Monday, November 24, 2014

fourth and final breeding group

This year I have only had 4 groups together. Why, when I have 14 rams? Well, the easy answer is that I am not home a lot to be watering and feeding animals every day, like I used to. I also have so many nice rams now, that choosing who went with who, was fairly difficult, and so I kind of went by 'age'. Since I had no lambs this year, everyone was yearling or older. My oldest two, are both four and hadn't been used so I figured it was their time.

After utilizing F1 rams from AI every year, this year was no different, but I also used several F2, which are equally as nice. Several of these rams are going to be offered for sale, but about half of these rams will be processed in the spring as I cannot keep this many, and there are tiny reasons why I don't like each one. this is my best group of rams to date, so its hard to see any go. But go they must. I am hoping for some wonderful ram lambs to replace them with, when lambing starts end of march, 2015.

Anyway my last group is with a beautiful dark gray katmoget ram. He's a yearling and unnamed. WP1334 is a Jazz son out of WhitePine Beyonce (F2 Orion/F2 Jamie) who now resides in WA state with Franna. His microns were amazing (best ever for me) so I am using him on uewes that could use a little tweaking in areas that he excels in. Not only is he fine, but his conformation is one of my best. His fleece color and markings are lovely so i am hoping for gorgeous katmogets out of him.

**Any polled ram lambs will be available for sale, no matter how good of quality.**

WhitePine Nivea AI - gray katmoget - Jericho x Nirvana. She always produces and so this should be nothing unusual.

WhitePine Tecate - gray katmoget - FirthofFifth Nekomis x WhitePine Terah. Also lovely markings and fleece. eager to see what is produced.

WhitePine Des'ree - black krunet - Levi AI x Sommarang Eva. a fantastic ewe so anything here should be nice. very dense fleece.

WhitePine Roesound - gray katmoget - Whitepine Flo Rida AI (Holly) x WhitePine Rihanna AI (Jamie). gorgeous head and markings. dense fleece.

WhitePine Noss - white - Robb x WhitePine Neriah. she is a lovely white ewe who looks just like the whites you see in the UK. hoping for a nice white to move forward with.

WhitePine Uri - black - WhitePine Flo Rida AI (Holly) x ShelteringPines Amarige. she is also very dense and well put together.

WhitePine Nicollet - fawn katmoget smirslet sokket. Crosswind Apollo x WhitePine Nina Sky AI (Jericho). a ewe I was on the fence about, but decided to keep her after having friends go over her. I'd like to fix her tail a bit, and lower her CV. this ram should do the trick.

WhitePine Scatsa - gray katmoget horned - WhitePine Flo Rida AI (Holly) x WhitePine Snow Patrol (Jazz daughter). I'm looking to improve a few things with her too, but she is nothing to sneeze at.

Whistlestop 1204 - moorit - lots to like about her. she is mostly from island stock so curious to see how the fleece improvement will work over this type.

ShelteringPines Cabotine - mioget smirslet sokket flecket - Fudge x ShelteringPines Ceylon. An extreme mioget (meaning very light) but has produced nice lambs (like Carver, a ram I using for breeding). I love the dam's pedgree so hoping to capitalize on that in this breeding.

Late to the party, but still in with him are two newly acquired ewes:

Sheltering Pines Bengal - gray katmoget - She is a lovely ewe that I am excited to get my hands on. I think these lambs will be incredible, so hoping for something nice to keep!

Sommarang Isla - moorit FirthofFifth Avyt x Sommarang Ginger (a V Creek Guinevere grand daughter) I picked up in New York from Rich and Jen Johnson at Whispering Pines. Her micron, conformation and pedigree were all something i wanted to utilize (and proven to not be polled!)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

third breeding group

I had promised to post this last week, but work and farm got in the way! For photos and more info usually, check out our FaceBook Page: Ramsay Farms!

The third group is UnderTheSon Duke Cardiff. He is a musket, four year old, fully horned ram with an AFD of 25.8 and SD of 5.4. He's extremely dense, nice length to fleece, and put together very well! He's also a gentleman around the ladies, and a silky soft handle.

His ewes:
WhitePine Delting - black sokket krunet flecket - ShelteringPines Jardin de suspendu x WhitePine Des'ree (F2 Jamie). I would love a gray out of her, and her fleece is short (under 2") as a lamb so hoping for longer staple. her micron was 19.5 with an SD of 4.1 and CEM of 7, so that's ok ;)

WhitePine Clousta - black - She is out of ShelteringPines Jardin de suspendu x WhitePine Colby Cailaigh AI (Timothy). with fantastic numbers micron wise i'm hoping for a nice gray out of her too.

ShelteringPines Tresor - is a Fudge x ShelteringPines Debonaire ewe. a definite polled ewe, i'm hoping for a ewe that carries Duke's horn genetics or a ram that is horned (its possible with her genetics too).And gray or musket is fine with me here :) Also like to maker her fleece denser and longer staple.

WhitePine Taconite - black gulmoget - OK Acres Cadillac x BlackForest Tilly. she is my ideal Shetland, in the gulmoget form. Now if I just had 10 of her. So baby steps...maybe and Ag Gulmoet, or heck any gulmogets with their fleeces and his length of staple.

WhitePine Reawick - white ewe - ShelteringPines TelSay Camden (spotted gulmoget) x WhitePine Robyn. I'd like to see what she is under the white. She had great numbers as a lamb, but would like to make her crimpy tinier, and fix her tail (its not bad, but not my best). a nice white would be fine, or anything else too

WhitePine Asahi - moorit - WhitePine Levi AI (Jamie) x FirthofFifth Ashanti. she carries spots and is a gorgeous ewe. But most likely polled. So she will hopefully have a knock out lamb or two so I can keep them. she is a nice ewe but will be for sale if she has the proper lambs.

WhitePine Noche Bueno - moorit - small horns - WhitePine Caiphas AI (Holly) x WhitePine Naomi (Blues x Nirvana). A lovely girl. I hope for lovely brown based lambs.

WhitePine Adele AI - moorit - Orion x FirthofFifth Ashanti. she carries spots but am hoping for just anything, as I'm sure they'll be lovely.

WhitePine Bethany AI - moorit - Orion x Justalit'l Black Lambo. probably my best ewe for conformation, size, fleece staple/length, microns and 'look'. I am so excited to see these lambs.

WhitePine Blu Cantrell AI - gray katmoget. Jericho x Justalit'l Black Lambo. she produced such a stunning lamb in 2013, that it was agreed to give her another try with a different ram. So we shall see what shakes out.

WhietPine Eureka = smirslet sokket gray katmoget. I can never remember if her sire is CrossWind Apollo or OK Acres Cadillac. Her dam is WhitePine Eiffel 65, a jazz daughter. She was to be sold, but things change, so she went in with Duke to see if I can get any spots (or Ag lambs). We shall see.

ShelteringPines Mademoiselle - fawn katmoget -. A gorgeous ewe out of Fudge x UnderHill Amethyst. Amethyst was a favorite of mine at Stephens so i'm so glad I was able to get her daughter. Id like to get her fleece more dense, so hoping Duke can do that.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

dreaming of lambs - second group

The second breeding group i'm keeping is WhitePine City High AI. He is out of a ram called Heatheram Lightning (bred and owned by Tony Bennett, UK) and a ewe named FirthofFifth Koosi AI (bred by my mentor Cynthia Cailaigh) who is out of Todhill Jericho (love this ram) and Justalit'l Chloe (one of my founding ewes). This ram is talked about more, further back in the blog (with micron results). Lightning is a line that has mostly been lost in the US, so I'm glad to have him.

He has 13 ewes. I am really excited to see these lambs.

Whistlestop 0526. She is a lovely, typey, moorit ewe. She was my pick out of his lamb crop that year and she was the first on the truck :)
Whistlestop 1201 - black - She is also a ewe from Jim's flock. I like a lot about her, including her density and crimp, and oozes breed type.
Whistlestop 1234 - moorit - great density and crimp structure, as well as good conformation like all his sheep have.
ShelteringPines Classique - moorit smirslet sokket - She is a Fudge x V Creek Guinevere. lovely ewe that i can't really fault.
ShelteringPines Amarige - fawn katmoget - Fudge x Lil Country Possum. A beautiful ewe that I have admired for awhile.
WhitePine Sedalia - smirslet sokket gray katmoget. For anyone who reads my blog, knows that this ewe has been a favorite of mine since birth. A Jazz daughter, with a fantastic fleece and a great producer.
WhitePine Norah Jones - gray katmoget - WhitePine Levi AI (Jamie) x WhitePine Neriah (Blues x Nirvana). she has a lovely blue fleece with the tiny crimp i love.
WhitePine Pacena - musket - FirthofFifth Nekomis (Blues x Nadeen) x OwlHill Pranilla (Greyling x Orion). One of my favorites. Not much to dislike about her.
WhitePine Roseau - white - WhitePine Barnabas AI (Orion x Timothy) and WhitePine Rihanna AI (Jamie x FirthofFifth Rahu) another favorite of mine.
WhitePine Auburn AI - mioget - Heights Orion x FirthofFifth Ashanti. She is one of my finest ewes with the best numbers and has produced some lovely lambs.
WhitePine Brettabister - fawn katmoget - she's out of Whistlestop 1222 x WhitePine Blu Cantrell AI (Jericho x Justalit'l Black Lambo). One of my very finest yearlings.
WhitePine Aywick - fawn katmoget smirslet - WhitePine Flo Rida AI (Holly) x FirthofFifth Ashanti. She's a lovely yearling who's going to be a knock out. great head.
WhitePine Neap - black light badgerface - Whistlestop 1123 x WhitePine Naomi (Blues x Nirvana) is an exquisite yearling whom I fall for every time I go out to the paddock.

Micron testing on these ewes shows that they are all about the same as City High for numbers. However, I was looking for more density from these ewes, and his fleece length. HIS horns and pedigree, and many of the ewes are Orion based (which I have found blends nicely with the Jericho in my ewes). I am pretty excited about this group. I've held him over now (he's 4) while using other rams, but I'm glad I am able to finally use him.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dreaming of lambs

I've been writing, and then re-writing my breeding groups for this fall. There will be 5 groups. Four at my farm in Perham, MN (visitors welcome by appointments!), and one in Wisconsin where the sheep were at Summer Camp.

I said in a previous blog that overall, i'm really pleased with where my micron numbers are in my flock. Micron testing is inexpensive, and a huge asset when trying to decide between two ewes, who are conformationally sound, proven mothers and are of patterns/markings/colors that you desire. MOST of my ewes compliment the rams I am pairing them with this year, either by hoping to correct AFD, CV, CEM etc or in the sense that they should produce more of the same, but in a color/sex that I am currently after. As always, conformation, breed standard type, and good Shetland traits (mothering ability, hardiness, etc) are sought first before fleece fineness (but I do want correct Shetland typical fleece (dense, soft handle, fine, crimp, elasticity)

I hope to get individual photos of the rams and ewes, once everyone is home in their breeding groups.

My first group I'll talk about tonight is WhitePine Carver's group.

He is a mioget, smirslet, sokket. He has wide sweeping horns, and was born in 2012, so he is 2.5 years old. This is his first breeding. His microns are amazing and are located elsewhere on this blog.

his sire is WhitePine Barnabas AI, out of ShelterPines Cabotine (Fudge x Ceylon).

His girls this fall:
WhitePine New Glarus - white - she is a Roman AI x Nirvana daughter with scurs. I haven't bred her yet so curious to see what she produces.
WhitePine Riahanna - white - she is Willowcroft Jamie x FirthofFifth Rahu. She's most likely polled and everything about her I love. She carries moorit.
UnderTheSon Souchong - white horned ewe - she is UTS Broderick x UTS Hopi. She produced a nice ram bred to Jazz, so looking for ewes and white is fine with me!
WhitePine Lunna - white - She is by Robb x WinterSky Layla AI. modified lambs would be fun, or i'm excited about whites!
WhitePine Foley - moorit smirslet sokket - OK Acres Cadillac x WhitePine Faith (a Jazz daughter). Obviously i'll get spots! hoping for his fleece style, although she is quite fine.
WhitePine Bivina - musket - WhitePine Caiphas AI x OwlHill Butter. lots of neat older UK genetics here (Holly, Greyling, Orion) on a nice ewe.She also carries spots.
WhitePine Isbister - moorit light badgerface - Whistlestop 1123 x WhitePine UTS Cinnibarina. she exudes breed type, but would like a more preferred fleece type on her.
WhitePine Skellister - black light badger face - Whistlestop 1123 x WhitePine Salome (horned, Jazz daughter). 
WhitePine Eiffel 65 - gray katmoget smirslet sokket - a Jazz daughter out of Sommarang Emerald. I love so much about her. I'm excited for spots.
WhitePine Neriah - gray katmoget - Wintertime Blues Ai x Nirvana. Love this ewe.
WhitePine Nina Sky AI - gray katmoget smirslet sokket - Jericho x Nirvana. Can't fault her much either.
WhitePine Lydia - gray katmoget - She is Jazz x Wintersky Layla AI. She's still one of my favorites although her AFD is higher (28)
WhitePine Snow Patrol - gray katmoget horned - Jazz x Sheltering Pines SnowCloud. Another great ewe.
WhitePine Aithsetter - gray katmoget smirslet - WhitePine Flo Rida AI x FirthofFifth Ashanti. she's an up and coming ewe worth watching.
ShelteringPines Nirvana . gray katmoget horned ewe. I can't stop using her. I've offered for sale numberous times but no one sees her virutes, so I continue to use her. She's older stuff: UnderHill TS Eliot x ShelteringPines Modron. A lot of the sheep now have lost this 'look' and so I hope to continue with her look, which is what I think of, when I see Shetland in my head.
WhitePine Norby - black gulmoget/katmoget. She is out of ShelteringPines TelSay Camden x WhitePine Nivea. So she carries spots and i'm hoping for a gulmoget lol.

