Monday, December 3, 2012

More Updates - More For Sale

Where the heck does time go? I seem to have always updated my blog daily or at least several times a week.

I won't bore you with minute details of what's been going on, but I need to tell you about the 'fun' stuff!

Breeding groups for the Shetlands weren't put in until the 10th of November. I always try to plan for breeding groups around the Cardigan Welsh Corgi National (I usually go to that 9 day event!) and I don't want/expect anyone else to lamb the sheep out for me (especially trying to match lambs to mothers if need be!). The crosses were put together a week before that, so they will lamb earlier. i'm not concerned as much about their lambs getting on the wrong ewe, as long as they are cared for (so far no issues, crossing fingers)

This year I am doing FOUR groups for crosses. I'm using the Finn ram, the Leicester Longwool, a Shetland Mule, and the BFL ram. I'm excited for fleece and carcass quality on all accounts. The Shetland Mule was for fun and I won't keep him to use again but wanted to see what I could produce since he's badgerface and english blue AND spotted! (and carries moorit to boot!)

Much has happened on the farm in general and the size of the farm has dropped by about half (acreage wise). In light of this, the number of animals I wanted to run on the land will have to be re-evaluated, and while my dad and I both feel we can better manage smaller acres, it should still sustain the current number of animals we have, just not the numbers I had dreamed of getting to in the next few years. The market for cattle is insanely high and my dad is pushing to increase cattle numbers while wanting me to maintain or lower my sheep numbers, all on the less acreage. We still have all of our pastures but tillable acreage will be down by about 2/3. Sad reality, but I'm finally embracing it and eager to see what I can do with the new challenges ahead.

The hogs are gone, the pigeons are gone, and most of the chickens (although I still have young layers to sell!)

With that being said I am going to offer many of my rams for sale and 10-12 bred ewes  that I normally wouldn't sell. Its getting harder and harder to part with them, but they are truly nice ewes with lots to offer most any shepherd.

Rather than post everything about every ram or ewe, if you want the list info on any of the sheep, just give me a shout. I do offer group discounts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fleece and Yarn

Every once in a while you see fiber posts here :)

My goal of having a proper 1927 Standard Shetland sheep that produces top quality breeding stock, grass fed lamb, AND a fine fleece every year, is really the ultimate sheep! AND they eat a lot less than most of the 'meat breeds' and don't require any grain!

Today I spent quite a bit of time pooling similar colored fleeces together to get ready to make batches of roving, top and quilt batts out of them. The grade 1 or 1/2 will go for roving, and then i have grade 3 and britch that are going for roving and/or quilt batts and then have Grade 1 neck wool getting made in to top. Granted one must always have the money to do this, so if you are looking for something specific I can send that to be processed first, for a deposit. Otherwise they will sit here, skirted, separated and ready to go when there is ever extra funds to be used for that.

But I DO have some that is already done :)

I have some 4oz Grade 2, White Shetland yarn, 250 yards, 4 oz skeins available. They are $21 dollars each, plus shipping. 

Here is a photo of the warm black/shetland black batch of lightly skirted (yes I see the VM) that will go for roving or batts. If you would rather just take several pounds of raw wool this is fine too! There is 12 pounds of this in this bag and I would sell it for $12/pound plus shipping.
And then I have my show fleece from WhitePine Lydia (gray katmoget). Its around 4" and is skirted heavily. It is 2 pounds 11 oz and is $43 dollars plus shipping.
Below is WhitePine Naomi (fawn katmoget) with her 2nd fleece. This is also skirted heavily and is available. I must check the weight (the fleece and card are outside)
And I do have BFL yarn too! This is DK weight, 6 oz, 300 yard, 2 ply (one white, one natural colored) next to a scarf that my friend made for me out of a skein. Doesn't it just knit up awesome? And its super soft.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A few of the rams

I hand sheared the entire flock of sheep this year and although it was a learning experience it left some of the sheep with 'bits' on the ends if I didn't get them after the rise, or missed a few areas (like belly wool on some).

I've been remiss of taking photos of them for that very reason but wanted to show you what I'm working with this year. More to come, but these were just shot of the boys in their 'holding pen' next to the barn. They are getting restless waiting for the ladies who are in and around the same barn! I'm so terrible I know!

JJ Brother Arlo is an 87.5% imported semen Leicester Longwool that carries English Blue recessively. He was used on several Shetland Mules last year and I loved the lambs so will be using him again on more of the girls.

UTS Gabardine and LittleRedOak Eino. Eino is a brown Finn and he will also be used on many of the Shetland Mules this year. His lambs grew quickly and had quite a few 'mioget' colored fleecs in them to boot. Gabardine is available immediately for breeding season.

Jazz The purebred Shetland is in from of the Leicester Longwool. Behind Jazz is a Shetland Mule ram lamb. He's badgerface/english blue and is spotted. Behind him is the Finn ram Eino all for size comparsion. Jazz is 98 pounds, ARlo is 145 and Eino is 160. The Shetland Mule ram is around 80 pounds. For kicks and grins he's getting some Shetland Mule ewes just to see what I can get. :)

WhitePine Radler - black yearling scurred ram. My pick ram from 2011, he's sitting out this breeding season. He's available for sale immediately for someone who wants correct conformation and the polled gene. (Nekmomis x Rahu)

OK Acres Cadillac is available immediately. He is abhorrent horned, meaning he has one gene for polled, one for horns. I am retaining 6 of his ewe lambs so he is available.

Jazz and Gabardine for size comparison. Gab is a yearling, Jazz is 5.Jazz is available Dec 1

Jazz hands.

WhitePine City High AI. F1 Lightning waiting until next year to be used.

