Monday, November 7, 2016

WhitePine Vinshu breeding group (6 of 6)

 WhitePine Vinshu - fawn katmoget - horned ram (WhitePine City High AI x Whistlestop 1201) was chosen really last minute as we were not able to use Pluto, like  we anticipated.

Vinshu is a handsome fella, whos' first fleece sample microned around 20 AFD. He is conformationally sound, with great horns and a great prescence.  Most of his ewes are brown based but hoping for really pretty babies to move forward with. Not the best shot of the ewes, and now they are coated as well, so can't see a lot but descriptions are below:

These two ewes are WhitePine Nemesis (WhitePine Carver x WhitePine New Glarus)(1st place colored lamb fleece out of 31 fleeces at MSBBA fleece show 2016) and WhitePine Jah (WhitePine Perfection x ShelteringPines Bengal.

ShelteringPines Classique - fawn/light moorit - reserve Ch ewe 2012 under Letty Klein. She will be offered for sale in 2017 as I'm moving out my moorit ewes. Love her ewe lineage and she's produced well.

Sheltering Pines Anais - gray katmoget - triplet sister to about ewe, Classique. Hoping for some lovely katmogets from this match.

PS23 Josey - moorit - ewe who i retained her ram and ewe lambs from this year, and so next summer she'll be available as well. Smaller ewe who produces well.

UnderTheSon 14148 moorit - from Theresa Gygi's flock. she's well put together ewe whos very typey.

WhitePine Nemesis - horned gray katmoet yuglet sokket flecket - Carver x New Glarus. she carries modified as well.

WhitePine Jah - fawn katmoget (Perfection x Bengal) hoping for typey correct katmogets!

WhitePine Nike - moorit smirslet sokket - Carver x WhitePine NinaSky AI - Truly hoping for dark farn katmoget. Trying to see if Vinshu carries spots

WhitePine Nicevenn - WhitePine Perfection x WhitePine Noss - dark gray katmoget, love her fleece and look.

Overall I expect these sheep to be quality sheep, that conform to the breed standard as clarified by appendix A. That means looking like sheep from the UK, with correct breed type, correct wool characteristics and all the primitive qualities that make us love the Shetlands so much. I'm really trying to produce quality sheep in all colors/patterns but really love the katmogets, Ags, and whites.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

ShelteringPines King Louis' breeding group (5 of 6)

King Louis was one of the last ram lambs of superior quality that Stephen bred before he had to move from his farm. He was, in my opinion, the best lamb that year. And aside from a shorter fleece, he has all the qualites i'm after in a ram. Fine, Crimpy, Dense, Silky, Lustrous. I've been wanting to use him for a few winters and this is his one chance here. Since I'm moving out my moorits, he has been sold, but I've been able to keep him to use him this fall. The logical ewes to put with him are the Ag or double patterned ewes, in hopes of getting more Ag lambs. They all have a bit longer fleece to hopefully have lambs with their length, but his crimp.

Louis's dam is a ewe I've long admired of Stephens, and if you ask me, he has always been, and still remains, one of the top breeders of 1927 Standard Shetlands.

WhitePine Noss is in here to be bred and then moved. She was purchased last month and I"m excited to see what she has with Louis.

WhitePine Brettabister is a fawn katmoget ewe, SSS inspected/passed in 2015. Last year she produced a stunning ram lamb, but will be offering her for sale as a bred ewe as I believe she's polled. (WhistleStop 1222 x WhitePine Blu Cantrell AI) Her grandmother is a polled ewe, Lambo, who I had an is an credible pedigree. Sire is nothing but island genetics and he was well put together as well.

UnderTheSon Viva - Ag/kat (triplet sister to Duke) is here and she produced an interesting ewe lamb with a gulmoget sire this spring, so putting her with Duke to make sure she is genetically Ag/Ab and not something else.

PS23 Ingrid - gray - (Sommarang Gilroy x PS23 Edelwiss) is from Laura's flock and she has a beautiful dark blue fleece for an Ag. hoping that she produces that, as Louis is such a dark, rich moorit color.

