Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bringing out the big guns (horns)

After visiting farms, and visiting with shepherds there seems to be an alarming decline in fine fleeced HORNED ram lambs this year. While that may not sound alarming to many of you, you must remember that the Polled gene is a dominant gene! While I still maintain polled stock, many of the fine fleeced breeders in the Midwest have decided to go polled. And while that is a welcome addition to the gene base, those of us who don't want JUST polled stock are going to be up a creek pretty soon without a paddle.

So i'm bringing out the big horns (Guns) this fall to use for breeding:

Wintertime Jazz AI will be used again. He really is a great ram. Spotted. katmoget (carries solid) and his only downfall is he doesn't carry moorit. but nonetheless he has produced many fine fleeced lamb so he will get used again this fall.

WhitePine Flo Rida AI will be used for the first time this fall. He's an F1 Holly (hard to find!) and fully horned "D" style. He's also gray katmoget but could carry moorit. His dam is ShelteringPines Fleur de Lis and so he carries spots too.

WhitePine City High AI will also be used for the first time this fall. He's F1 Lightning F2 Jericho, with some Minder and Jamie and Timothy back there as well. He's again gray katmoget but he has full horns and a very fine fleece to boot.

WhitePine Negro Modelo is a yearling black ram out of FirthofFifth Nekomis and ShelteringPines Nirvana (horned ewe) who I'm hoping to use on few girls as well (in hopes of fully horned rams AND horned ewe lambs!)

ShelteringPines TelSay Camden is a yearling moorit spotted gulmoget that I'll be using on a a few select ewes this fall as well. I really want fine gulmogets and he's quite fine :)

I'm also bringing many of the older ewes back in to the purebred breeding groups this fall.

RYL Rachildas, one of my three foundation ewes will be going back to a horned ram. She produces giant horned lambs and goes back twice to Bramble Connor who had amazing spread of horns.

Underhill Crystal Gayle - mioget -, who I recently aquried will also be going to purebred breeding as she is known to produce giant horned rams.

Shelterpines Corinna - black light badgerface is also recently acquired and will be bred for both the light badgerface pattern AND full horns.

ShelteringPines Nessebar - gray katmoget will go back to purebred breeding as well. She's not super fine, but her ram lambs last year were, and as much as I enjoyed her badgerfaced mule ram lambs this year, she needs to go back to a horned Shetland ram. She's a ShelteringPines Starry Night daughter (and he had great horns too)

Just a few of my thoughts tonight while out watching the flock graze. They can hardly keep up to the grass its growing so fast, so moved their electro-net tonight while they were out. Always a great time for thinking. :)

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

Good for you Garrett. I spoke with one of the Australian fleece experts some years ago who told me that the genetics for polled includes a tendency for finer fleece (look to the trend with Merino and other ultra-fine fleece) but, BUT, that tendency was only that and that fine fleece was still a matter of breeding finest to finest over many generations. If memory serves, I was also told that you have to wait until the second year to evaluate the rams lambs. The hormonal shift in horned rams is more demanding than in polled as the horned ram must put so much of its keratin into setting up the massive horns that first year that the wool can be quite intensely affected.

I have always preferred horned Shetland rams and love the fact that you are going to focus on them once again. Good luck.

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