Radler again. Serious guys he's a gorgeous jet black polled/scurred ram.

Jazz and WhitePine Negro Modelo (Roman AI x Nirvana). He's sitting out this year. Incidentally Kate liked him best last year of my lambs and he still needs to fill out. He is out of a horned ewe.

City High again.

Cadillac with Eino the Finnsheep.

WhitePine Flo Rida AI  and ShelteringPines TelSay Camden. Both are getting 10 ewes this fall and for various reasons. I do like their depth of body, conformation, and pedigrees. Flo is available Dec 1.

There are the boys with the Shetland Mule in the background.

and again.

Here is Flo Rida from the front. Great wide spread horns and width to him.

Camden on the move with the moorit ram lamb from Stephen in the background. It was overcast and hard to photograph some of the other boys.

That's it for today!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

2012 Breeding Groups - Part 3

Early on I figured the fastest way to what I 'envisioned' in my Shetland flock, was to use imported semen from the UK. I have done two AI's so far with my ewes and have some semen 'in stock' that I plan to use down the road, once newer blood is brought over. I had planned on doing AI every other year, and utilizing the F1 rams the following breeding season. Moving out the F1's after that to other flocks to utilize and improve their breeding programs. Well, with the lack of new semen available, I am trying to utilize the genetics that have already been brought over, and bringing them in to the lines I'm working with. I don't think I have my own 'line' yet, as I am bringing together various other lines to utilize on the ewes I have. I have several favorite ewes that I've retained most of their progeny here (Nirvana, Yuletide Angel, Chloe, Lambo, Rachildas to name a few). I've also brought in other ewes to maximize what I felt were key traits or characteristics that I needed. I ultimately feel I can create anything I may need in the future, from what I have, but it may take me awhile to get it, or to have the chance to produce it. That being said I brought in a few more rams this year to help with things I felt I needed to solidify in my flock, while bringing in different genetics.

Whistlestop 1123 - black, light badgerface yearling ram. His yearling micron results were AFD 22.8, SD 4.4, CV 19.4, CEM 7.9 and CF of 95.9. He is also a very solid 120 pound ram, great big sweeping horns, dept of body with nice spring of rib, great fleece length (already 4" at 9 months of growth), crimpy, soft, fine fleece and a very Shetland type to him. He's still fine boned and has a perfect tail.  There were several other rams to choose from of equal quality but went with him as he is the rarer light badgerface marking. Jim and Brandy and have Shetlands for over 20 years, they have visited the Shetland Islands over 16 times and know pretty much everyone there who raises 1927 Standard Flock book sheep. I have a lot of respect for Jim and Brandy and their culmination of years of breeding for the 'overall, complete Shetland' shows. Jim was nice enough to micron test his entire flock in 2012 and the numbers are impressive.

1123 will have a name (yet to be determined) but he is a very mellow, respectful ram, something I breed for (and appreciate that others also do), as does Jim, and he will get 11 ewes this year, with hopefully many more years in service here.

His girls:
WhitePine Salome - Jazz x Snow Cloud - black yuglet sokket, horned. I'd like to see if he can produce horned ewes, increase her size and bring her AFD down some.

WhitePine Terah- Arapaho x Tilly - black ewe (horned genetics). Jet black ewe with outstanding conformation, I'm hoping for finer fleeces in this pairing in any color they can produce.

WhitePine Fiji - Roman x Festus black ewe. Jet black ewe with outstanding conformation and nice length of fleece. She is silky soft but I'd like more crimp to her and again, tickled with any color.

whitePine Naomi - fawn katmoget ewe. (Blues x Nirvana)I'd like a bit more size in her lambs at maturity, and a bit crimpier fleece. I really like the lines she comes from and home it crosses well with 1123.

WhitePine Bethany - moorit ewe (Orion x Lambo) is really the ultimate ewe. Not only is she Orion bloodline but Lambo is her dam. She produced well again this year and I'm hopeful for moorit based lambs from this pairing.

WhitePine Skor (Bourbon x Meleng) my only shaela ewe. I'd like more size, more crimp, and lower CV. I think modified LBF pattern would rock!

UTS Cinnibarina - moorit ewe. I'm hoping for more crimp, finer fleece and lower CEM/CV here and its bloodlines that I not as familiar with so happy to have the chance to get something nice.

BlackForset Tokhara - fawn (Ephraim x Towanda) carries spots. Lower CV, more crimp and again, color/marking unimportant here.

FIrthofFifth Ashegon (Blues x Ashanti) - (also dam of 2011 Grand Champion Ram under british judges) moorit ewe. Her size alone (70 pounds soaking wet in full fleece) is main reason for this breeding. More size and depth, longer staple length.  When I say more size, I mean like maybe 10-15 pounds more at maturity, nothing giant like in some of the show rings.

FirthofFifth Rahu - (Forrest x Rachildas) polled white ewe. She is one of my favorites for type and quality. She has great conformation and crimp, just hope for a finer fleece in the lambs.

FirthofFifth Blottir (Forrest x Boppitty) gray katmoget polled ewe. A fine, dark blue fleece, she produces well with high UK % bloodlines and this should be a nice cross I'm excited to look forward to.


Whistlestop 1222 - moorit ram lamb. Also to be named ram lamb, I was able to take my pick of his ram lambs. There were several nice wider spaced horns but this guy had the best fleece, with a gorgeous color. He's somewhat related to the ram above, but Jim has done a great job in linebreeding and his entire flock LOOKS like Shetlands, and even though they are all slightly different in look or fleece, they LOOK like a flock of Shetlands from the islands. I'm very lucky to have this boy here. Since he's a lamb I'm capping him off at 7 ewes. Its somewhat an array of ewes but it will show me what he's capable of producing on my girls and the lines I'm working with.