PS23 Irene - black - (Sommarang Gilroy x PS23 Funzie) is another from Laura. She produced twin ram lambs this year and so hoping for lovely black ewe lambs from this pairing next year.

PS23 Lisal - musket (PS23 Knight x PS23 Jessica) is another ewe I bought from Laura. I'd wish for better ears on her, but otherwise she's lovely. She's a grandaughter to PS23 Isabelle who i cherished but ended up selling to a newer FF breeder.

WhitePine Nivea AI - Gray katmoget (Todhill Jericho x ShelteringPines Nirvana) is homozygous katmoget so i'm cheating here and getting katmogets from this breeding! hoping her luster and his crimp combine for some great fleece.

WhitePine Neap - black light badgerface (Whistlestop 1123 x WhitePine Naomi) horned ewe produced lovely lambs the last two years, so hoping for another ewe lamb I can retain and then offer her up for sale. Finer crimp, with her length of fleece would be ideal.

WhitePine Gaia - gray katmoget (WhitePine City High AI x ShelteringPines Classique) is a ewe who is put together so well, just hope for crimp, as she has the length.

WhitePine Nemetona - gray katmoget (WhitePine 1334 Perfection x WhitePine Nivea AI) is a dark katmoget I'm hoping will produce more blue/gray fleece with Louis' dark moorit.

WhitePine Marpesia - musket (UnderTheSon Duke Cardiff x ShelteringPines Mademoiselle) is a fantastic ewe. No matter how you look at her she's pretty perfect. Hoping for more Ag lambs.

Overall i was looking for his density and crimp and dark color to be used on these ewes. I'll be offering Neap, Nivea, Ingrid and Irene for sale next year out of this group.

WhitePine Crosby's Breeding group (4 of 6)

Crosby was a ram lamb that I really didn't want to part with when he was a lamb. Lori S. had inquired about a quality ram and i offered him to her with the agreement I get first refusal if she decided to move him on. After two years of using him, she asked me if I wanted him back and I jumped on it. His dam, ShelteringPines Classique, has a ewe family I've long admired, and his sire, Jazz is out of Todhill Jericho and a whistlestop ewe who has done a lot for fine fleece shetlands.

To boot, he carries spots, moorit and modified and has a lovely blue-gray fleece, which seems to be lacking in about half of the katmogets in the US. My plan was to use Crosby this fall and then slaughter him, but I may need to keep him around at least until his lambs start to develop. I have a lot of ewes with him, but two are here to be bred and two i'm hoping to offer as bred. So Crosby has 18 ewes.

UnderTheSon 14148 - fawn katmoget - is a yearling ewe from Theresa that I got as a lamb. Her fleece and conformation is quite incredible. she needs some more time to develop but she should finish maturing next year on the lush pastures.

PS23 Isadora and Lancien Athena are going to Iowa as bred ewes.

WhitePine Bivina - musket - is available as a bred ewe from this group. She produces large horned rams with great fleece, dense and crimpy.

Sommarang Isla - moorit/fawn - is available as a bred ewe from this group. Her ewe lambs in the past have been wonderful, with lines I like to work with. But shes moorit ;)

Sheltering Pines Bengal - gray katmoget (SP Starry Night x Underhill Alix) is a ewe I"ve love admired with lines that are easy to work with. She has produced three outstanding ewe almbs for me, so hoping for a horned ram from her this next year. She'll be 9 this next year but she is incredible soft, silky, crimpy and in great condition. I'm hoping with her blue/gray fleece as well as Crosbys that I"ll get more of it, but guessing she'll have nice stuff no matter the color.

Lancien Aida - white - (Lofty Pine's Krill Spot x Underihll Madame Butterfly) is another ewe I love for her lines, and how she has produced. She gave me twin rams this year so hoping for white ewe lambs out of this pairing. She'll be 8 next year so hoping for a few more productive years with her.

