Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lambs 2015 Part 3

On 4/27, Whispering Pines Pearl had fawn and grey katmoget ewes out of Egyptian Autumn. We always await Pearl's lambs with breathless anticipation because she always seems to have stuff that we really like. Also, we had never bred her to Egyptian Autumn before, but the genetic combination seemed right. Pearl is one of our finer adult ewes (in both bone and fleece).

I like these lambs and it's especially nice to get a black-based ewe out of Pearl, which hasn't happened before.

Whispering Pines Cordovan also lambed on the same day and also gave us two really nice ewe lamb. The first one was a spotted moorit ewe that is mostly white. The second was a smirslet sokket moorit ewe. Canterbury is the sire. Cordovan is another home grown ewe that took us generations to produce and it's nice to see offspring also that appear to be a step forward. Cordovan is out of Khan and our own Siena, two fantastic Shetlands.

Both lambs look to be future producers of fine fleeced lambs and should be given their genetics.

We caught a little bit of a break before the final two ewes lambed on May 2nd. For some reason, all of the ewes lambed within a two week window this year, which is a good, but tiring thing.

Kahlua started with a fawn katmoget ewe out of Canterbury that is the type of ewe lamb we always hope for but rarely get. The rams are the ones that seem to turn out this way. Kahlua is also out of some really fine genetics. Her sire is Wintertime Grasshopper, and her mother is Winter Sky Vogue.

Yes, it would be nice to get this in a black-based ewe, but when you breed brown-to-brown, that's not going to happen.

Whispering Pines Caramel Mocha brought the curtain down on this year's lamb crop with an especially nice fawn katmoget ram. Yes, we need another fawn katmoget ram like we need a kick to the solar plexis, but when they are this nice, you don't complain. Caramel Mocha is out of Khan and Genoa, which is two more reasons to rejoice about this ram. He is out of genetics that are about as good as it gets. I'm not sure if he's our best ram lamb this year, but he's in the top four for sure.


So, there you have it. The goal each year is to make our flock better and we definitely did that. Now the task is to sell enough ewes to make room for the new additions, and in the process, somehow not make the flock worse. We are now at the point where we can't merely pencil in lambs and know our flock is improved. Instead, we have to sell ewes that are about as good as it gets just to keep our flock down to a reasonable size. If the lambs don't turn out like we expected, it's always a set back because a ewe that is better is no longer in the flock. But that's why I get paid the big bucks to sort all of this out and be right about it 100% of the time. Sure.

Even if I am wrrrrrrrong, however, we still have a very nice ewe lamb with many generations of fine fleece genetics in their background, and as you can see, our sheep just don't throw back to coarse stock very often anymore. I think we batted almost 100% last year with our lambs (in terms of our mind's eye of what we are looking for) and I believe we did that this year also.

1 comment:

English sheep gal said...

Thanks for all the pics and lambing updates Rich, don't envy you and Jen future decisions about who will stay and who will go.

Of course I think they are all gorgeous, but love the markings on Cordovans lambs best.

Hopefully will get up for a visit to see them in the flesh sometime.