Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2015 fall breeding groups (and ramblings)

So.. The groups are together. This is usually the time of year i put them together, but no matter how early I put Shetlands together, they never seem to start to lamb until the first week of April. Having them in Wisconsin now, may change that, so we shall see. 

this  past spring we did an informal color census of the FFSSA sheep and found that quite a few color patterns were quite rare. Whites in general were very rare. This makes sense, given that Shetlands are known for their array of colors, markings and patterns. 

We also found that most of the colors were present in polled flocks but not in horned. horned gulmogets were pretty much non existant in FFSSA flocks, horned whites, horned AG, horned light badger face, and horned modified colors. The only colors we really were strong in were gray katmogets, moorits and blacks. 

The FFSSA also has a large number of quality polled animals, so it is my decision to stick with horned stock (rams and ewes, as well as hornless ewes that produced horned rams) so we can continue to have as diversified of USA flock as possible in the realm of horns, fleece, color, pattern and pedigree. 

I have always, and will continue to preserve and protect and promote the 1927 standard Shetland. Not every type of Shetland, but the one that was imported. Inspected and pass the 1927 standard. I also am not in this for personal gain. I want my sheep to be utilized to help promote and protect the future of the breed, not the future of my personal farm. I don't want everyone to have WhitePine Shetlands (although its a lofty idea), but I want them to have 1927 standard Shetlands. If my farm is the right choice for you to get to that same end result, then I am happy to help. 

This year I moved out FORTY (40) adult ewes. That is a lot of ewes, for any one to move out. Some went to purebred homes, some went unregistered (for pure or cross breeding) and some went to market. That is part of being a farmer or shepherd and having the sheep pay for themselves.

So 40 ewes gone. I bred everything pure last year as I hadn't bred in two years. I got a lot of lambs i liked. This fall i kept 22 ewe lambs and 7 ram lambs. I obviously won't keep them all forever, but wanted to see what their microns came back in the spring. They had a lot of what I wanted, more density, more fleece length, more crimp, better conformation. Most of them replaced their mothers (which is always the point of breeding, to be better than their parents).

And since I was looking to expand the white, Ag and light badger face numbers, I decided to make breeding groups for them. So....finally, here are my breeding groups.

WhitePine Loki (white, horned, ram lamb) was put to 9 white ewes. None of the sheep are homozygous white. Some are spotted under the white, some are katmoget under the white and some are modified under the white. Regardless of that, I better get some nice whites as well! The nine ewes are the following: 
WhitePine New Glarus (WP Roman AI x SP Nirvana) horned carries katmoget and spots
WhitePine Roseau (WP Barnabas AI xWhitePine Rihanna AI) carries moorit
WhitePine Noss (WP Robb x WP Neriah ) shes freckled Kate ;)
Lancien Clarice (all domestic lines but silky soft) carries spots
Lancien Aida (mostly domestic lines again) carries spots
Lancien First Lady (mostly domestic lines again) carries spots
PS23 KitKat  - island genetics and UK imports
PS23 Hope - island genetics and UK imports
PS23 Isadora - island genetics and UK imports carries moorit and horned ewe genes
This group is for UnderTheSon Duke. We found out this spring that he carries spots and had some really flashy lambs from him. Since I kept a musket son of his, and six ewe lambs, this group is quite big in the fact that I'll offer Duke FOR SALE after this breeding season. With the group of girls he has here, we should have more stunning lambs to keep from him, to move forward with. He's F2 orion, and could also be modifed, but haven't seen that in the lambs yet. 
His ewes are the following:
Lancien Matilda (Ag gray)  mostly domestic lines
WhitePine Lydia gray katmoget (WT Jazz AI x WS Layla AI) carries moorit, spots and modified
WhitePine Norah Jones  gray katmoget (WP Levi AI x WP Neriah) carries moorit, spots, and modified
WhitePine Des'ree black smirslet (WP Levi AI x Sommarang Eva) 
ShelteringPines Anais gray katmoget (WT Fudge x V Creek Guinevere) carries moorit and spots
Whistlestop 1241 (0525) moorit (WS 1108 xWS 0922) carries modified and island genetics
WhitePine Neap black light badgerface (WS 1123 x WP Naomi) carries moorit and is horned
WhitePine Scatsa horned gray katmoget (WP Flo Rida AI x WP Snow Patrol) carries moorit
WhitePine Aithsetter smirslet gray katmoget (WP Flo Rida AI x WP Adele AI) carries moorit 
WhitePine Taconite black gulmoget (OK Acres Cadillac x BlackForest Tilly) carries moorit and spots
PS23 Jessica black horned (PS23 Fife AI x FS23 Forsythia) carries moorit/modified
PS23 Isabelle Ag gray (Sommarang Gilroy x PS23 Gloria) carries spots
PS23 Karmen musket (PS23 Jack AI x PS23 Goldenrod) linebred Orion.

The group below is for my Purebred BFL that i got while out in Maryland. He is also getting some of Cynthias sheep. I love the mules that BFL x Shetland make, and BFL x CVM is beautiful too.

 The two ewes below are from UndetTheSon farm. Viva (is duke's triplet sister, she is Ag/Katmoget) and Sateen is the fawn kat. Both will go to Sommarang Luc, who is a fine fleece gulmoget (just not in FFSSA)
 This is the rest of Sommarang Luc's girls. Since hes' just being leased, I wanted to make sure he had a lot of ewes in a variety of colors/patterns. I'm hoping for horned gulmoget rams or nice crimpy gulmoget ewes with no side dusting.  His other girls are:
WhitePine Auburn AI mioget(Heights Orion x FirthofFifth Ashanti) this will be a line breeding on Ashanti as Luc is out of Avyt, who is an Ashanti grandson.
WhitePine Nivea AI gray katmoget (Todhill Jericho x SP Nirvana) carries moorit
WhitePine Nina Sky AI spotted gray katmoget (Todhill Jericho x SP Nirvana) carries moorit
WhitePine Pacena musket (FOFA Nekomis x Owlhill Pranilla AI) 
WhitePine Bivina musket (WP Caiphas AI x OwlHill Butter) carries spots
WhitePine Ady Black light badgerface (WS 1123x FOFA Ashegon)
WhitePine Aywick smirslet fawn katmoget (WhitePine Flo Rida AI x WhitePine Adele AI)
WhitePine Skellister horned black light badger face (WS 1123 x WP Salome)
WhitePine Lunna white (WP Robb x WS Layla AI) carries modified and horned ewe)
Lancien Athena moorit (Sommarang Ian x Underhill Alyssa). 

the black light badgerface, I call "Elite" is a four year old who is a phenominal ram in every way. He is Whistlestop 1123, is mostly UK genetics, a super rare pattern in FFSSA animals and has beautiful horns and conformation. I plan on using him again next fall more heavily, so this is his small group for this year. He carries moorit too and perhaps modified so should be fun to see his lambs.
He has the following ewes:
WP Adele AI moorit (Heights Orion x FOFA Ashanti) carries spots
WP Delting black flecket (ShelteringPines Jardin x WP Des'ree) carries moorit
ShelteringPines Mademoiselle fawn katmoget (WT Fudge x UnderHill Amethyst) carries spots
PS23 Josey moorit ( Sommarang Gilroy x SheepyHollow Sienna) carries horned ewe and modified
PS23 Irene black (Sommarang Gilroy x PS23 Funzie) carries spots

This group is just for market lambs. We are using a CVM x Shetland Mule ram over the Shetland Mulse and four CVM cross lambs. Should be a flashy bunch come spring, with fantastic fleece.
 The final group is a small one. WhitePine 1356 (fawn) will be bred to a few select ewes. He is out of WS1222 x WP Auburn AI so is linebred Orion. His ewes are:
ShelteringPines Bengal gray katmoget (SP Starry Night x UnderHill Alix) carries moorit and modified
WhitePine Snow Patrol horned gray katmoget (WT Jazz AI x SP Snow Cloud) carries moorit and spots
WhitePine Clousta shaela (SP Jardin x WP Colbie Calaigh AI) carries moorit. F2 timothy
PS23 Ingrid Ag gray (Sommarang Gilroy x PSEdelwiss) She is an Ag with the darkest fleece i've seen. Will be interesting to see if she is modified or if that is due to another gene all together. 

So there you have it. Have I lost you yet? Can you tell i'm passionate about the breed and preserving the 1927 standard and all the colors/patterns they come in? :)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Rams for breeding groups, fall 2015

This weekend we will be putting the breeding groups together. They were delayed a week, but in all reality, i've never had lambs before the 25th of March, no matter what I do. Typically everyone comes in the first two weeks of April and its pandemoneum for lambing. 

I did not have any lambs in 2014 due to work, so this past fall (in 2014) I bred every single ewe I had to make up for the lost year in breeding. My plan was to be home in Minnesota to lamb them out in April, but life had a way of changing that.

86 ewes were lambed out at Summer Sheep Camp with the knowledge of Cynthia and Liz to keep a watch on the lambs. we had around 150 lambs, and EVERYONE seemed to be quite fit, good weights 

This fall, I will be breeding 45 Shetland ewes, 3 BFLs, 3 Shetland Mules and one Cormo x Shetland. this fall i was down to 30 Shetland ewes of my own, and then picked up 15 more from Laura, Cyndee and Theresa. I also kept 22 ewe lambs to winter and evaluate come spring time.


The rams I"ll be using are the following:

UnderTheSon Duke Cardiff. He is a horned musket, F2 Orion with a perfect build, great fleece length and fantastic horns. He also carries spots. I kept a ram lamb from him this year, and six ewe lambs, as well as going to put him with 10-12 ewes this fall, so HE WILL BE FOR SALE December 1. Ag in fine fleece Shetlands is pretty rare, and I'm wanting to maintain all colors/patterns in the Shetlands that adhere to the 1927 Standard.

Whistlestop 1123 "Elite". He is a horned black light badgerface. He has Orion, Brent, Ram etc in his pedigree, so mostly island influence (Flock book). He will be used on about 5 ewes, as he is a super fine Premium Grade 1. I'll probably use him more heavily in 2016, and then he'd be available. I have three daughters and a grandson who is spotted light badgerface that I can move forward with.

WhitePine 1356 is a fawn horned ram. His parets are Whistlestop 1222 (moorit) and WhitePine Auburn AI (orion/modified). He'll be used on 3 ewes this fall for modified colors. His fleece is phenominal and pedigree is incredible. 

WhitePine Loki - white horned ram lamb. He will actually be getting all 9 white ewes I have, in hopes of breeding more fine fleece horned rams and ewes that have horned ram genetics. Most of the new white ewes I have are unrelated to what I have in my own whites, so will give me good outcrossing genetics.

Sommarang Luc - horned moorit gulmoget with fine fleece. He is a FirthofFifth Avyt son since I'm leasing him from Lori, will put 12+ ewes with him in hopes of getting solid sided gulmogets with horned ram genetics.

Dagon the registered white BFL will get my three BFL ewes, several shetlands and most of Cynthia's ewes. 

We also have a CVM x Shetland Mule ram lamb we are keeing. He'll get put back to the Mules and some of the other ewes of Cynthias.

so that's that. photos of the groups will go up next week when i have time.

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 ...