Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 Sales List

The following sheep will be offered for sale this year. We will email a pdf to any interested parties. It also pays to ask about sheep that you may be interested in, but aren't listed here. Some of those won't be for sale, but there isn't much difference in quality between those on the list and those that are. I can be persuaded sometimes.

What I will say is that these sales sheep will rank highly against any that you will find elsewhere, and in most cases, there are no meaningful flaws with them, but we have enough of their genetics to fulfill our long term goals. We are not in a position to keep everything that we like, or we likely wouldn't even have a sales list. All of these sheep have been in our breeding program, and still would be if that was an option.

It's important to me that new buyers do so knowing these are sheep that I would buy myself. More importantly, they are better than any we have ever purchased, and are the result of a long process of breeding to our goals. Our goal has been (and continues to be) breeding Shetlands that are equivalent to the best flocks in the UK. I think that is a worthy goal and one that we are excited to help new shepherds with. I only wish we could've started out with sheep of this quality. We made so many mistakes early on and feel fortunate to have learned and somehow made it to this point in our breeding program.

ADULT EWES (One year or older)

Whispering Pines Catherine

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Canterbury/Sheltering Pines Constantinople
Age: 1
Micron: AFD: 23.6/SD: 4.5/CV:19.2/CEM: 8.2/SF: 22.6
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

This ewe has everything I am looking for in our breeding program except extreme fineness. Her genetic potential is huge in terms of what she can bring to a fine fleece breeding program! Exceptional bloodline! Arguably, the best conformation of all the yearlings!

Whispering Pines Charlotte

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Canterbury/Whispering Pines Vittoria
Age: 1
Micron: AFD: 22.9/SD: 4.3/CV:19.0/CEM: 7.7/SF: 21.9
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium
Another outstanding yearling ewe!

Whispering Pines Emma

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Canterbury/Whispering Pines Cordovan
Age: 1
Micron: AFD: 24.4/SD: 4.5/CV:18.3/CEM: 8.2/SF: 23.3
Color/Pattern: Yuglet Fawn
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium
Great bloodlines here as well. Her grandfather was Khan and her grandmother Siena. Has fantastic potential in a spotted Shetland breeding program (which isn’t something we specialize in). Fantastic density.

Whispering Pines Lydia

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Canterbury/Whispering Pines Kahlua
Age: 1
Micron: AFD: 25.0/SD: 4.3/CV:17.3/CEM: 6.7/SF: 23.7
Color/Pattern: Yuglet Sokket Fawn Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

Probably one of the best spotted Shetland ewes we have seen. A Striking yearling ewe with excellent genetics. Could be finer compared to other ewes in our flock, but that is all relative. Our bar is set really high in that regard. Her fleece is excellent, however, in all ways. I would really like to know what these spotted Canterbury ewes can produce in a good spotted program, but sadly, it's not going to be here.

Whispering Pines Mustang Sally

Sire/Dam: Winter Sky Khan/Whispering Pines Siena
Age: 2
Micron: AFD: 25/SD: 4.3/CV:17.4/CEM: 7.6/SF: 23.6
Color/Pattern: Moorit
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

One of our last two moorit Khan daughters. This one is finer than Caramel Mocha, but both have outstanding fleeces.

Whispering Pines 99

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Egyptian Autumn/Whispering Pines Irish Rose
Age: 2
Micron: AFD: 27/SD: 5.1/CV:18.9/CEM: 9.1/SF: 25.8
Color/Pattern: Smirslet Fawn Sokket Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Fine Premium
An excellent spotted ewe that goes back to Wintertime Bond. There aren’t many spotted ewes in that bloodline. See our ewe a day posts from the fall for a full description.
Whispering Pines Sarah (AKA, Picasso Face)

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Stonehenge/Whispering Pines Kiyah
Age: 2
Micron: AFD: 23.8/SD: 4.2/CV:17.8/CEM: 7.2/SF: 22.6
Color/Pattern: Smirslet Fawn Sokket Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

This spotted ewe goes back to Bond and Khan both. Both parents were Superfine, which I believe is very important in a fine fleece Shetland breeding program, and certainly something I look for. Rare numbers for a two year old spotted Shetland!

Winter Sky Vogue

Sire/Dam: Winter Sky Tennyson/Winter Sky Foxtrot
Age: 6
Micron: AFD: 27.6/SD: 5/CV:18.2/CEM: 8.7/SF: 26.3
Color/Pattern: Moorit
Fleece Grade: Fine Premium


F3 Orion. Nice crimp. Not quite Superfine, but close. One of very few Tennyson daughters. Big time producer of top notch lambs!

Whispering Pines Kahlua

Sire/Dam: Wintertime Grasshopper/Winter Sky Vogue
Age: 4
Micron: AFD: 24.0/SD: 3.9/CV:16.4/CEM: 6.8 /SF: 22.5
Color/Pattern: Moorit
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

Probably the nicest handling moorit fleece I have seen and touched. She has always thrown Superfine lambs! Very similar to her mother in overall build and type. Shorter fleece type, which pairs exceptionally well with rams with 3”-5” fleeces. She may be sold, but it pays to ask.

Whispering Pines Florence

Sire/Dam: Sheltering Pines Pompey Magnus/Whispering Pines Blue Sapphire
Age: 3
Micron: AFD: 24.8/SD: 4.4/CV:17.8/CEM: 7.7/SF: 23.5
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

Fantastic fawn katmoget with excellent Superfine genetics. Is a top producer of Superfine lambs! I hate to part with ewes that produce rare lambs like she does so consistently. Flo is the one on the left next to her daughter from last year, who has the finest Shetland fleece we've seen. The genetics are there.

