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 :)

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 ...