Saturday, April 19, 2014

2014 Lambing Update

Lambing begain here at Whispering Pines as Whispering Pines Pearl had a black ram and moorit ewe on Saturday at noon. Egyptian King is the father.

It’s a bit soon to say much about them other than that they are refined like their mother, and both have very similar birth coats. My goal with this breeding was to get a black ewe lamb that exhibited the best traits from her parents. I like that they are both unpatterned and look to have the type of fleeces that we breed for. Whether they are superfine or not down the road, I can’t say. There’s just too much to like about both the genetics and what I can see so far! I am very pleased with the outcome of this breeding!
Wintertime Itasca lambed on Sunday at 6 am, having a grey katmoget ewe lamb out of Stonehenge. Stonehenge is a yearling ram out of Whispering Pines Genoa and Winter Sky Khan.

My goal with this breeding was to attempt to reproduce Genoa’s fleece type more than anything else. Stonehenge has a similar fleece type to Genoa, but he doesn’t have the density. He has adequate density, but we are accustomed to having denser fleeces around here. Itasca has great density, so our hope was to improve the density and maintain his fleece type. What I didn’t expect was that Itasca would have a lamb who looks nearly identical to Genoa in terms of color, markings, and overall fleece type. I am not all that concerned about the fineness at this point, but she is very fine! Mission accomplished with this breeding! Just a beautiful lamb!
Whispering Pines Frangelico strengthened her reputation as a top producer for us when she produced fawn katmoget twins Sunday night – a ram and a ewe.

 Another picture of the ram above.

The ewe (in the center picture) is lighter in color, but both look really nice! These are the first Whispering Pines Egyptian Autumn lambs, which is promising because we bred quite a few ewes to him last fall. I will be watching how these two promising lambs develop as they contain some of the best genetics I have worked with. Frangelico is out of Khan and Constantinople. Egyptian Autumn is out of Blue Sapphire and Egyptian King. We are now starting to combine some of the genetics we have been accumulating on our farm, and I like what I am seeing. It’s one thing to just breed quality to quality, but it’s another to combine them in a way that puts you closer to your flock vision. That takes generations of work to accomplish.
Winter Sky Vogue produced twin ewe lambs last year that were exactly what we are breeding for. This year, we bred her to Egyptian Autumn in hopes of producing more of the same. I didn’t have a specific genetic reason for pairing these two Shetlands, but I felt they could produce something really nice. It was more of a hunch than a calculated strategy, in other words. What we got was two lovely ram lambs.

It’s been quite a few years since we have had a flashy spotted yuglet lamb like this, but it was a nice surprise to say the least. It’s always been a sub goal of mine to produce line of fine fleece spotted Shetlands. I say sub goal because we aren’t really trying to breed spotted sheep. When it happens though, we’ll take it.
Whispering Pines Irish Mist had a pair of twin ram lambs out of Egyptian Autumn. This was her first lambing, and these are two of the nicer lambs we have had this spring. Again, this is what we were looking for out of her. These are lambs that are Khan and Constantinople grandsons, and they go back to Bond and Todhill Jericho as well. They are just really really nice ram lambs! Very fine!

Whispering Pines Coloma is another Khan daughter that we retained two years ago out of Itasca. She had this really nice ram out of Egyptian Autumn as well as a moorit daughter that we are raising in the house because she was so small at birth and it was extremely cold that night. We’ve never had such a small lamb at 3 pounds, but she is doing well. Most of our lambs are in the seven to nine pound range (including all of the ones this year). I haven't been able to get a picture of the ewe lamb yet (even though she is in the house). I will follow up with that later.

Sheltering Pines Constantinople lambed on Wednesday night with a ram and a ewe.

The ram is a beautiful blue-grey katmoget, and the ewe is a fawn katmoget.

The ram is a beautiful blue-grey katmoget, which of course, is my favorite Shetland color. He is very fine!


I had some trouble getting good pictures of the ewe lamb, but she is equally nice, but fawn. Both are excellent and very fine! As you can see from the pictures below, fawn katmoget or not, she's something special!

Her lambs are always very robust. These lambs are out of Egyptian King. I like both of these lambs a lot, but there is no getting around the fact that I love the ram’s color. Constantinople is easily our best mother as well. This year was a good example. Most mothers clean their lambs and then leave them alone while they deliver their second lamb moments later. Constantinople, however, continued cleaning the ram while the ewe was being born. She believes in multi-tasking apparently.

Finally, a good picture of Constantinople and her ram lamb.

An excellent start, but much more to come!



1 comment:

Kelly said...

Excellent!!! I am in love with the grey kat ram, which is my favorite pattern and color as well. Interesting thing is that Salicional usually has one brown based and one black based lamb for me each year and generally always a ram and ewe. Keep the lamb photos coming, I'm shopping!! :)