Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meet the Rams Part 4: WhitePine Christian

Christian is a ram I wintered over the first year as I was impressed with his conformation and fleece type at birth. His biggest fault is that although his tail is properly fluke shaped (by lifting his tail and seeing the proper shape) it appears to be a bit wooly (not enough hair at the tip). But it is fluke shaped. He also is on the smaller side, but his mother is a small ewe and I'm not holding that against him.

Christian is out of UnderTheSon Arapaho (F2 Orion) x WhitePine Centennial (F2 Jericho F3 Minder). he carries moorit.

Christian is a mellow boy who has 7 girls with him this fall (6 katmogets and a musket) as I'm hoping to get some solid lambs out of them. they are all proven Ab/Aa.

Perfectly Square
Mid-Side, last rib
Just above the britch

Christian will be available after Thanksgiving this year. He has nice length to his fleece and crimp from front to back. Of course there is britch, he wouldn't be Shetland if he didn't have it :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meet the Rams Part 3: WhitePine Barnabas AI

Barnabas is an F1 Orion, F2 Timothy with a splash of Lightning behind him. When he was born I wasn't impressed with his birth coat, but his fleece has not disappointed since then! In using him for breeding last year I believe his horns are abherent. They are not symmetrical, nor are they very 'heavy'. While I do like the round horns I don't think are true 'round' horns either. Maybe i'm way off.
He's pushing in to me a little bit in the below photo, but he is pretty square, but not perfect. very typey tail.
Mid-Side, last rib.
Right above the britch

I'll be using him on about 10 ewes this fall and then he will be available for sale. Please inquire.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Meet the Rams Part 2: WhitePine Levi AI

When this lamb was born he took my breath away. I never in my wildest dreams thought he would be POLLED! But, being one for diversity, I have fully embraced it and have a small flock of proven polled ewes that were bred to him last fall. This fall he'll get only 3 of my own, but he is not going anywhere any time soon.

Levi was born with a krunet, and although bred to a few spotty ewes did not produce any spots this spring. We will see about that this next spring.
Levi is Aa/Aa, BB/Bb, Ss/Ss, MM/M? He appears to be warm black or "shetland black". He is 67.5% UK. Sire is Willowcroft Jamie. Dam is River Oaks Lucy.
Levi's shoulder fleece parted below.
mid side, last rib.
Just above the britch
Levi is one of the very last F1 Jamie rams in North America. I plan to use him heavily in 2012. If you would like to lease a few ewes of mine to put to Levi, he would be your best friend :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meet the Rams Part 1: Wintertime Jazz

How can I start with any other ram?

Jazz was not my first ram, but the ram that has done the most for my flock and its continual improvement. I've used Jazz for four years and this year he sadly gets to sit out of breeding. I plan to use him next fall on some of my lambs from this year. I have many of his daughters and grand daughters to use this year instead.
This picture says it all...

Jazz is At/Aa, BB/BB, Ss/Ss, MM/MM. Jazz is 87.5% UK, and very mellow, respectful guy who keeps the peace between all the other rams and still is the #1 boy on the hierarchy of rams.
Shoulder area fleece.
Not too bad for a 4th fleece, mid side.
Not perfectly standing but he is very square.
If you are interested in leasing a few ewes to breed to the Jazz Man, he would be much obliged :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Scale and Chute System

Photos will be forthcoming :)

I am now able to run the sheep through the chute system myself wihout assistance. The chute is home made, but it works pretty slick! The scale is so helpful because 'eye balling' a sheep for its weight can't be done effectively and correctly all the time.

The average weight of my mature ewes (2 years and older) was 82.4 pounds. The Shetland Sheep description states ewes can be up to 99 pounds in the south of England where grain and grass is plentiful. Since my sheep are grass fed and not fed grain, having two ewes at 95 and 96.5 pounds was surprising to me. I did have some ewes around the 60-65 pounds as well, so I guess I have the whole spectrum of size in my flock. Another time I can use the term 'diversity' :)

Lambs were weighed and I was pleased to see my Mules and terminal lambs weighed 55-70 pounds. I have some orders from friends for grass fed lamb and I ate quite a bit myself this year so will hold back everything for myself and friends' orders.

I am putting my breeding groups together when I return from my Michigan trip. I guess it looks as though I"ll have 9 breeding groups again this fall. Three are for crosses:  A BFL ram to my three BFLs and 20 Shetlands. A Finn ram to 10 Shetlands and some of my Mules, and my Leicester Longwool to my LL ewe and a few of my Mules.

I'll be using 6 Shetland rams: Crosswind Apollo (spotted modified moorit) will get 10-12 ewes, OK Acres Cadillac (spotted modified moorit) will get 10-12 ewes, White Pine Barnabas (modified moorit katmoget) will get 6-8 ewes, WhitePine Chrisitan will get 4-6 ewes, WhitePine Levi will get 6-8 and WhitePine Ludacris will get 6-8.

Well as of today. We all know we change our mind at the last minute :)

74 Shetland ewes will be bred this fall, 11 Mules, 3 BFLs and a LL. I'm holding back 12 ewe lambs and not breeding 8 yearlings that I think are too small. We shall see if this holds true the day i put groups together :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sheltering Pines Fleur de Lis

I was able to buy this ewe from Stephen as a yearling. She was a favorite of mine when she was a lamb and I jumped at the opportunity to purchase her from him when she became available. She has produced me three quality lambs in three years (always has singled) and all have had minimal spotting. Next year I hope to breed her to one of the spotted moorit rams I got this fall to see if I can get some wildly spotted lambs from her.

Her mid-side parted fleece:

Fleur is a smirslet gray katmoget. I love the fact that she doesn't have any white on her tail or legs so it makes her face even more stand out.
When Kate Sharp and Alan Hill picked her out of my ewe flock of 50+ girls and they commented on how she stood out as a nice sized ewe, with loads of Shetland type and very typical of what you would see in the UK.

She has mostly Minder, Timothy and Jamie in her background, and has been bred to Greenholme Holly, and to Jazz (Todhill Jericho son) and she has crossed really well on all of those lines. She is four this year and has a long life of producing fantastic lambs ahead of her.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

katmoget vs. light badgerface

A great photo of side by side moorit based ewes. The ewe on the left is Alisa, from Oregon. She is 99.2% domestic, yet has a lot of crimp (disorganized) for a ewe that has barely any imported semen in her background. She is light badgerface and comes from Wally Rutledge's farm.  

The ewe on the right is from Michigan. Myra is a katmoget (also known as badger face in other breeds). She is also moorit based, but retained the dark belly wool. Alisa is NOT Ag (fading). She produced a solid lamb, and a light badger face lamb this spring.

I love the fact that they are both looking back at me, while Tylor is taking the photo. 

Also notice the difference in build, body depth, leg height, face etc. DIVERSE, yet both very much typical Shetland. I love my very diverse flock :)

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 ...