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.

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 ...