WhitePine Snow Patrol - gray katmoget horned (Jazz x ShelteringPines Snow Cloud) is a half sister to the ram, but both have the lovely blue gray fleece. Hoping for katmogets and maybe a horned ewe lamb to replace her, as Snow Patrol will be offered for sale next summer, as i've kept quite a bit from her.

WhitePine Aithsetter - gray katmoget smirslet (WhitePine Flo Rida AI x WhitePine Adele AI) She is one of my finest ewes and goes back to Greenholme Holly closely, one of the original rams imported and is out of Adele which is my finest ewe line. Her blue/gray fleece is again in hopes of lots of katmogetes.

WhitePine Lydia - gray katmoget (Jazz x Layla) is another half sibling but hoping to solidify the type and the dark blue/gray fleece of both parents. Lydia has repeatedly been a good producer so hoping for more katmogets next year.

WhitePine Nott - black - (UnderTheSon Duke Cardif x WhitePine Noche Bueno) is a very fine, black ewe with extreme crimp. She was so nice I had to keep her (and she's obnoxiously friendly). Hoping her dark fleece will produce more black like her or katmoget!

WhitePine Riko - gray katmoget (WhitePine City High AI x WhitePine Roseau) is a beautiful typey ewe with probably the best fleece I sheared in June. Just tickled with how well she's done in the show ring and so anxious to see her lambs with Crosby.

WhitePine Orthia - gray katmoget (WhitePine City High AI x Whistlestop 1234) is half sister to the above ewe with high UK bloodlines. She was FFSSA Champion in Colorado in June 2016 and placed 4th in Jefferson in a competitive yearling class, right behind Riko. They also helped me get best pair of ewe lambs in 2015, best small flock 2015, third place small flock 2016, and 2nd best fleeece on hoof 2015. So anything from this should also be nice :)

WhitePine Urd - gray katmoget (WhitePine City High AI x Shelterpines Amarige) is another half sister to above and I'm anxious to see what is produced. She has the length and luster and density i'm after, and extremely well marked.

WhitePine Laga - moorit (WhitePine Carver x WhitePine Lydia) is a typey moorit. hoping her dark fleece translates to dark katmoget lamb fleeces. Her fleece is ridiculously crimpy but looking to get a bit more length on it (its 3.5" full fleece)

WhitePine Atina - moorit (WhitePine Carver x WhitePine Adele AI) is another typey moorit who looks a lot like her mother. Very crimpy again, and hoping for more length. She's extremely fine.

WhitePine Eosha - musket yuglet flecket sokket (UnderTheSon Duke Cardiff x WhitePine Eureka) was a surprise when I got out to the lambing jug. Her fleece is extremely dense, extremely crimpy and everything about her is correct. I just wish for a bit silkier handle, so she's in here for that (and to see if I can get more spots)

WhitePine Juno - gray katmoget (WhitePine 1334 Perfection x ShelteringPines Bengal) is a dark blue/gray fleeced, dense ewe whos tame, typey and correct. Just excited to see what she produces.

Overall the group was put together to get more blue/gray katmogets that are correct and sound, typey and fine. I really don't think there is a ton to improve upon, just wishing for more of the same, but younger :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

KSpirit Farm Cedar's breeding group (group 3 of 6)

When Donna and I first started enabling each other a few years ago, she teased me with this horned gulmoget ram. Since most gulmogets with fine wool are polled, i was a bit skeptical over how much crimp or fineness or softness this ram would have. She sent me a sample last spring and I was really pleased with it. Well as enabling happens, she ended up getting one of my favorite ram lambs last year and it was agreed I'd get Cedar this year. We both know his horns are close (not touching) and that we would need to consider that, as well as keep back ram lambs with good horn spacing (not too wide, but not too close). I had planned on eating him after this years breeding groups, but he's pretty nice so will hold on to him to make sure we get something gulmoget with nicer horns.

There are 11 ewes in here but only 9 are mine/will be staying here.
WhitePine Des'ree is going to Iowa as a bred ewe, and GlenTam Ganymede is here to get bred. She's a knockout ewe, so honored they brought her here to be bred.