His ladies:
FirthofFifth Koosi AI - gray katmoget (homozygous), carries moorit and full horns. Shes out of Jericho x Chloe and a lovely ewe. I'd like a longer staple length and a bit more size so she's here with him. I know she'll only produce katmogets but they should be lovely!

WhitePine Blu Cantrell AI - gray katmoget, Jericho x Lambo. Another F1 Jericho I'm looking to see if she carries moorit and if she is polled. The fleece should be lovely as she is a dark blue hue to her fleece so the solid lambs from this should be pretty intense too.

WhitePine Bivina - musket (Caiphas AI x Butter) - She's over 80% uk and silky, soft, crimpy. a lovely smirslet on her face too, she is the best ewe lamb out of Caiphas that I retained. I'd love more musket ewes here so hoping for that from this.

ShelteringPines Mademoiselle - fawn katmoget (Fudge x Underhill Amethyst) is another lovely ewe from Stephen's flock and I'm so delighted to have her here. Her daughter and son BOTH went to new flocks this year so i'm looking to retain something from her this year. Obviously moorit based, I'm excited to see what she produces, I know it will be fine.

WhitePine Auburn AI - Heights Orion x FirthofFifth Ashanti, fawn ewe. Lots of wool on poll and cheeks, dense, crimpy, fine fleece, great conformation and perfect tail. Her and her twin Adele are really what I'm striving for in a breeding program and I hope to produce MORE like them, using this guy on Auburn.

WhitePine Ciara - white - Roman x Castle Rock - a lovely girl who goes back to two of my favorite lines (Rachildas and Jazz/Chloe) and eager to see if she carries moorit or katmoget under the white. (she produced a white lamb this year).


And last but not least we have RTF Robb (WhitePine Barnabas x WhitePine Rush) white horned ram. I haven't seen him yet (he's coming this week) but he had great horn growth, dense, crimpy fleece like his parents. I'm hoping that the line breeding on Orion here will be helpful in outcrossing ot some of my other stuff.

WhitePine Neriah - Blues x Nirvana gray katmoget scurred ewe. One of my favorite fleeces as far as length, crimp and proper tip and density. I produced, with Robb's dad Roman, a gorgeous ram lamb that now resides in Colorado and continues to get great remarks about from various people there, so I want to see how she'll produce with his son.

whitePine Tecate - gray katmoget (FirthofFifth Nekomis x WhitePine Terah) a lovely typey ewe with great crimpy, soft and silky fleece. She carries solid underneath but want to see what she'll produce with Robb.

Wintersky Layla AI - mioget horned. Also her CEM is quite high and her crimp has loosened with age, she still produces some great lambs. I'm hoping to see if she can produce a horned ewe lamb with Robb and to see if Robb is really moorit based.

Sommarang Eva - gray katmoget. Love everything about this ewe. Although her AFD is higher (28) everything else is the lowest in my flock and she has an amazing build. I have two of her daughters in the flock still and although that is usually enough I want to see how she'll produce with Robb. I think Eva is homozygous black so we'll see. (especially if Robb is moorit based)

BlackForest Azteca - emsket (Ephraim AI x FirthofFifth Agio). although she is not super fine, isn't really crimpy, she has loads of breed type, flinty, fine boned and very shetland-y look. I hope to add crimp and maybe modified lambs (Robb's parents are, or come from modified stuff)

I think that's it. I've got about 10 days before I put groups together so time will tell if I change my mind.  :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

2012 Breeding Gorups Part 2

ShelteringPines TelSay Camden - moorit gulmoget smirslet sokket (Forrest x ShelteringPines Catherine) is a triplet ram lamb with thick horns but I'm not sure if he has one gene for polled or if they are just tight fitting horns? Either way he is a fine fleece gulmoget that is owned with Kelly Bartels and myself. This year he is up at my place and I thought I'd give him 10 girls to tide him over until next breeding season. His yearling micron was AFD 25.3, SD 4.5, CV 17.8, CEM 7.9, CF 87.9 and SF 24. I've been tying for gulmgoets with low CVs and just haven't been able to get them, until now. :)

Let's pray I get some gulmogets from this group of ladies!
WhitePine Nivea AI - Jericho x ShelteringPines Nirvana. She carries moorit and spots and is fine fleeced. Heck even gul/kats would be nice from this breeding. Lower CV is the goal on this one and anything else is bonus.

WhitePine Lydia - Jazz x WinterSky Layla AI. She is still number 2 ewe here based on fleece traits only. She carries spots and moorit as well and again anything out of this should be fine fleeced and bonus if spots.

WhitePine Saku - Levi x Skor. Jet black yearling ewe who could carry spots and moorit. Time will tell. She is very dense and soft, and this is an interesting match up based on pedigree alone.

WhitePine Robyn - Wintertime Jazz AI x WhitePine Rush - white ewe. She should/could carry spots/moorit and fleece wise this should be a great match up. Heck i'd even like white from this.

WhitePine Shakira AI - fawn ewe Heights Orion x WhitePine Skor. She coudl carry spots and my plan is to lower CV again with this breeding. moorit based lambs is always a good thing.

SHelteringPines Cabotine - mioget sokket krunet - Fudge x Ceylon, this is a somewhat linebred breeding but hoping for lots of spots from this pairing of great fleeces and conformation.

BlackForest Tersk - moorit gulmoget ewe - Ephraim AI x FirthofFifth Towanda - she carries spots and I'm hoping I only get gulmogets from this breeding. She's my only mature gulmoget left and I hope that by putting all my eggs in one basket gives me something that is gulmoget, spotted and with Camden's lower CV.

