Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 Breeding Groups - Whispering Pines Mr. Darcy

Mr. Darcy is a pretty ram lamb out of Genoa and Canterbury. He is a pretty ram. He is a grey ram. He is a fine ram. He is a...dark ram. When he was born, I thought he was black at first. He is the darkest grey katmoget we have ever had, and one that we are pretty excited about.

He led the pack from wire-to-wire this year as our favorite ram lamb. His average is 20.7, which I think is fantastic given the nutrition he has had all summer. His SD and CV are very good at 4.3 and 20.6%, respectively, and his SF is a healthy 20.1 microns. What I like about him is that he has his father’s fineness with his mother’s lock structure and color. He may not end up being our finest ram (and I would be surprised if he is), but I think what he offers us is so rare, that he will have a place in our flock for quite a while. I once said that I would like to have an entire flock of Shetlands like Genoa and she is not our finest ewe. I just don’t place as much value on fineness as others do. We have fineness, but after years of doing this, I have learned that the average micron is not the be all, end all. It’s not unimportant, but there’s more to this than that. We are excited to use this ram and he is getting his own breeding group this year even though I don't like to use ram lambs. He is simply too good to hold back a year, so we are rolling the dice.

Mr. Darcy is another example of how long it can take to achieve certain breeding goals. I knew Pompey was throwing dark katmogets. Genoa was dark. I also knew Canterbury was modified. I had to wait two years, but I knew right away that I wanted to start crossing Canterbury to Pompey’s daughters. One can downplay the importance of color (and I’ll be the first to do that), but when you unlock the Shetland genetic code, I think you run with it. The dark grey katmoget is my favorite Shetland color/pattern. Emsket is a close second.
Don't make the conclusion that we are only using him for his color. He offers something that our other rams don't have.
His ewes were:
Mustang Sally
Kelly Kelly

These are all high quality ewes that we have been waiting for two years to use. Each offers something different, but all of it is good. We also have Stonehenge lambs in here, which is something that intrigues me.

1 comment:

Danny Hansen said...

That is a REALLY nice ram.