So that's 16 ewes. I would possibly offer a few of these for sale, bred, but I am not sure which, without a lot of persuading! I have a lot of ewes lambing, so some could be considered.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Breeding Season is coming.

After last fall, of not breeding ANY sheep, due to circumstances dealing with work away from the farm, and work load involving lambing at the farm, while I was away, well, let's just say it didnt' happen.

Everyone got a year off.

I hated it.

Everyone else had cute lambs to watch play. Everyone else had hopefuls they were watching over the summer to keep in the flock. It was a time of reflection for me, and a time of finding myself. What did I really want to do? many questions and answers, which in turn, made more questions.

with a more decided idea of what I wanted to do, I shipped my sheep to Summer Camp. I removed myself emotionally from the sheep. Which was extremely hard. And then I asked for Cynthia's, Kelly's and Philip's opinions on my sheep. I knew what had to be done.

in 2012 I had about 144 ewes. just under half were crosses (mostly mules). After last weekend I pulled that number down to 45 Shetland ewes, 5 crosses and 2 BFL. A pretty big feat. I also have some that I'm keeping to use this fall, in hopes of improving them further through their lambs, and then offering the ewes available next year.

I have decided on four rams for pure breeding this fall. I am breeding all 45 Shetlands pure. I had a lot of inquiries this year for lambs, but fortunately I was able to move out another 30 some Shetland ewes as breeding stock (some pure, some for crossing) so it was a nice feeling to get those ewes to new homes so I can concentrate on what i have left.

The rams I am using are unproven this fall. there are a few I kept holding on to, hoping to be able to be used, and finally it is there turn in the spot light!

i'll be finding photos of them and posting here as I get the opportunity.

WhitePine Carver - mioget smirslet sokket, horned. Sire: WhitePine Barnabas AI x ShelteringPines Cabotine. He was born in 2012 and this is his first opportunity for breeding ewes. He will have 13 ewes going in with him (or so I think, as of today).

His micron numbers for this spring were:
AFD: 21, SD: 4.6, CV 22.4, CEM 8.9, CF 97.1, SF 20.6, CRV: 85.9

He is a deep bodied ram (for a shetland), average size, good bite, feet and perfect tail. His horns are large and wide. His biggest downside is he continue to jump fencing when there isn't a strand of electric on top. So he's super smart too.

WhitePine City High AI - born in 2010, this gray katmoget is out of imported semen Heatheram Lightning and FirthofFifth Koosi AI (a Jericho daughter). He has a lot of UK lines in him, close up in the pedigree. His horns are nicely space, rounded and spiraled out. He is another nice bodied ram with the full package: markings, good bite, lovely head, perfect tail, and i think he is also modified. He hasn't been used yet due to other F1 rams wanting to be used first, but he will have 13 ewes as well, in his breeding group. He is mellow, and will be available for sale after this breeding season.

His microns from this spring were:
AFD: 23.6, SD: 4.5, CV 19, CEM 7.7, CF 94.5, SF 22.6, CRV 52.4. He is silky soft with great luster, soft handle and lots of breed type.