BlackForest Andalusian - emsket ewe - Ephraim AI x FirthofFifth Anki - she carries spots as well as moorit/modified and I hope for a finer fleece with spots, even emsket would be ok :)

Underhill Cystal Gayle - mioget NINE year old ewe that i got for her horned ram genetics and her pedigree. Seems a lot of people have her in their background and although not super fine, bred to Camden should make it finer and with some nice horns.

FirthofFifth Basotho - gray katmoget - Ephraim AI x FirthofFifth Blottir - a great deep bodied ewe with lovely fleece just a slightly higher CV. I hope to get anything from this as long as its lower CV.

As you can tell there is some fleece improvement ewes in here, but also plans for spots and hopes of lots of gulmogets !!

The other ram in this post:
Sheltering Pines Le Jardin Suspedu (ShelteringPines Grand Luxe x SHelteringPines L'air du Temps) is a dark,rich moorit ram lamb I found at Stephen's farm while there for Michigan Fiber Festival. He's fully horned and has great conformation as all of Stephen's sheep have. He's dense, crimpy and feels quite fine (as he should, he's a lamb). He's obviously a spot carrier as both of his parents are very spotted.

His ladies (I capped it at 7 as he's a lamb)

RYL Rachildas. white illget ewe. She's TEN this year but is still top ewe here. She's Awt/Ag but I know she carries spots so hoping for one last time(?) for her breeding pure. She has always produced lovely lambs when bred to fine rams and I'm hoping for a nice horned ram (or ewe with horned ram genetics) from this. Plus I'll know it carries moorit.

WhitePine Eiffel 65 (Jazz x Sommarang Emerald) is a smirslet sokket flecket gray katmoget ewe and I'm hoping to see if she produces moorit with him and hopefully spots. Fine fleece will be apparent in this breeding and I'm looking forward to the lambs.

WhitePine Sedalia (Jazz x Minwawe Sterling) is the only ewe left from my 2008 lambing season. She's always given me outstanding lambs and I'm hoping bred to Jardin she'll produce spots and fine fleece again and maybe even in moorti! Love my Sedalia lambs.

WhitePine Colby Calaigh AI - Campaign Timothy x WhitePine Centennial) is my only F1 Timothy on the farm and will be her first breed. She's a jet black, non sunbleaching ewe who is very typey, dense, and sound. Hopefully fine fleece and intense moorit lambs will abound here.

WhitePine Des'ree - Levi x Sommarang Eva - black krunet ewe. Another non sunbleaching black ewe with sound body. She is F2 Jamie and I'm hoping the intense moorit/black colors come out in this breeding too.

WhitePina Nina Sky AI - Jericho x ShelteringPines Nirvana - bleset sokket gray katmoget that carries moorit. Retained her daughter from this year and hoping for spots and solid lambs next year from this breeding.

ShelteringPines Corinna - black light badgerface ewe who is NINE this year. She usually triplets and I'm hoping for light badger face in black or moorit and anything above that will be gravy!

So ends the second reading.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2012 breeding groups Part 1

My deciding my groups every year is a big thing for me. Last year I wanted more moorit and more spots. I also wanted to continue with fine fleeces. Amongst other things of course. Every year my goal is the same, but how I approach it is a bit different.

This year, I am breeding for fine fleeced fully HORNED rams. I was unable to fill requests for horned ram lambs this year. I"ve also found that most breeders of Fine fleeced Shetlands are going polled, for various reasons. I love the polled lines, but realize we cannot ALL breed for polled rams or the diversity of the breed will be at stake.

I also was able to obtain two black Light Badgerface ewes and a black Light Badgerface ram from different lines and different flocks. Its my goal to maintain a diverse flock of Shetlands with ALL patterns, colors and horn expressions (rams and ewes).

I've pared down my ram breeding pens to 7 rams. They all exhibit fine fleeces, excellent conformation, a diverse amount of bloodlines (nearly every import ram is in at least one of the rams I'm using) and are fully horned. Some have produced horned ewes as well. And I've matched them by pedigree, color, fleece AND conformation. We'll see how well I did come spring time, but I get less and less 'throwbacks' every year.

Two of these rams will be available Thanksgiving Weekend. They are Jazz and Flo Rida. I also have several rams I am NOT using that are available now: Calvinus (gray katmoget, fully horned), Radler (black, scurred). They are my top picks from 2011 lambing crop but I am wanting to use other animals this year based on the above reasons. 

So without further ado:

Wintertime Jazz AI - 87.5% UK. Grade 1 ram. Last micron still under 25 AFD, CV 20.1 CEM 9.5. This boy is a spotted gray katmoget that throws blacks or katmogets and with our without spots when bred to spotted or spot carrying ewes. He has been used 3 breeding seasons so far and again has ewes put to him because he always improves what he is bred to. This year the roster is pretty nice so I'm expecting magic here. He's a mellow, respectful ram who continues to keep the 20 boys I have living together in harmony and stops fights before they start. I couldn't have asked for a better ram lamb when I picked him up!

The ewes:
OwlHill Butter - musket 72% UK -F1 Orion F2 Greyling. She's a deep bodied ewe with a very crimpy, soft and fine fleece. I retained her musket ewe lamb from last year.
Last micron AFD 22.7, SD 4.8, CV 21, CEM 8.6 CF 94.4 and SF 22.1

UnderTheSon Souchong - white 55% UK - horned. Another big bodied ewe with the most amazing set of horns for a ewe. She falls off after last rib so I'm hoping to fix that Jazz. He's produced horned ewes so I'm hoping this match is good for that, and I love the density and length of fleece that this ewe has. She's out of a ram I highly admire, UTS Broderick, and I'm hoping that this orion x jericho pedigree clicks like the rest of them here.

