Sparkles looks like she is going to reach the potential I saw in her last year. First off, she probably has the prettiest face in our flock. That’s what people have told me anyway. I also love her fleece. It’s a very dense, intermediate style fleece. We haven’t micron tested her yet, so we don’t know how fine she is, but she feels soft. Her fleece is also very uniform. What do I like about Sparkles? I think she’s show quality, for starters. If I were to design my perfect shetland, it might be close to her. Granted, my tastes are different than other breeders’ but I like a longer fleece with luster, crimp, and fineness. Plus, I want an excellent conformation. She has all of that. She seems like she might have some good width in the backend as well, which is something we are trying to improve on in our flock. It may seem odd that we like Gold and Sparkles so much, given that they have very different fleeces, but there are some similarities if you look hard. We just took a fleece sample last weekend for micron testing, and it brought a smile to my face! It’s probably my favorite fleece right now!
Sparkles is bred to Cihat because I like her fleece better than his and I think she can have a very nice lamb out of him. I like his fleece a lot as well, but I picked this breeding on a hunch. You always have a vision of what you want each ewe to have, and how often does it happen? Really? As I said in an earlier post, Cihat got some of our best ewes this past fall, so he better produce! He doesn’t seem at all grateful, however. We took a bit of a different approach with our breeding groups this year and elected to match up ewes and rams more on the potential of the offspring rather than focusing on patterns or spots. As a result, we won’t have as many spotted lambs this year, but I still think it was the smart way to go. It also allowed us the opportunity to breed more with Clover. Last year, we never would’ve given him some of the ewes he got this year. Will we do that again this year? I don’t know. We’ll see how this year plays out.