WhitePine 1334 (unnamed still) - born 2013 - he is also a gray katmoget but very dark blue fleece to it. He is out of Wintertime Jazz AI x WhitePine Beyonce (double F2 Orion), so he carries moorit. He is a nicely maturing yearling I will use this fall as his horns, due to the poll gene, are going to need to be trimmed. Its a pity, he has my best numbers ever for a yearling micron result, and is structurally correct, with loads of breed type.

His yearling micron numbers from this spring were:

AFD 19.3, SD 3.2, CV 16.8, CEM 6.1, CF 99.6, SF 18.1, CRV 74.2

To someone who wants to improve fleeces, he may be what you are looking for. 

the fourth ram I want to talk about so badly but he will have to wait until the purchase is complete. I am pretty excited about him and have 11 ewes planned for him already. He is a more rare pattern in horned Shetlands of the fine fleece, so look foward to utilizing him.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

 The ewes below represent some proven ewes, as well as some younger ewes, that, due to having to cut back further, will be available. When you go from 135 sheep, down to 50 in two years (just Shetland ewes, not lambs or rams) it is a huge undertaking. Stressful, heart breaking and a huge lesson in hard decisions and proud moments.

The three horned ewes are proven, and are extremely rare. I traveled around Shetland, Scotland and England and didn't see a single horned ewe. there are few in the USA or Canada as well, and the horned ewe gene is inherited differently than the horned ram/hornless ewes, or the polled gene. I have something from these ewes (Nirvana has 13 offspring or grand kids here) so she can go help promote horned ewe genetics elsewhere. her style, look and type are all very shetland like and she will stay here forever if she doesn't find a home that will use her genetics.

ShelteringPines Nirvana - gray katmoget horned ewe - 2007 born. Underhill Thelonius Monk x ShelteringPines Modron. She carries moorit, spots and is one of my foundation ewes. She just tipped over 30 micron for the first time ever so she's a grade 3 fleece in FFSSA due to AFD. shes about 115 pounds
AFD 30.4, SD 5.4, CV 17.7 CEM 9.2 All outstanding numbers. She's produced some incredible rams and ewes. i've kept them all. $300


WhitePine Salome - black yuglet flecket sokket horned ewe - 2009 born. WinterTime Jazz AI x ShelteringPines Snow Cloud. She hasn't produced moorit yet, but lots of flash. her tail looks longer but it isn't. very square, shorter legged ewe. i've retained two daughters and a son. 80 pounds. Grade 2-Premium fleece in FFSSA. $300
AFD 28, SD 5.7, CV 20.2, CEM 9.8 She's produced!


UnderThSon Souchong - white horned ewe - 2010 born. She is a UTS Broderick (orion) x UTS Hopi. She produced a fantastic ram lamb so i'm keeping him. She is square and bigger (100 pounds). Grade 3 fleece in FFSSA due to AFD. $300
AFD30.2 SD 5.8, CV 19.2 CEM10.2


BlackForest Tokhara - she's fawn, or light moorit. F2 Orion out of a flashy spotted gullie. I kept her son from last year who I'm in love with, and a ewe form the year prior. 85# Grade 3 fleece in FFSSA due to CV. Proven modified, carries spots.
AFD 23.4, SD 6.4, CV 27.3, CEM 12.5 $275 RESERVED


WhitePine Lexington - fawn/light moorit. F2 orion. She's Crosswind Apollo (mioget wildly spotted) x Wintersky Layla AI (horned). she isn't horned. She's a bigger girl (100) with nice fleece, but not nice enough for me (hey i have to cut back). her sisters are just a hair better. Grade 2 fleece in FFSSA.

AFD 24.8, SD 6, CV24.3, CEM12 $275 RESERVED


WhitePine Eureka - spotted gray kat (Donna this is the one in all the close up photos you liked!) CrossWind Apollo (mioget wildly spotted) x WhitePine Eiffel 65 (she's a jazz daughter). I showed her at WSWF last year and made the cut under the UK judge. Her mom is slightly better (she's nothing to sneeze at either) but here she is. Grade 2 fleece in FFSSA.
AFD 25.3, SD 6.4, CV 25.3, CEM 12.3 yearling fleece. $275 RESERVED


S'more Mamba - black light badgerface ewe. She produced a decent ewe lamb last year. If she doesn't sell, i'll keep her, as her conformation and rare pattern are enough to keep her here. Grade 1 fleece in FFSSA. Outstanding ewe line.
AFD 24.8, SD 5.8, CV 23.3, CEM 10.7 $300