That leaves 9:

WhitePine Taconite - black gulmoget (OK Acres Cadillac x Black Forest Tilly). Throwing all my gulmoget chances to one breeding. Let's hope they produce them! She really produces.

WhitePine Ady - black light badger face (Whistlestop 1123 x FirthofFifth Ashegon). She is a great producer so whatever she throws will be nice.

WhitePine Pacena - musket - (FirthofFifth Nekomis x Owlhill Pranilla AI). She's a sweetie who also produces well.

Whistlestop 1241 "Heylor" - fawn/moorit (WS 1108 x WS 0922). constant producer of high quality modified sheep, i'm hoping for some lovely miogets or gulmogets from this.

WhitePine NinaSky AI - gray katmoget smirslet sokket (Todhill Jericho x ShelteringPines Nirvana). She's been a fantastic producer as well and so i'm hoping she'll really click with Cedar.

WhitePine Niamh - fawn (WhitePine Carver x WhitePine Neriah) is a beautiful yearling with the perfect fleece length, crimp, handle, silkiness, density. She's also friendly. Hoping she produces like her mom.

WhitePine Frigg - fawn smirslet sokket (WhitePine Carver x WhitePine Foley) is another yearling who really came in to herself this year. I'm excited to see if she'll produce some spotties or modifieds

WhitePine Kali - fawn (WhitePine Carver x WhitePine Isbister) is another beautiful yearling who really came in to her own this summer. she's a beautiful ewe and hoping for more greatness here.

WhitePine Adicia - fawn katmoget (WhitePine City High x WhitePine Aywick) is one of the typiest ewes i've had with phenominal looks and fleece from birth right on through to adulthood. I really wanted to put her in all four groups but had to make up my mind. Let's see some magic happen here too.

Overall the ewes in this group were put here for either more fleece length, more density or if nothing else, because they are great sheep and I hope for more modifieds (so I can offer them to friends who produce those colors more specifically)

In my quest to move out my moorit based sheep, Niamh, Frigg and Kali and 1241/Heylor, will be available midsummer of 2017. If you would like to put down a deposit, I would be happy to hold  them until that time for you.

Breeding Groups Part 1 and 2 and ewe lambs

Since early on in my sheep life, I have been drawn to the BlueFaced Leicesters. After seeing what some were doing here in the USA, to mimic the Three Tier System in the UK, the farm back in Minnesota was a perfect place for rotational grazing a mostly commercial mule flock and small purebred groups of BFL and Shetlands. Reality however is a bit different story.

I have now procured some ewes that are ridiculously easy keepers and gain well on just grass. I'm hoping for lambs that follow in their footsteps. The ram is from Ann and he carries color (as do several of the white ewes) so hoping for a variety to pick from to keep back next year! Ideally looking to keep 10 total ewes. Their fleece sells and I've had a waiting list for ram lambs for quite some time. Thank you again Lisa, Becky, Nancy and Stephen for the ewes!

From the BFL x Shetland cross, we call those Shetland Mules and at one point in Minnesota I had about 50 of those working girls in my flock and crossed them with Finn, Leicester Longwool and Texel with great results. Reality of farming like drought and inability to market them that far north, made me liquidate most of my incredible flock.  I had offered these three remaining ewes (all born 2012) this year but no bites, so I went and found a Romeldale/CVM ram again from Sandy back in Minnesota to put over them. Last year I had a CVM ram LAMB cover 40 ewes, including these mules and some pure Shetlands and they were incredibly growthy, their wool was incredible and they taste delicious!

Hoping for three sets of twins from this group so I can get some of my meat customers satisfied, as well as fill my own freezer again. Yes that is a ram lamb. Hes all of 140 pounds and bigger than my mature Mules who are around 120-130 pounds. There won't be 50 mules on the farm, but I"ll keep a few i think for market lamb production, until my hay field and pastures tell me I have to move some sheep out.

