Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Breeding Groups

Let me apologize in advance for the way this is going to come out, but I lost the source files for the pictures and didn't know how to make picture files out of a word document. Hopefully, these jpeg's will do the job.

Now that lambing season is upon us, I thought I would finally get around to posting the breeding groups that I planned last November. As always, there were some last minute changes. We put Crimson Autumn in with a group, but I'm not at all optimistic that he bred any of them. As a result, we cut his group short and put all of his ewes in with Bond. Crimson was just too small for this breeding season. A shame? Yes, but his loss (and ours) is Bond's gain.

Sheltering Pines Blues Clues

Blues Clues is an amazing ram out of Wintertime Blues and Wintersky Alafair. I like his parents a great deal, which always puts me in a difficult position when it comes to buying their offspring. I never want to do it, but when you see good bloodlines pay off with a ram like this, it's very difficult to say no. You all know what I mean.

So, what do I like about this guy? Almost everything, but his fleece was the real draw. If the pictures come through, hopefully you'll get a feel for what I mean. He has a fantastic lock structure; almost like lace. And it's the deepest blue-grey color! I'm a sucker for that color in a nice fleece. Crimp? He has it. Very fine! His micron was a bit of a disappointment. But it's a good example of why having low CV fleeces is so important. They have a nice handle and they feel finer than they sometimes are. His numbers were: AFD: 24,4/CV: 18.2. Nice, but the average is nothing spectacular. But his uniformity is something special. He looks virtually the same from neck to britch. I've never seen that before in a shetland. Rarely anyway. So, if I can get uniformity, color, crimp, density, lock structure, and low CV in one animal, I'll take it every day of the week and twice on Saturday (no work on Sunday, of course).

And that's not to mention his bloodlines. That also contributes a great deal to my thought process. It fits in with the genetic puzzle I'm assembling. He was a good addition.

Fleece pictures:

We bred the following ewes to him:

Onyx Velour



Pyrenees Morn

All are top notch ewes, but if I could add his fleece to them, I think I would call it a successful lambing season!

Wintertime Bond

Bond is pictured above next to the parted Blue's Clues fleece picture. He is a pretty spectacular shetland! Overall, I think he is a better ram than Blue's Clues, but that's just my opinion. His fleece has a different lock structure, but it is finer than Blue's Clues'. Here are some pictures for comparision.

Bond's Fleece:

He's a handsome boy isn't he? And yes, he is a full poll. We've never bred with a full poll, but I like this guy. He too has that magnificent blue-grey fleece that I like so much! He's not quite as uniform from head to tail as Blue's Clues, but that's something to work on over time. Great density as well. How fine is he? Pretty fine so far. His numbers were: AFD: 20.2/ CV: 20.5! Not too shabby. I like 20/20 in a lamb! Especially one that is this nice! His father and mother also had very low numbers, which isn't a foolproof indicator of how he will turn out, but I like it nonetheless!

His ewes were (everyone else):
Sheltering Pines Cor de Nuit

Sheltering Pines Queen Anne's Lace

Sheltering Pines Persia

Wintertime Itasca

Sheltering Pines Broom Hilda

Sheltering Pines Christmas Holly

Whispering Pines Morning Glory

Whispering Piness Jasmine

Whispering Pines Dahlia

Whispering Pines Tiger Lilly

Whispering Pines Cosmos

Under The Son Tiara

S'more Sparkles

Whispering Pines Irish Lace

Whispering Pines Primrose

Bond was busy as a beaver last fall. It's hard to say how many are actually bred. As I said, some got put in with him rather late. I'll post the rationale behind this group later this week. Believe it or not, I don't use a random number generator to pick groups. It just seems like it.

Having said all of this, I think one things pretty clear - if Bond doesn't carry spots, I'm pretty much screwed in the spotted lamb department. It would actually be a bonus if he did. I wasn't counting on it when I brought him in.
Whispering Pines Captain Kidd

A stupid name? Yes. I had a pirate theme in mind at one point last year. Kidd was one of our nicest lambs last spring out of Cihat and Cor de Nuit. He has excellent structure and fleece density. It's a crimpy fleece as well, just not fine. But for a spotted shetland, I'm pretty happy with him overall. He's also a half poll. So, I like him a great deal, but he wasn't fine enough to use extensively. His only ewe was V Creek Fantasia. I'm hoping for a nice ewe out of that breeding. At the end of the day, I would have liked to put Fantasia under Bond, but Kidd was too nice to not use.


Mac said...

HI Guys! i looked up bonds pedigree and his great-grandfather is spotted but the rest of his lines are kats,solids,and guls.

Jody said...

Blue's Clues has an amazing lock structure and that colour is special. Blue grey is what had me lusting after Gotlands!

Jen and Rich Johnson said...

Mac, if he does carry spots, it came from his mother. Greenholme Holly was a spot carrier. I think it's a long shot, but there is some evidence that made me wonder recently. When we got him, I wasn't even thinking about that.

Jody, I know what you mean. His father is like that as well, but only a few of his lambs ended up with it. His fleece was just too good to pass up.