WhitePine Skor born 2007. shaela. Gorgeous, full bodied, proven ewe. Always twins. I can't seem to match her with the right rams, fleece wise. She wasn't micron tested this last year as she was at Cynthia's already over the winter (she was going to be leased elsewhere but that didn't work out). She's available for $275. Grade 3 in FFSSA last micron test. RESERVED

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

35 Adult ewe microns

Below you will see a table I quickly made of the 35 adult ewes that will be bred this fall, pending any last minute opinions next week when I get to see them in the flesh. They are arranged by AFD, although I use all four of these numbers (as well as other numbers, pedigree, lambing history, color, pattern etc in my decisions) . Microns are a tool that help me decide when I'm waffling between two sheep or mother/daughter pairs.

The ones without names, but numbers are from Whistlestop and haven't been named yet ( I know, i'm sorry).

The ewe flock average is AFD 24.7, SD 5.1, CV 20.46, CEM 9. These are pretty much my ideal numbers for my flock. Now just to fine tune the girls as individuals. Always a work in progress.

1P Beyonce 20.4 4.4 21.5 8.3 
1P Adele AI 21.7 4.4 20.2 8
1P Auburn AI 21.8 4.3 19.8 7.7
1P Taconite 22.4 4.9 21.7 8.9
1 Classique 22.4 5 22.6 9.5
1P 526 22.5 4.4 19.6 7.8
1 1219 22.5 5.3 23.6 10
1P Pacena 22.8 4.9 21.3 9.1
1P Madem 23.3 3.8 16.4 6.6
1P Foley 23.4 4.9 21 9.4
2 1204 23.5 6.1 25.8 11
1P Sedalia 23.6 4.3 18.1 8
2 1201 24 6.1 25.3 11
1P Bethany AI 24.2 4.7 19.5 8.1
1P Eiffel 65 24.4 5.2 21.4 9.3
1 Cabotine 24.5 5.5 22.3 9.1
1P Nisswa 24.7 5.4 21.9 11
1P Amarige 24.9 5.4 21.6 9.8
2P New Glarus 25.2 4.6 18.2 8
2 Asahi 25.3 5.2 20.5 9.3
2P Snow Patrol 25.7 5.3 20.5 8.6
2P Bivina 25.9 5.3 20.5 9.2
2P Tecate 25.9 5.3 20.4 9.9
2P Tresor 25.9 5.3 20.6 9.5
2 Colby AI 25.9 6 23 12
2P Nivea AI 26 5.2 19.9 9
2P Roseau 26.3 5.2 19.8 9.6
2P Noche 26.4 5.3 19.9 9.3
2P 1234 26.7 5.8 21.8 10
2P Nina Sky AI 26.8 5.1 19 8.4
2P Rihanna AI 27 5.1 18.9 9.1
2P Norah Jones 27.2 4.7 17.1 7.7
1P Des'ree 27.3 5.4 19.7 9.1
2P Lydia 27.5 4.3 15.7 7.5
2P Neriah 27.7 4.7 17 7.3

Sunday, June 29, 2014


I spent a good half hour 'chillin' with the cattle. Since they are out on pasture, I don't get to see them up close every day. It was an extremely windy day at the farm , and the mosquitoes and flies were getting the ladies fired up. So much that they grouped together and then took to the water to try and lose them. 

We are down to the bare bones here. My dad has the two black Simmental, and the rest (count 6) are mine, plus the bull. We are finally going to go back to purebred breeding, after five years of crossing. The Red Angus x Simmental is still a hot commodity, but I wanted to breed up the herd again, now that its down to three mother/daughter pairs.

You certainly couldn't complain about the scenery! We also have a bald eagle nest in this pasture. its the second year they've used it for their nesting grounds. for as ferocious a hunter, they sure seem to keep away from us humans and mind their own business.

Friday, June 13, 2014


Well we hadn't planned on any lambs in 2014. And that worked pretty well. No adult ewes were bred. Then, sometime in January, our biggest and fiesty-est (is that a word?) ram lamb busted through two panels and a plywood gate to get in with the then, ewe lambs.

At shearing, we found 5 yearling ewes to be indeed pregnant. He was only in with them for a few hours and clearly was a busy guy.