ShelteringPines Classique -  moorit smirslet ewe. (Fudge x V Creek Guinevere). Reserve Champion Shetland Ewe WSWF 2012. She really is the 'it' ewe for me. Density, body, fine bone, classic breed type. Her dam was a ewe i highly admired and I hope this breeding throws me some great lambs.

UnderTheSon Romie - gray ewe. She's from lines further back that I have nothing related to. She carries horned ram genetics and her body, density and wool on cheek/poll were reasons why I chose to take her and try her even though she isn't as fine as the rest of my stock. I really would love a deep bodied gray ewe like her out of this, with a finer fleece.

UnderTheSon Cassandra - moorit ewe. She is also from lines not super related to me, and carried horned ram genetics. If I got black ewes out of this pairing with Jazz's fleece, I'd be tickled.

WhitePine New Glarus - white ewe. WhitePine Roman AI x ShelteringPines Nirvana. She has scurs that keep breaking off. I love a lot about her and she has been a favorite of mine since she was born. Nirvana doesn't disappoint and I'm hoping her daughter won't either.

ShelteringPines Nirvana. horned gray katmoget ewe. Carries moorit and spots. Nirvana was always a favorite of mine at Stephen's house. She has produced twins every year here, and while this year she was put to the BFL, and gave me twin English Blue marked ram lambs, she has produced for me 5 Shetland ewe lambs that I admire so much. She was bred to Jazz's brother in the past (Blues) and loved those ewe lambs so hoping with Jazz it'll be a nice repeat (but maybe get horned ewes this time)

WhitePine Beyonce. She is double F2 Orion - Fawn ewe (Ephraim AI x Bethany AI). She also has a small krunet and again, getting black spotted ewes would be OK from this breeding. Love her fleece, her breed character and how dense/soft her fleece is.

WhitePine Asahi - moorit ewe (WhitePine Levi AI x FirthofFifth Ashanti). She carries spots and is a very dark moorit (from her grand sire Jamie), so again hoping for nice blacks from this and possibly spots.

-=-=-==- Excited yet? :)

WhitePine FloRida AI - fully horned gray katmoget - F1 Holly (Greenholme Holly x ShelteringPines Fleur de Lis). Dense, crimpy, fine, soft, with a very deep body, wide horns, dark katmoget markings and great rear on him. He is one of the last F1 Holly rams available anywhere in the USA, and is my last F1 Holly here. After using him I will have secured this line in my pedigree for sure (both Fleur and Holly lines. He'll be available (so will Jazz) Thanksgiving weekend.

His ladies:
WhitePine Norah Jones - gray katmoget (polled ewe) with a dark blue fleece. She produced well this year with his half brother Ludacris, so I'm hoping this time for a horned ram lamb to keep back :) Norah is F2 Jamie so I'm hoping the depth of color will follow suit as well.

WhitePine Rihanna AI- white ewe F1 Jamie (Willowcroft Jamie x FirthofFifth Rahu). Everything Rahu is, plus a finer fleece is exactly what I got here. Rihanna was my last Jamie straw and is my only F1 Jamie offspring. She produced amazingly well with Barnabas this past year so I'm hoping that bringing her to Flo Rida, she'll do it again. Perfect conformation and I love the mirkface she has.

WhitePine Adele AI - fawn F1 Orion (Heights Orion x FirthofFifth Ashanti). This is my number one ewe on the farm when going by fleece characteristics/numbers and I love that she has wool on the poll and cheeks. Most of mine have that, but hers is quite apparent. This will be her first breeding and I'm hoping for some incredible lambs out of this.

WhitePine Snow Patrol - horned gray katmoget ewe (Jazz x ShelteringPines Snow Cloud) is another wonderful katmoget ewe I have with fine fleece, nice conformation and depth of body. Also her first breeding I'm secretly hoping for more horned ewes.....

WhitePine Pacena - musket (FirthofFifth Nekomis x OwlHill Pranilla AI) F2 Greyling F3 Jericho. Extremely fine, dense, typey, crimpy and obnoxiously tame. I'd love another gray from this, but won't be picky :)

WhitePine Aaliyah AI - gray katmoget F1 Jericho (Todhill Jericho x FirthofFifth Ashegon). Also her first breeding, she is shorter in leg like her mother but more stout, deeper bodied and longer fleece than her dam. I'm excited to see what she might be able to produce.

WhitePine Noche Bueno - moorit F2 Holly/F3 Jericho. A slight line breeding and I want to see if Flo carries moorit. She is a VERY dark moorit and I hope that the concentration of Holly in these lambs will continue with the intensity of color. Super fine.

ShelteringPines Tresor - black (Fudge x Debonaire (Lambo daughter!). Another larger ewe with jet black flece and good conformation. Seriously anything out of this should be nice.

ShelteringPines Amarige - fawn katmoget (Fudge x Lil' Country Possum). Her mother was a favorite of mine too and Amarige does indeed carry the polled gene (two ram lambs born from a horned ram this year, one fully horned, one fully polled). She's also modified as the horned ram is/will be emsket. Her fleece is phenomenal. super fine, and I love her dark color. Who cares if they are double katmoget?! These lambs should be lovely.

OwlHill Miss Lilly - F1 Holly F2 Orion - polled black ewe. Another ewe who is for sure polled but is jet black and looks/feels very fine. her CEM is 7.1! She has produced some nice ram lambs in the past but hoping for a ewe lamb with intense dark moorit or black to it.

More breeding groups later. Must do some chores for now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More ewes available

After going through my maternal lines, I have a few more that I have 'doubled up' on and these ewes are available now, or bred to one of my rams that I am using. Breeding fees are $50, on top of the purchase price.