Lastly is a photo of my ewe lambs that I'll be overwintering here. I have a colored BFL ewe lamb from Lisa in Ohio, a few Leicester Longwools from Anne in Montana, and then the Shetland ewe lambs: 
Not named yet , but parentage below:

Sommarang Luca x UnderTheSon Viva - she should be At/Ab but doesn't really look it.
WhitePine Aith x WhitePine Snow Patrol - gray katmoget with blue fleece. very typey and great build.
WhitePine Loki x Lancien Clarice - white ewe lamb. very lustrous, dense and typey.
WhitePine Aith x ShelteringPines Bengal - black ewe lamb. built perfectly, typey, dense.
UnderTheSon Duke Cardiff x WhitePine Neap - Ag/Albf horned ewe lamb. my favorite lamb this year. dense, crimpy, silky, lustrous, put together perfectly.
UnderTheSon Duke Cardiff x WhitePine Lydia - gray katmoget. beautiful dark blue fleece and put together well. dense, crimpy, silky.
Whistlestop 1123 "Elite" x PS23 Josey - black light badgerface smirslet. she and her brother were both retained. gorgeous.
Sommarang Luca x WhitePine Nina Sky AI - black gul/kat ewe. put together near perfect. just wish for a more dense fleece. 
WhitePine Loki x WhitePine Noss - white ewe. aside from her pigment lacking around her eyes and nose she's my ideal white sheep. 
UnderTheSon Duke Cardiff x ShelteringPines Anais - Ag/Ab musket katmoget. extremely crimpy, refined and dense, hoping her hocks get stronger as she grows.
UnderTheSon Duke Cardiff x WhitePine Des'ree - gray ewe lamb. She's pretty perfect. hard to fault her.
UnderTheSon Duke Cardiff x PS23 Jessica - moorit ewe lamb. Typey, dense, silky, put together well.

that's 12 hopefuls to be integrated in to the flock next year. That means 12 adults will need to leave next year if these are to get spots. Every year I saw my lambs are better and this year is no different. I'm glad i'm making inroads on some of the more rare patterns, colors, horns etc, while still maintaining breed standard type, world renowned Shetland fleece characteristics and primitive traits.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Breeding Plans for fall 2016

Every year when the nights start to get chilly, I get excited to start thinking about putting the breeding groups together. Any good breeder will have at least a 2-3 generation plan in their heads or on paper, and as soon as lambs hit the ground I'm already planning who to breed to who that fall or the next year, or their lambs when they are born.

Ultimately anytime you make a decision, or put two sheep together you've changed them and are improving them. They are not wild animals choosing their mates based on the strongest or fittest or most clever. A breed is a very specific thing, with lots of variability, but it should always LOOK like the breed, and we as breeders need to remember we are preserving a very specific animal, the 1927 standard Shetland, as clarified by Appendix A.

Traveling the Shetland Islands, seeing Foula sheep (and touching, going over them), seeing Shetlands in Scotland, northern England, and the Southwest, there is a LOT of variability in the breed, even with such specifications as Appendix A and the 1927 Standard.

anyway, I'm getting a bit off topic.

I traded Kindred Spirit Farm of New Hampshire last fall, a ram lamb for her horned mioget gulmoget ram, Cedar. He'll be used this fall on a group of girls. I am really hoping for horned gulmoget rams from this (or ewes that carry horned ram genetics) but will be happy with nice lambs too.

I had told Allen Creek Shetlands, WI, that if they ever decided to sell WhitePine Crosby, to let me have first right of refusal, I jumped at the chance to get this guy back! He has a lovely demeanor, and is out of Jazz (Todhill Jericho x Whistlestop Izzy) and ShelteringPines Classique (a VCreek Guinevere daughter). He has the loveliest blue hue to his gray katmoget fleece and is just as nice as i remember him to be. If i got only katmoget form him I'd be so excited, but he also carries spots, moorit and modified.

I also will be using ShelteringPines King Louis. he is a moorit ram out of one of my favorites ewes, ShelteringPines Debonaire. He carries spots but I really am hoping to get his fineness and crimp on some longer stapled ewes, as his fleece isn't the longest fleece. He'll get most of my Ag ewes in hopes of getting more grays and muskets, but am tempted to put my two black ewes on him as well.