Today two of those ewes lambed, producing singles, one is a fawn katmoget ewe lamb and the other is highly spotted ram lamb. photos when time permits!

A special thank you to my mentor and friend for helping with this task!

Monday, March 17, 2014

2014 micron results for all ages of rams

I've chosen not to post my 'all flock' results the past few years for several reasons.

1. I  feel that my numbers dont' change very much from year to year on a specific sheep.
2. I feel that this information is private and is used to better my own flock and goals.
3. By NOT posting, I do not get unwanted soliciting for animals that are not for sale. When and if an animal is available and the buyer is genuinely interested, I would offer those numbers to them on that specific animal.
4. I have tested over 100 sheep the last 6 years and taking the time to post all that info on so many sheep is time consuming and not needed when most are not for sale!

But just to let everyone know that I AM on the right track, please enjoy these numbers below:

Average ram micron results (lambs and adults)
AFD 20.5, SD 4.6, CV 22.8, CEM 8.9, CF 96.8, SF 20.3

WS1123 - Three year old, black, light badgerrface horned ram. Bred by Jim and Brandy Chastain. (*Grade 1)
AFD 19.9/ SD 4.8/ CV 23.9/ CEM 9.4/ CF 96.8 /SF 19.8

WhitePine City High - three year old, (Heatheram Lightning x FirthofFifth Koosi AI) gray katmoget horned ram (*Grade 1)
AFD 23.6/ SD 4.5/ CV 19.0/ CEM 7.7/ CF 94.5/ SF 22.6

WS1222 - two year old, moorit horned ram bred by the Chastains. (*Grade 2 due to CV)
AFD 21.8/ SD 5.6/ CV 25.8/ CEM 10.7/ CF 92.1/ SF 22.2

RTF Robb - two year old white horned ram - WhitePine Barnabas x WhitePine Rush (*Grade 1)
AFD 21.3/ SD 4.8/ CV 22.4/ CEM 9.5/ CF 95.2/ SF 21.0

WhitePine Carver - two year old moorit smirslet socket horned ram - WhitePine Barnabas x ShelteringPines Cabotine (* Grade 1)
AFD 21.0/ SD 4.6/ CV 22.1/ CEM 8.9/ CF 97.1/ SF 20.6

The above 5 rams did not come back as any surprises, except for a higher CV on the 1222 ram. Since these are second or third fleece tests, these rams can be officially recorded in the FFSSA database and not just provisional any longer. Its important to have mature rams tested every year to verify their quality of fleece and that they are not super fine ram lambs and are used for breeding and sold off before we know their mature fleece and if it will hold or not. You cannot base your entire breeding program on using ram lambs if you don't know how their parents tested or how they will test themselves at 2 or 3 fleece.

The next 8 ram lambs were also tested (I guess now yearlings). These are first fleece results and will be marked as provisional in the FFSSA database. This just gives me an idea of how they will continue to mature. None are surprises given their parents micron results in years past. While there is always room for improvement, and room for more knowledge, I was happy that I had a ballpark idea of how they would come back.

WP1312 Shaela yearling horned ram. Sheltering Pines Jardin de Spensau x WhitePine Nina Sky AI.
AFD 21.6/ SD4.6/ CV 21.1/ CEM 8/ CF97.5/ SF 97.5 (*provisional Grade 1)

WP1315 white yearling horned ram. Wintertime Jazz AI x UnderTheSon Souchong.
AFD 20.7/ SD 4.6/ CV 22.3/ CEM 8.5/ CF 97.4/ SF 20.4 (*Provisional Grade 1)

WP1316 gray katmoget smirslet socket horned yearling ram. Wintertime Jazz AI x ShelteringPines Nirvana.
AFD 20.5/ SD 5.1/ CV 24.8/ CEM 9.9/ CF 95.9/ SF 20.7 (*provisional Grade 2)

WP1328 - fawn horned ram - ShelterPines Camden x WhitePine Shakira AI
AFD 18.7/ SD 4.1/ CV 21.9/ CEM 8.4/ CF 99.1/ SF 18.3 (*provisional Grade 1)

WP1334 - horned gray katmoget smirslet - Wintertime Jazz AI x WhitePine Beyoncé
AFD 19.3/ SD 3.2/ CV 16.8/ CEM 6.1/ SF 99.6/ SF 18.1 (*provisional Grade 1)