WhitePine Robyn - white ewe - Wintertime Jazz AI x WhitePine Rush( F2 Orion). She has an exquisite fleece, wonderful length of fleece and wool on cheeks and polls. She hasn't been bred yet, but will be bred this fall. Last Micron 24.3 AFD, 5.3 SD, 22 CV and 10.1 CEM with 86.2 CF. $350

WhitePine Nivea AI - F1 Jericho - gray katmoget ewe (Jericho x ShelteringPines Nirvana). She carries spots and moorit, a very fine fleece. I'm keeping her twin sister, mother, half brothers and sisters and neices so she is available to an approved Fine Fleeced breeder. Last micron 24.7 AFD, 5.7 SD, 23.3 CV, 9.7 CEM, 83.7 CF $500

WhitePine Shakira AI - F1 Orion - fawn/light moorit . Orion x WhitePine Skor. She is modified and hasn't been bred yet, but will be this fall. I have so many AI ewes I should start to share the wealth :) Last micron 21.7 AFD, 5.9 SD, 27 CV, CEM 12.6, CF 89.3. $500

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Barn Updates

As is the 'norm' around here, things continually change and I need to be ready for it when it happens. A few weeks ago I applied for a job with Washington State University. I planned on moving and needed to make the barns as efficient as possible for the sheep to stay at the farm over winter until I could afford to bring them out in the spring. That may be on hold for now, but in the mean time my barn is FINALLY becoming much more efficient :)

Something that I wanted to do for a few years was build a better way to feed my sheep. Round bales are terrible on the fleeces, I lose ear tags on some of the sheep, and unrolling them take a lot of time and I have to feed them outside in a pasture.

This is the lean to our old dairy barn. This alleyway is used about 90% of the time when entering the barn now so I needed to keep the space wide open. The plywood used for the small square bale flakes of hay is perfect.  They fit in there snugly against the metal hog panel and still allows me a clean, open, bright place to walk.

Inside the pen shows enough feeder space for the 60+ Shetland adult ewes that will be here over the winter. There is room to add three more 8 foot sections, giving me head space for 24 more Shetland adult ewes if I ever needed it.

Below is the south side (left side in photo above) showing some of the feeders.
A better close up below showing only the smallest holes in the hog panel exposed, while using lightweight plywood for the top. The hay all fits in there (more actually on the north side) and still there is room in the small trough for the beet pulp and hay chaff that falls down. No eating on the floor (unless they eat the bedding/oat straw). Little to no hay on their backs or the neighbors' backs.
Reinforced mineral tubs. The ewes kept rubbing their butts on them and breaking/snapping them off of the board they were on. This makes them much sturdier.
Above is the ewe lamb pen feeders that I am using for now. they were 55 gallon plastic drums that I cut in half and screwed on boards for the ends so as to not flip them over. They are lower, and easier for the lambs to eat out of so I am using them in their part of the barn.
Above and below, the girls are approving of the finished feeders.
Above is my home made chute system. This used to be the manger of the dairy barn where we fed the cows and walked with he wheelbarrow. It works nicely for the smaller sheep and I can get an entire system within an area that wasn't utilized before. The middle aisle is for myself. Its not the largest area but this allows me access to both sides of the chute and the digital scale is to the right where the plywood 'gates' slide up and down to allow a new sheep to enter or exit. I've not had any jump over it yet and its low enough I can access the sheep ear tags and check eyelids and worm if necessary.

And below are two samples of the new Whistlestop rams I described in my last post. The 'white' fleece is actually a light badgerface ram (black based) yearling ram that I am SO pleased I got. He is everything I'm looking for in a rams: fine fleece, conformation, horns (my preference only), rare color pattern, depth of body and capacity yet still fine boned, and some unrelated lines to work with. He's a yearling that I hope to use a LOT in the future.
The moorit fleece is of a ram lamb. I was able to go through Jim and Brandy's entire flock and take my pick of the lamb crop. There was a ram lamb with wider horns but this one was finer in my opinion. They will both be going to quite a few ewes in the next week or two.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Breeding plansm - Available

The last 30 days has been a whirlwind of emotions and activity here at Ramsay Farms. My dad has told me he is burned out and doesn't want to really DO much farming any more. I respect his decision. However his decision changes what I can and cannot do here as I do not have the ability to completely do this by myself, yet.

When I purchased my business seven years ago, my goal was to work 3 full days (12+ hours a day) with that and then farm the rest of the week. I had visions of pasturing 300 ewes and 50 cows plus their offspring on rotationally grazed, organic methods and am well over half way there with those visions.

However goals are ever changing and sometimes outside sources change those goals.

There is a number one priority of fencing that must be done here to help move my goal forward and then the task of fertilizing and re-seeding the paddocks. I've already sold the pigs, pigeons (i can't believe it) and selling most of my laying hens to save on the feed expense and put it towards the sheep and cattle.

With that in mind, many ewes are going to be offered below with the intent of putting that towards that priority next year. These ewes are NOT culls, and are ewes I would keep to breed, if I didn't need to spend the money earned from them for breeding. More will be added in the up coming days!!

They are available now for $300 each registered or $350 after exposed to a ram of YOUR choice from the following rams (see below) that I will be using. I will not over charge for them, to get them in to new flocks, and as always, have multiple sheep discounts.