Overall i think the rams I am using this fall are top notch. I had wanted to use some of my yearlings this year, but they will have to sit out, while i use these older guys first. I really am trying to breed katmogets and Ag lambs next year so will probably get solid moorit or solid black in stead, as most of my sheep are heterozygous for their patterns. I guess any way I look at it, a nice sheep is a nice sheep, and the pedigrees themselves will speak volume to the quality of the lambs i"ll be getting. I'm excited!

In addition to the Shetlands I will have a BFL breeding group. My ram is from Anne Bisdorf (mostly Somerhill and Potosi lines). He will be put with my five adult BFL ewes, four white ewes and a colored ewe. The oldest white ewe is from Stephen Rouse and is a triplet ewe who carries color. Then I have my two white ewes from Nancy Starkey, and a white ewe and a colored ewe from Becky Utecht. I also have the colored lamb from Lisa Rodenfel but she is sitting out this fall, even though she has grown wonderfully.

I also will have a CVM ram lamb being bred to my three Shetland Mules. I absolutely loved the cross I got in 2015 with them, so will do that again as they didn't sell this year. The growth and the fleece on the lambs is incredible.

Monday, June 13, 2016

2016 FFSSA Supported Show, Estes Park, Colorado

The Fine Fleece Shetland Sheep Association had their very first Supported Show in conjunction with the the Estes Park wool Festival in Estes Park, Colorado. 

Our judge was long time Shetland breeder, Jim Chastain, of the Whistlestop Flock in Hillsboro, OR. Jim has been to the shetland islands 14 times and imported 6 rams to the US to help widen the gene pool. 

I entered only two yearling ewes, and in a tough class of about a dozen, my ewe, WhitePine Orthia came out on top. She then went on to win Champion ewe, and Best in Show! This is my first overall show win and I am beyond grateful and humble that he chose one of my girls. 

Orthia was coated all winter so her wool is a part along the neckline where the coat sat. Photos of the fleece when I get a moment!

Thanks for Kelly and Mike Bartels for hauling the girls there and making sure I was able to go.

I'll need to really get on it if i want to bring a complete string for the Jefferson show!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Preserve. Protect. Promote


Mission Statement: To produce, preserve, and promote fine fleece Shetland sheep that adhere to the 1927 Shetland breed standard as clarified by the SSS Appendix A.
Purpose: The Fine Fleece Shetland Sheep Association was formed to preserve and promote fine fleece Shetland Sheep as defined in the 1927 Flock Book Shetland Breed Standard and the SSS Appendix A clarification. All members of the group are committed to breeding and promoting sheep that adhere to those documents. 

The 1927 Shetland Breed Standard as well as the Shetland Sheep Society’s Appendix A are part of this organization’s founding documents.

Three words that are in the Fine Fleece Shetland Sheep Association mission statement are "Preserve, Protect,  and Promote. Let's break these down one at a time.

Preserve. Webster-Merriam describes it as: to keep safe from injury, loss or ruin. 

In the case of our kindly fleece Shetlands, it would be to keep safe from loss or ruin. We certainly do not want to lose our 1927 Standard Shetlands. We do not want them be lost in the sea of atypical Shetlands in North America. There are several 'levels' of preservation I think we need to be aware of as breeder, but also as an association as well.

1. Obviously fleece is a big deal on Shetlands. Its the most controversial part about the sheep in the USA. We do not want to have kindly fleeced Shetlands become more rare than they are now. Strides have been made to make fine fleeced Shetlands available to each other now that there is a way to unify us across the country. The fleece is an important part of the Shetland history, especially as the kindly fleeced Shetland has always been rare, and the entire 1927 standard was created to protect and preserve this very special sheep.

