Thursday, September 26, 2013

Moving ahead

Our current flock moving in to fall is a bit different than it was these past few years. Due to work commitments, drought, flood, lack of hay, I had to make a hard decision to sell most of my Mule flock. Last year I culled half of my purebred Shetlands so this year, so far, they have made most of the cuts. I still have 4 ewes available in this round of sorting.

I kept back four English Blue patterned Shetland Mules, and one Black Badgerface Shetland Mule, all yearlings. I also kept back a Cormo cross I got from Stephen Rouse, and three white BlueFaced Leicester ewes. In addition to these nine 'non Shetland' ewes, I have an old 11 year old Justalit'l Chloe who soldiers on, albeit looking exhausted. Another cold/hard winter may prove too much for her, but she is still adamant about finding that last blade of grass and being the first in for hay.

In addition to those 10 ewes, I have kept back 5 rams,and 8 ram lambs. All purebred Shetland.

Whistlestop 1123 is a black light badgerface with full horns. He was used heavily last fall and I was happy with his lambs this year. He's mostly Island genetics with some Orion thrown in, very crimpy and fine. I'm glad he's in my flock.

Whistlestop 1222 is a solid moorit yearling with full horns. He was used on just a few ewes and I'm very happy with his lambs. If i decide to breed this fall, he will be used heavily. He is also Island genetics with some Orion.

WhitePine City High AI is a gray katmoget ram who is F1 Lightning and fully horned. I believe he is shaela or emsket so if I breed this fall I'd like to use him on the modified girls. His dam is FirthofFifth Koosi who is a F1 Jericho and we all know how much I love that line.

RTF Robb is a white yearling fully horned ram, with my breeding (he should be WhitePine registered but that's another story). He is WhitePine Barnabas AI (Orion/Timothy) x WhitePine Rush (Orion/Rachildas) and was used on a few ewes last fall. I also really like this guy and hope to utilize him in the future.

WhitePine Carver is a yearling moorit smirslet sokket fully horned ram. He is also out of WhitePine Barnabas AI, and ShelteringPines Cabotine, a mioget krunet sokket. His fleece is amazing. Now if I could just figure out how to keep him inside the fence.

The 8 ram lambs I am either going to try and use this fall, if I breed, offer for sale, or keep for further evalatuions for myself. If they don't sell I can always eat them :)

WP1312 Shaela horned ram. ShelteringPines Jardin x WhitePine Nina Sky AI. The modified suprised me but I am pleased. I showed him in Jefferson and he has an extremely fine and soft fleece. Lots of crimp. Goes to show that the dog coats sometimes turn out ;)

WP1315 white horned ram. Wintertime Jazz AI x UnderTheSon Souchong. he carries horned ewe gene and is a brick house. Also a Jazz baby so he's staying for now.

WP1316 smirslet sokket gray katmoget, horned ram. Wintertime Jazz AI x ShelteringPines Nirvana. Also carries horned ewe genetics. I really want to use him.

WP1334 gray katmoget horned ram. Wintertime Jazz AI x WhitePine Beyonce (double F2 Orion). He does not disappoint. I hope to use him too.

WP1328 moorit horned ram. ShelteringPines Telsay Camden x WhitePine Shakira AI (Orion). Lots to like about him.

WP1346 black horned ram. Wintertime Jazz AI x UnderTheSon Cassandra. I'm really impressed with this ram also.

WP1364 moorit smirslet horned ram. ShelteringPines TelSay Camden x FirthofFifth Tersk (F2 Orion). He really surprised me but I really gotta say even though both parents were gulmoget and he isn't, his fleece is so far incredible. If Corinne doesn't want him I'm sure I'll keep him.

WP1356 moorit horned ram. Whistlestop 1222 x WhitePine Auburn AI (orion x ashanti). This ram is pretty awesome too! He's linebred on Orion, one of my favorite lines to work with. Auburn is my lowest AFD/SD/CV/CEM on the place so this one may be one to watch.

On top of these rams and ewes above I have 45 Shetland ewes. I'd love to breed some of them this fall, but until I find a caretaker for the house and farm, i'm at the mercy of my dad, who isn't wild about the idea of breeding. To my detection, all are Grade1 or Grade 2 ewes, great bites, proper tails and ear sets, fine bone and nimble, alert expressions and of course, hardy, good moms, and good grazers.

If I need to take a year off of breeding, then it is, what it is. If I need to breed only 10 ewes, I will never be able to figure out which ones to breed! Maybe someone can come for a farm visit and help me choose :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Small update

Finally had a chance to evaluate the lambs. For those that read this blog; thank you! I put a lot of time and effort in to my flock of sheep and I know that it shows. I breed for myself, and to try and make sheep that best conform to the 1927 Standard. that being said, I do move out animals that I have a lot of the same bloodline, or pattern or color. Not because I wouldn't keep them, but because I just have a lot of sheep.

I've taken a position in Fargo, ND, about 75 miles each way to help make a more budgeted income for a few years. That being said I need to cut way back on my flock until time permits.

I am not going to go on and on about how great my sheep are, or take 100 photos of each sheep, but I will tell you that I am very proud of my flock and how far they've come in just 7 years of lambing. I will retain all my yearling ewes and ewe lambs, and 25 adult Shetland ewes. I will also keep a few BFL, Cormo crosses and a few Shetland Mules. But the majority of the crossbreds are available for sale, as are about 30-40 adult Shetland ewes. These ewes are all Grade 2 and some are F1s and most are F2s out of UK semen. If they didn't have what it took, i wouldn't have them here.

Since I'm downsizing and have only so many hours on saturday evening and Sundays to tend to the farm myself, I am offering group deals. they are first come, your choice (of what is available) and are $1400 for 5 proven adult Shetland ewes, $2750 for 10 ewes. Or, your choice, $300 each.

All registered, purebred, Shetland sheep that I believe conform to the SSS 1927 Standard. All have past Micron results, have been tested negative for OPP/Johne's/CL/BTv. They are rotationally grazed and managed on an organic, grass fed diet.

I am by no means getting out of Shetlands or sheep in general, but need to madly downsize.

There will be a select few ram lambs available (horned or polled) but I am not going to push them hard. Whatever doesn't sell by Jefferson will be taken in to be processed ( I am getting a strong market for meat as well).

My flock is one of very few that have been inspected by several UK certified flock inspectors and have passed (they kept saying how the sheep looked just like theirs back home!) and I again will have the pleasure of having a few select animals shown to UK judges at Jefferson again this September.

My crossbred flock lambs will most likely go to market mid August, along with first round evals of ram lambs and ewe lambs and any ewes that aren't up to snuff any longer. I am usually home on Sundays so that's the day that would be best to come and pick out what you need for your flock :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lambs abound in 2013

With Facebook pages now much easier to post on, and update, most of what goes on, on our farm is updated there. So for those of you not on FB, my apologies.

I do like the idea of Blogger better for thought out blog posts, giving my experiences and opinions, and for listing things, such as lambs :)

We are well underway with lambing here. Both our Mules and our Shetlands are over halfway done. Several of the rams I used, have had all their lambs born already so I will post them first.

Whistlestop 1123 - black light badgerface ram was bred to the following ewes:

WhitePine Salome - horned black yuglet sokket flecket (Jazz x ShelteringPines Snow Cloud) - produced a black light badgerface smirslet ewe lamb. We will wait to see if she's horned ( I am hoping!)

WhitePine Terah -  black ewe (UTS Arapaho x BlackForest Tilly (a Forrest daughter)) - produced twins, a black ewe and a moorit light badgerface ewe. both just stunning.

WhitePine Fiji - black ewe (White Pine Roman AI (Orion) x ShelteringPines Fleur de Lis - produced a smashing moorit light badgerface ram. If all turns out, I want to hang on to this guy.

WhitePine Naomi - fawn katmoget (Wintertime Blues AI x ShelteringPines Nirvana) produced a gorgeous moorit light badgerface ewe. i'm calling dibs on this ewe lamb too.

WhitePine Skor - shaela ewe (FirthofFifth Don Telmo Bourbon x FirthofFifth Assam Meleng) produced twin ewe lambs: a black ewe (could be shaela) and a moorit light badgerface ewe. She always produces quality lambs but never modified....hence why she's still here.

WhitePine Faith - gray katmoget krunet sokket ewe (Jazz x Minwawe Flopsy) produced twin ewe lambs: a black ewe and a black light badgerface ewe. Both have krunets.

UTS Cinnibarina - moorit ewe (UTS Taggerty x UTS Anglaise) produce twin ewe lambs! Both moorit light badgerface.

FirthofFifth Rahu - white illget ewe (Forrest x RYL Rachildas) produced a POLLED and smashing black light badgerface ram. Rahu never disappoints me with her lambs and he is breathtaking.

FirthofFifth Ashegon - moorit ewe (Wintertime Blues AI x FirthofFifth Ashanti) produced a moorit light badgerface ewe! Another keeper.

BlackForst Tokhara - fawn ewe (WhitePine Ephraim AI x BlackForest Towanda (a Forrest daughter) produced twin rams, both moorit light badgerface.

WhitePine Bethany AI - moorit ewe - Heights Orion x Justalit'l Black Lambo - produced twins: a black ewe and a black lightbadger face ram, who's also polled. he's incredible.

And then we have RTF Robb a white horned ram. He is out of WhitePine Barnabas AI x WhitePine Rush (FirthofFifth Aman AI x RYL Rachildas). His mom was sold as a bred ewe and I liked him so much as a lamb that I traded him back for a different ewe :)

He was bred to the following ewes:

WinterSky Layla AI - mioget horned ewe (Heights Orion x Underhill Loretta Lynn). She produced twin ewe lambs: a white and a moorit. Let's hope for horns :)

Sommarang Eva - gray katmoget ewe (Underhill Bandit x V Creek Snowflake) produced a spotted gray katmoget ewe lamb.

BlackForest Azteca - emsket ewe (WhitePine Ephraim AI x FirthofFifth Agio) produced what will be an emsket ewe lamb!

WhitePine Tecate - gray kamoget ewe (FirthofFifth Nekomis x BlackForest Tilly) produced a smashing ram lamb. He's Musket however. And Robb is Awt/Aa. and I don't own a musket ram (or gray). So either he belongs to a musket ewe and my dad got mixed up when they were born (I was away when she lambed). So we shall hold out on registering him until we know parentage. He's so worth it though!

WhitePine Neriah - gray katmoget (Wintertime Blues AI x ShelteringPines Nirvana) produced a lovely white ewe lamb.

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 ...