different fleece types and patterns in Shetlands. Your pictures and descriptions give more meaning to the new terms as I am learning them. Thanks for sharing.

Becky Utecht said...

If only you were certified in the SFCP I would buy Eliza back in heartbeat. I don't have any white Shetlands these days. I still have yarn here from her lamb fleece, it won me a ribbon at WSWF a few years ago. Hers was the most lustrous Shetland fleece I've ever had here.
And I agree, it's amazing how you can keep all the info straight!

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 ...