Whispering Pines Venice

Sire/Dam: Sheltering Pines Pompey Magnus/Sommarang Isla
Age: 3
Micron: AFD: 25.8/SD: 4.5/CV:17.4/CEM: 7.8/SF: 24.4
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Fine Premium

Her fleece falls just short of the FFSSA Superfine grade, but I have her fleece graded as Superfine in our farm grading system. Her fleece is indistinguishable from the other Superfine fawn katmoget ewes on this list. Another top producer. The friendliest ewe on the list this year. Was a bottle lamb. Another fantastic lamb producer.

Whispering Pines Turin

Sire/Dam: Sheltering Pines Pompey Magnus/Winter Sky Vogue
Age: 3
Micron: AFD: 24.9/SD: 4.9/CV:19.5/CEM: 8.4/SF: 24.0
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

An excellent Vogue daughter out of Superfine ram Pompey Magnus. Produces exceptional lambs!

Whispering Pines Caramel Mocha

Sire/Dam: Winter Sky Khan/Whispering Pines Genoa
Age: 3
Micron: AFD: 26.8/SD: 5.0/CV:18.8/CEM: 8.1/SF: 25.7
Color/Pattern: Moorit
Fleece Grade: Fine Premium

Excellent moorit ewe and a Khan daughter to boot! In fact, she is one of two that we still have left in our flock. Her fleece is excellent, but not quite Superfine. Nice density and crimp.

EWE LAMBS (born in 2016)

Blue Sapphire’s fawn katmoget lambs

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Rosewood/Whispering Pines Blue Sapphire
Age: Lambs
Micron: NA
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmogets


These two lambs are out of Rosewood and carry wild spotting. I like them as well as most of the lambs from this year, but they don’t satisfy any particular need that we have in terms of color. These are certainly lambs we would’ve kept last year and are only for sale because of the large number of ewe lambs that we had this year. Readers of this blog know that there are two types of sheep that I hate selling: producers and promising lambs. I will offer special pricing if they can go together.

Sherrie’s Ewe Lambs

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Canterbury/Whispering Pines Sherrie
Age: Lambs
Micron: NA
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmogets

Two excellent ewe lambs out of Canterbury. Sherrie’s mother is Blue Sapphire. Excellent genetics here. As always, I will price them better if they go together. That always makes me feel good, and you can't put a price on that.
That is probably it for the ewes. Jen and I are still arguing debating discussing pricing, but that will be finalized this week. As always, the more you buy, the better the deals.

I will do a separate ram post. I have three or four young adults that I will be selling and possibly a lamb or two. All of them would be in the upper 1% of fine fleece Shetland rams you will come across. As I said, back in the day, you would never find rams of this quality, and they are without a doubt the best that we have offered. The bottom line is that we can't use all of them, so I would like to see them put to good use.


Monday, May 9, 2016

2016 Lambs - Final Installment

Last Sunday, White Pine Reawick had this really nice grey katmoget ram out of Mr. Darcy. I don’t know that this helps us much, but when things settle down, I’ll take a closer look at the genetics and come to some sort of decision. We obviously were looking for white, but we only have two grey katmoget rams, so we’ll need to think about what this one brings to the table from a genetic standpoint. Reawick’s two year old SF is 23.4 microns, which is quite good. I also like that she is an F3 Jericho.

This is going to be a tough year trying to sort out all of this. We have more top quality sheep than we have space to house them, and the heavy ewe year that we are having is going to force some really hard decisions.

Mustang Sally was the last ewe to lamb this year. She is one of those two year old ewes I keep running on about. I don't have my cheat sheet in front of me, but I believe she is out of Khan and Pearl. These lambs are out of Mr. Darcy.

The moorit is a ewe, and the katmoget is a ram. I like both of them pretty equally, but the ram is in the top three this year in terms of overall quality. He is probably second behind Venice's and very close to Rosanna's. All three are fawn katmoget's though, so we'll have to keep an eye on their development. I said I would not keep anymore fawn kats, but now I am strenuously objecting, so I will have to reconsider. It's funny how quickly you forget how good last year's lamb crop was because it was so yesterday.

Biggify the bottom picture of the ram if you want to see what a Shetland lamb fleece can look like.

Friday, May 6, 2016

2016 Lambs - Third Installment

April 27th was a sucky weather night and not much fun for lambing either. Just after midnight, Rosanna had this fawn katmoget ram out of Canterbury, which used up all of my pens. I had to head out to the back 40 in the rain and drag one of our 10 foot wide pasture gates into the barn to fashion a makeshift lambing pen. Not something you really want to do at 2 am on a cold rainy night. As distracted as I was, I did notice that this is going to be one heck of a lamb. I've already nicknamed him velvet. He is also unusually light for a fawn katmoget. He's easily the lightest one we've had in a while.

Just as I got the pen rigged up, Venice had this fawn katmoget ram out of Rosewood. It’s always fun to put all that effort in at 2 am for two fawn katmoget rams. Yeah. On a positive note, I personally think this ram is one of the nicest lambs so far this year. Since he is a dark chocolate, he actually might have a role here in the future. What was odd is that he is one of the darker katmogets we have had here, and Rosanna’s was one of the lighter ones. I still find it interesting how different the colors can be in katmogets. