Monday, April 22, 2013

Whispering Pines Blue Sapphire x Pompey Magnus

Lambing slowly plods along here at Whispering Pines, but so far, the wait has been worth it.

Whispering Pines Blue Sapphire lambed and had two really nice lambs (one male and one female). As you can see, we finally got our coveted black lamb, although, we would have preferred a ewe in black. I’m just saying. This ram is very silky and soft, and has what is known as a dog coat. He has a nice structure and will most likely be a half-poll.

The ewe lamb is a fawn katmoget that is also silky and soft. We don’t typically decide on sale animals until all of the lambs are born and have had time to mature some, but I would be surprised if this lamb was on that list. I personally think her fleece will be very similar to her mothers, but one can’t know that for sure. But the fact that that’s even a possibility is quite exciting! It’s been very difficult producing my vision of the perfect Shetland fleece, so it’s always fun to see that potential in some of the lambs. And I also like that we are getting a fair amount of diversity in fleece type this year. I’ve always said that there are many types of Shetland fleeces within an acceptable range.

I've also always said that collecting the best bloodlines would be a strategy that would be the correct path forward if I could use them correctly (something I'm still working on), and it's rewarding to see some measure of success with that approach. It's not going to pay off with every lamb, but soon or later, proper selection is going to increase our success rate.

The next struggle is balancing selection so that we maintain the correct combination of all Shetland attributes, while maintaining a manageable flock size. In fact, if lambing ended today, I would be happy to switch our focus to the insanely tough choices we will have to make with our flock this year. I suppose we'll find a way, but it's never been this tough before.

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