WP1346 black horned yearling ram - Wintertime Jazz AI x UnderTheSon Cassandra
AFD 18.9/ SD 5.1/ CV 27.1/ CEM 10.1/ CF 98.2/ SF 19.5 (*provisional grade 3 due to CV. I expect the CV to drop in next years sample. interesting his less than 15micron was the highest at 21.2)

WP1356 - mioget horned yearling ram - WS1222 x WhitePine Auburn AI
AFD18.8/ SD 4.3/ CV 22.9/ CEM 8.1/ 98.8/ SF 18.6 (*provisional grade 1)

WP1364 - horned moorit smirslet socket yearling ram - ShelteringPines Camden x BlackForest Tersk
AFD 20.0/ SD 5.2/ CV 25.8/ CEM 10.1/ CF 96.8/ SF 20.3 (*provisional Grade 2 due to CV. I again think this will drop down to an acceptable Grade 2 in next year's test)


Friday, January 31, 2014

Shetland Islands Day 1

On our first day of being on Shetland, we met two very important people, in the history of the Shetland Sheep breed.

The first stop, was with Hamish Hunter. He is a 3rd generation Shetland Sheep shepherd and runs the flocks of Vementry. These flocks are older than the SFBT (Shetland Flock Book Trust) and older than the 1927 standard.

The moorit flock is well over 100 years old, and the white is nearly as old. An interesting tidbid is the estate is called Vementry, in part, to the island named that is part of the estate. On this island, there are no buildings or people or electricity or roads. Just the entire white ewe flock of Shetlands. This is where the entire purebreeding of the white Shetlands is done. Hamish takes the white rams across the bay in a small fishing boat during the breeding season and collects them again with dogs after its complete. The only time the ewes are taken from the island is when they are injured, will be used for cross breeding, or sold. We were lucky enough to see the white rams and ram lambs and the photos we took I hope help show just how typey and breed standard this flock of sheep are, being maintained for well over a century.

The moorits are kept closer to the homestead and we were able to see the entire ewe flock, the adult rams and ram lambs. There were several beautifully fleeced sheep in this group of ram lambs, but Hamish wouldn't sell the ones Kate and Phillip wanted :) Hamish did have several available for the Annual Ram Sale in Lerwick, however.

The ewes used for crossbreeding are also kept on the Shetland 'Mainland'. this is to make sure that none of the white ewes are crossed by accident. Since only rams are inspected and passed for the flockbook knowing which white ram bred which white ewe isn't necessary. When Hamish told me they run 660 pure Shetland ewes, my mouth dropped. You will see that with the crofts as we go, most are run by men (or families) and are in the hundreds. They retained 44 white ewe lambs this year (so basically the cream of the cream of the crop).

Shearlings are around 45-50 kg, adult rams 50-60kg. only fed grass or haylage (different name that what we use in the States).

Hamish and his family typically roo all the rams, and keep 3 fleeces to enter in to the Annual fleece show, held the night before the Ram Sale. They have traditionally won the Champion Group of 3 White fleeces than not, in the past 25 years. They had some really really nice fine fleeces entered at the show, and we were able to see them beforehand when we had tea and biscuits up at their house after looking at the animals on foot.

Hamish and his family are top notch people. Very knowledgeable, extremely friendly and catering hosts, open to all sorts of questions and we were able to take photos of anything and everything AND take fleece samples :)


The second stop on our journey around Shetland was with Jim Nicholson. For those of you not familiar with Jim, he has been the Secretary of the SFBT for the past 19 years. His father and uncle had crofts as well. Some of his genetics still go back to those flocks, so also back since before the 1927 standard and the SFBT creation. Jim still keeps around 280 ewes, 140 of them Shetland, with the balance NCC x Shetland ewes that are then taken to a suffolk ram for market lambs. He maybe has 20 colored Shetlands with the rest whites.

Jim has found his shetland-cheviot crosses to lamb at 140%, his suffolk x NCC/Shetland 170%.

Jim was extremely helpful in telling us about the SFBT and its beginnings and some information and history on the association, the crofters on the islands and more. I will be blogging about that in a separate post.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pedigree transfers

If anyone has purchased sheep from me, other than Michelle, Rayna or Joe, and hasn't received their paperwork from me, can you please let me know? I will be not renewing my NASSA membership for 2014 and would like to get all transfers done prior to the grace period ending.

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 ...