Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Violet is staying - Rich

We re-evaluated our flock after shearing, and as always, there were a few surprises. Last year, we put Violet up for sale because we felt she was the next one in the queue according to our ranking system. It looks to me like someone almost had a real gem!

My stupidity was almost someone else’s gain! To make a long story short, she has gone from “for sale” to one of our top ewes! I’m just blown away by how good she looks as a two year old. It just goes to show you that it can take some time for a shetland to reveal its true potential. Wow! We were watching the barn cam the other night and I jokingly asked Jen who put the Suffolk lamb in there? She looks that good. Now I refer to her as our little Suffolk .

Of course, with every positive, comes a negative. She didn't lamb this year. That’s disappointing because she had such a nice ram lamb last year. Maybe she just caught late? I’ve been fooled by this before, but she looks open to me. What a nice looking ewe though! I’m looking forward to her micron results from this year's shearing.


Garrett808 said...

see Rich? :) I'm rarely wrong...LOL


I'm glad you found her attributes as appealing as I did!

Kara said...

HA! I can say see too! Garrett and I knew you better than that! I would have been the one to snatch her up if I felt she was REALLY for sale. Again, no complaints I had to try to get my black based kat ewe on my own. It didn't happen this year, and I might have not bought Olympia if I had. I just adore her and she is looking wonderful as a yearling. I guess we both should say well done and thanks to Scott B.!

Juliann said...

Very nice! I love pleasant shearing suprises, I've had a few here myself. From discovering exceptional conformation once the fleece comes of, to finding no iset underneath a sunbleached fleece.

And sometimes there are unpleasant shearing suprises as well. I would always like to see a photo of a mature shorn before buying her or him.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Just to be the difficult one here, explain to me why it would be considered a good thing for my Shetland to look like another breed, such as a Suffolk? I think Violet is a beautiful Shetland, by the way!

Jen and Rich Johnson said...

Michelle, I think shetlands are an incredibly unique breed, with their very own characteristics, but in terms of structure, they shouldn't be all that different than some of the meat breeds that we show against in 4h. So, I think my comparison was tongue in cheek, but when we show at our county fair, the judge never says "well, that sheep is a little sway backed, boney, and cowhocked, but she's a shetland, so we'll let her slide." He always uses the same structurally sound standards that he uses for the meat breeds on either side of us. And he should. Tails, earset, facial structure, fleece, etc., are all unique shetland characteristics, but structure really isn't.

I hope I'm not implying that shetlands should be muscular monsters that weigh in at 200 pounds, because I don't believe that at all. No shetland would or should look like a Suffolk. I hope it didn't come across that way. I was just referring to the structure and nothing else.

I could've said that she is my vision for what I want a shetland to look like. The suffolk comparison probably didn't add much to the equation.

Violet is about 75 pounds. I think that's a good shetland size. Some might find that too small. But proportionally speaking, she looks really square, and has what I consider to be an excellent topline. I think that's the part that made me think of the suffolk comparison (as off base as that may have been).

Were you trying to be difficult? It didn't come across that way. I love it when people challenge some of the things I say. I'm not always being literal with some of the comparisons I make.

BTW, fantastic lamb crop, Michelle! Looking good! I don't know how it stacks up to past years, but it looks to be outstanding this year!