WhitePine Naomi - Wintertime Blues x ShelteringPines Nirvana - Fawn katmoget ewe. Horned genetics (ram and ewe). Solid ewe, wool on poll and cheeks, shorter stature, had two amazing ewe lambs I've retained. I also have her twin sister and her mother, her uncle and lots of cousins. Nice fleece length of 5". Carries Spots. F2 Jericho. Last micron report: AFD 26.9, CV 19.4, CEM 9.3, CF 78

WhitePine Robyn - Wintertime Jazz x WhitePine Rush - white ewe. Horned genetics. Wool on poll and cheeks.Nice fleece length of 6"+. Also shorter on leg (thanks to Jericho line). I have much that is related to her in my flock so she would be available. F2 Jericho, F3 Orion. Last micron AFD: 24.3, CV 22, CEM 10.1, CF 87

WhitePine Saku - WhitePine Levi x WhitePine Skor - black yearling. Could be polled. Wool on cheeks and poll. Fleece length of4-5". Smaller ewe like her mom but jet black, big soft eyes with alert expression. Totally looks Shetland-y. Micron test pending.

FirthofFifth Blottir - Wintertime Black Forrest x Minwawe Boppitty - gray katmoget. Most likely polled (produced polled ram), dark blue fleece. extra vertebrae in tail but does not throw it. A little leggier like some of the Forrest kids but very fine. Last micron: AFD 21.1, CV 24.4, CEM 9.9, CF 95. She has a chronic cough  that she's had since I've acquired her, but it hasn't spread and I'm not sure what is causing it. She is one of my finest ewes and Throws beautiful babies.

Black Forest Tokhara - fawn/light moorit WhitePine Ephraim AI x FirthofFifth Towanda - carries spots. lovely type and color. Last micron 21.8 AFD, CV of 24.9, CEM 11.3, CF of 92.4. I'm keeping her twin have many of her half siblings so she's available.

WhitePine Faith - Wintertime Jazz x Minwawe Flopsy - gray katmoget krunet sokket. horned genetics. smaller ewe with lots of flash and great mothering. Carries moorit. I"ve kept her ewe lamb from this year (spotted moorit) and she can therefore be of much use to someone else! last micron AFD 26.1, CV 21.9, CEM 10.3, CF 77.8

The rams I am using this fall are the following:

Wintertime Jazz AI. Everyone who follows my blog knows him well. This will be his final breeding here and would like to rehome him to a dedicated fine fleeced flock. I'd also think about collecting him for future use.

WhitePine Flo Rida AI - Greenholme Holly x ShelteringPines Fleur de Lis. He is fully horned, gray katmoget and a nicely built ram. His last micron 23.6 AFD, 20.6 CV, 9 CEM and CF of 90.6

WhitePine City High AI - Heatheram Lightning x FirthofFifth Koosi AI. Gray katmoget, nice round UK style horns. Could be modified. His last micron 22.5 AFD, CV 19.9, CEM 7.9, CF 96.1

Whistlestop 1123 - light badgerface fully horned ram. he is a compilation of Heights Orion, Skeld, Jings, Drum Ram and some domestic stock from the west coast. His last micron was AFD 22.8, SD 4.4, CV 19.4, CEM 7.9 and CF of 95.9

Whistlestop 1222 - moorit ram fully horned lamb. He is also of the same genetics as the ram above but slightly different combination. He is out of a dam who was 27.4 AFD, 5.2 SD, 19.1 CV and CEM of 9.2 with a CF of 73 as a three shear. His sire is 24.8 AFD, 5.7 SD, 23 CV CEM 9.8 and CF of 84.

Sheltering Pines Le Jardin Suspendu - horned moorit ram lamb. He is out of Sheltering Pines Grand Luxe (the epitome of a Shetland ram in my honest opinion) and ShelteringPines Andalucite (if memory serves me right!)

ShelteringPines TelSay Cambden - horned moorit flecket smirslet gulmoget. He is out of Wintertime Fudge x ShelteringPines Catherine.

WhitePine Starbuck - black yuglet sokket ram lamb (horned ewe dam) will go to my horned ewes that I have. He's well put together and the largest horns on a lamb i've ever raised.

RTF Robb - white ram lamb out of WhitePine Barnabas x WhitePine Rush. He should be moorit based under the white and maybe katmoget, but hopefully solid. He's a tremendous ram lamb I'm eager to put to some of my ewes.

Wow that's 9 breeding groups just for shetlands. Guess I better get at the pens......

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

WSWF 2012 - part one

 Let's get right to the important stuff in this post! BEST WEEKEND EVER (year two!)

Everyone had an amazing time, we had over 80 Shetlands and lots of laughter, bonding, sportsmanship and everyone helped out where there was help needed.

Supreme Champion Shetland was UnderTheSon Coburg, Reserve Supreme Champion was Sommarang Elise and judge was Letty Klein.
Coburg was also Grand Champion Ram!
Elise was also Grand Champion Ewe!

ShelteringPines Classique was Reserve Champion Ewe (thanks Stephen!)
OK Acres Ringo was Reserve Champion Ram!

So much more to come (candids, corny photos) and a full write up! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A few more photos from this morning.

A few more photos of sheepies from this morning.

The fawn katmoget has one of the darkest fleeces I've seen on a fawn kat. She is either ShelteringPines Amarige or ShelterPines Mademoiselle. Both are very typey, 1927 Standard Shetlands with very fine fleeces. And they both twinned and gave me keeper lambs!
The black below, WhitePine Fiji is a yearling and she is available for sale. Her half sister is behind her and she is NOT for sale. The black is out of WhitePine Roman and WhitePine Festus. She is available for sale. Micron test pending. She rooed completely this spring. Lovely ewe for a black.
Below is Whistlestop 0934 "Yuma" and her Mule ewe lamb.
This gray katmoget is FirthofFifth Blottir and her moorit daughter out of WhitePine Christian. She may be available. Her name is WhitePine Brooten.
This is a mioget Finn x Shetland Mule ewe lamb. For now she's being retained (and nearly 70 pounds at under 4 months of age!)