2. patterns/markings/colors are also needed to be preserved. What good is a kindly Shetland if it only comes in black? or just white? we want to preserve all parts of the 1927 standard Shetland. This includes spots, patterns and modified colors. The standard does explicitly comment on all of them, as there are more than are in the standard, and a few rare patterns have shown up that we are now just realizing are in the breed. We as an association MUST make sure we do not lose the rare patterns or spots or modified colors in our quest for something else. Individuals can concentrate on certain colors or patterns, but we should all have room to keep at least ONE rare color/pattern in our flocks if are truly going to preserve this breed in its entirety.

3. Preservation of both polled sheep and horned sheep. This includes horned ewes, polled rams and horned rams. While some may be more popular, we must strive to preserve all varieties of horns/or lack of horns in all patterns and colors. Do we have polled light badgerface 1927 Standard Shetlands? Probably not. Do we have many polled gray rams? horned gulmoget rams or ewes? I personally don't think we are in a position yet here in North America where one flock can concentrate on say just polled blacks, when we need other patterns/colors also in polled. Or just breeding for horned katmogets. If we had 100 members that might be different, but were do we go for diversity later on, if we don't all keep a few extra to help preserve them?

what about the word protect?

from the same website (Webster-Merriam) Protect: to keep (someone or something) from being harmed, lost, etc.

Protect should be self explanatory. However my mind immediately goes to someone standing on their front porch with a shot gun waiting for a vagabond or coyote to stop for a lunch (or steal from the property), but that is not what i want to describe.

As a group of educated and committed breeders it is our job to protect our 1927 Standard, kindly fleeced Shetlands by ensuring that future generations of Shetlands of this quality and make are around to be enjoyed by future farmers/shepherds. How do we do this? By breeding and registering only sheep that adhere to the 1927 standard, and appendix A. Fiber flocks and pets are of course wonderful additions to people's lives, but serious breeders will continue breeding correct animals and in a way, that is protecting them, for future years. Culling is hard. Sometimes it can be emotional. But the breed suffers greatly when we do not have a culling protocol. Just look at how far the sheep have morphed since the original imports in to Canada. Every animal was registered. Every animal was bred from, and now we are in an over abundance of atypical sheep that are being called Shetlands and look nothing like the animals on Shetland in the flock book flocks, or on the mainland UK, in the Shetland Sheep Society. the FFSSA wool grading is one way to make sure the FLEECES pass what would be considered a Shetland fleece, but we must always be aware of the other Shetland breed traits that we must also protect (hardy, thrifty, fine boned, nimble, etc)

Lastly the word promote:

to help (something) happen, develop, or increase

One of the main goals of the FFSSA was originally, and continues to be, education. By educating the general public and potential new breeders we are able to in turn protect and preserve our 1927 standard Shetlands. Education is promotion on a level that doesn't just benefit the breeder trying to sell their stock or wool products. Many Shetland breeders NOT in the FFSSA use promoting just to sell their sheep for their own benefit. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I have found that all FFSSA members are in this not only for their own pleasure and profit, but also for the longevity of the breed. 

But what else can we do to promote them? Sponsor shows where FF Shetlands are being displayed or shown. Enter fleeces in local or regional shows. Enter sheep at those regional or local shows. Set up displays at county fairs, fiber events. Pass out samples at spinning guilds. Maybe even have a booth with your wool products and have historical articles or photos on display. Heck we even did rooing demos to further imprint on the general public at fiber events of festivals. MOST people will find unique things like rooing to be remembered for much longer than just a soft piece of wool. 

What else can we do to promote? Being good shepherds. Can we also reach out to just the sheep industry in general? Let's be known for healthy, low maintenance, thrifty sheep that can weather the months. Maybe other shepherds with other breeds would see just how easy to manage they are and how tame they can be. We will get our membership and new breeders from educating new people and the general public or even other sheep breed breeders. 

We believe in this breed. Breeding them to preserve them will be easy. Protecting them should come second nature to us. Like children or beloved pets, we will protect them.  We believe in the qualities that make the kindly Shetland what it is. We are fierce protectors of them and will stand firm against those who say otherwise. We have a vision, we have a Standard to uphold. And we have each other to help support us when we are down, and to celebrate when things are good.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Lambs so far

its been a rainy and windy week but i'll list so far what we have had as of 6am this morning.

Duke x Heylor (whistlstop ewe) had a knock out mioget ram

Duke x WP Neap had a moorit light badgerface ewe. she looks to be horned as well

Elite x PS23 Irene - twin rams. a black krunet and a black light badgerface krunet

Duke x Lancien Matilda - Double Ag gray krunet ram and a musket ewe lamb

Duke x WP Lydia - gray katmoget ewe lamb

Sommarang Luca (gulmoget) x UTS Sateen - moorit gulmoget ram and a fawn katmoget ram

Sommarang Luca x WP Bivina - moorit ram

WhitePine Loki (white) x WP Noss - white ewe

so that's 12 with another couple dozen ewes to lamb at any point. Hoping when i get home today there will be more!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lancien Matilda lambs

A beautiful musket ewe lamb and a double Ag gray ram. Both have head spotting. Look at that FLEECE! they are also put together extremely well!

Friday, March 25, 2016

first two lambs born for 2016

The first two lambs at the new farm have been born!

Both lambs are sired by UnderTheSon Duke Cardiff (who has a new home in Iowa!)

The ram lamb is actually mioget (and horned) and is out of Whistlestop 1241 (0525/Heylor). He is lovely.

This ewe lamb is out of WhitePine Neap (whistlstop 1123 x WhitePine Naomi). She is a moorit light badgerface and could be possibly be Ag (from Duke). 

The quality continues to get better and better. How will i decide who to keep?

It appears that my BFL did not breed any of his ewes so I will NOT be having BFL lambs, or any mules this year. Also due to the request of the owner of the previous farm, I had to cut my breeding groups short, so it appears a few of those ewes are also not bred, which is disappointing. I'll have less than 40 ewes to lamb then this spring. That will be the lowest I've ever lambed since my first year.

Friday, March 18, 2016

1927 Standard, breed typical fleece

There seems to be a lot of misinformation in regards to just what exactly is a 1927 standard typical fleece. While it is obvious there is a spectrum of what a correct fleece could look like, they are all undoubtedly standard typical fleeces. No 1927 standard Shetland should have a dual coat. Those are considered atypical. I am extremely happy with the progress I've made in conforming to the 1927 standard, considering my original stock was not to this caliber. Every year the sheep continue to get better. Micron testing has helped for sure. And never being afraid to be wrong, but always learning, reading articles online, visiting with other breeders, visiting the UK and the Shetland islands, has all helped to cement in my mind what we are trying to preserve and protect. Which is the 1927 Standard Shetland Sheep.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Peace and Tranquility

 Well the whole gang is here. They are loving it. Happy and content.
 The BFLs are also pleased with the new digs.
 I just love the profiles of their faces.
 And then on Saturday, Aaron, my mom Ruth, and Kelly sat down with the dogs for a few snuggles. Gia is back home with me now and she seems really happy to be back with the pack.
Isn't it a great place? can't wait to paint the walls and get the pictures up on the walls too.

Thanks to Terry Malkuch, Terri Yapp and her family, Mike and Kelly Bartels, Aaron, and my parents for helping move my life to Monroe. I couldn't ask for better support team/family and so glad i'm able to have all my stuff in one place.

Monday, February 22, 2016


In anticipation of the move coming up this weekend and the following, i've already brought sheep supplies, hay, and dog crates/supplies to be a bit more prepared for when they come. Thank you Mike, Kelly, and Aaron for helping me with the hay and keeping me calm during this stressful time!

The farm in the background is one of my neighbors, and my home is behind me in the photo. This photo was taken just before sunset. and I thought it was quite tranquil.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Moving to the land of cheese

I have tentatively secured a hobby farm in Green County, Wisconsin. The sheep will be moving there the first part of March, and the cattle most likely in the fall. There is a ton of work to be done, and lambs will be coming end of March! not much time to get ready, but its doable.

Photos will come soon!

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 ...