A tribute to my three foundation ewes

Here are the three ladies that are instrumental in my breeding program. They were three of my original ewes.

They are: RYL Rachildas. Awt/Ag, BB/BB, Ss/Ss. All of her grey lambs were spotted/bersugget. She is a 75 pound ewe and produced Mules for me this year. She will be bred to a horned Shetland ram this fall. Every white on my farm goes back to her, and I'm proud to say that. As a 10 year old her micron is right around 30 AFD, with a CV of 20.1. She has definitely been improved upon, and I used her for AI (Heights Orion) and had lovely ram lambs (Roman and Rhodes). Rhodes is now in TN and Roman is in MD after I used him. LOVE this ewe. She's not particularly tame, but she is not wild, and every ounce of her screams PRIMITIVE (excellent forager, mother, resistant to worms, no lambing assistance needed etc). She'll live her until she dies. its the least I can do for her tribute to my flock.
Justalit'l Chloe was used for AI three times. (once to Todhill Jericho at my mentor's farm, twice here, Greenholme Holly and Shirehill Minder). She has been influential to my breeding program as well. She is Ab/Ab, Bb/bb, SS/Ss. And although she homozygous katmoget, she is worth her weight (which is 71 pounds) in gold. She is also 10, and had twin mules this year (badgerface!!) and I'm keeping her ewe lamb. Chloe is one of the tamest ewes I've ever owned and loves to be pet, scratched and loved on. She's also a wonderful mom and at 10, is 30.6 AFD with a CV of 21. Again not terrible numbers for such an old gal! She too, will live here until she dies, having given me such wonderful lambs.
Justalit'l Black Lambo was a ewe I saw at Stephen Rouse's farm for several years when I attended Michigan Fiber Festival. When she became available, I purchased her and promptly put her to Heights Orion (AI). I liked what I saw so much, that I AI'ed her again the following year to Todhill Jericho. She was also AI'ed to Roban Dillon back on Stephen's farm. Lambo is also another very tame ewe and this year she is 11. Her micron was 28.9 as a ten year old but I didn't micron her this year (also the blob on her belly is belly wool...I hand sheared my entire flock this year and missed a spot apparently on her!) I didn't breed her last fall (much to her irritation) and she was quite miffed to be with the lambs all winter, as I wanted to make sure she got enough groceries. However she someone managed to get back in with the flock the day her two daughters lambed and I found the entire family unit in a corner, with Lambo in front protecting her daughters and grand daughters. NO LIE. She made me weep. Sheep really are not as dumb as you think. She'll live her days out here as well and she is quite the legacy in the breed, particularly in the polled lines.
They aren't wonderful photos of the girls, but honest pics of them grazing out with the flock.Truly wonderful ladies that I'm proud to say I own.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Photos at dusk

I've been burning the night oil at both ends....My dad is gone during the weeks again out of state for work so that leaves me in charge of the farm and all the duties. Fortunately for me (note sarcasm) the oats are ready to harvest, aka combine, and then bale straw and stack bales, plus unload oats in to grain bins and bring extra oats to the feed mill in Perham to sell to them. Add on to that my normal chores, my 'real' job mowing and landscaping and trying to get certification for Organic status here, its, well a bit overwhelming.

The photos are very blurry if you 'biggify' the photos. So basically DON"T biggify the photos and you can enjoy smaller photos

Below is WhitePine Starbuck. He is out of OK Acres Cadillac and WhitePine Salome. Salome is behind him. Not that Salome is huge (70 pounds) but you can see how growthy he is. Oh and he's FULLY HORNED!. He was born with a dog coat but the crimp is quite fine at the base, so he'll be put to the other horned ewes in the flock (his mother is also horned and i'm trying to get MORE horned ewes). After spring microns he'll be re-evaluated to see if I should keep him for further breeding. His spots are flashy and all nice, but I don't NEED spots, but a few are ok. So he's staying for now.
The BFL ewe is ShelteringPines Catalonia. She weighed in at a hefty 160 pounds on Monday and she's nursing twins yet. She is a triplet, who's brother is Burma (I sold, but used for breeding for three years) and Ol' Blue, who is making Mules at Theresa Gygi's house and the sire of many of my Mules here. She's a friendly ewe and just a great mom.
WhitePine Faith with her daughter, WhitePine Foley. Faith is 74 pounds and you can see how growhty her daughter is as well. I'm keeping Foley so Faith is available. She is a Jazz daughter and is a krunet sokket gray katmoget. Her last micron was AFD 26.1, CV 21.9, CEM 10.3. She would carry horned genetics.

The BFL above is again Catalonia with one of my favorite ewes, Whitepine Sedalia. The BFL ram in the back is her son, who is sold to a local gal here with Icelandics and Wensleydales and wants to do some crossbreeding. Just look at the BFL bag STILL. She is quite a milker.

Above is Sedalia with her twins. her daughter Solway is in front and her son is hiding behind her. They are out of CrossWind Apollo and the ram is probably modified. the girl, Solway is staying here.

Below is WhitePine Lexington. She is also out of Apollo and WinterSky Layla AI. Apparently Layla does NOT carry spots, but this ewe is so well put together I don't mind. She is mioget when you part the fleece. Apollo and Cabotine (unrelated) are both mioget with dark face and legs so not sure what to call that 'kind' of mioget (versus rose or gold). I'm hoping she'll grow horns too.
Here is WhitePine Slayton. He is Sedalia's boy. He is a fawn katmoget but is probably Mioget. He's scurred and also krunet, sokket flecket. He's the only ram lamb that is still available for sale. I'd of kept him had he been fully horned. Oh well...

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 ...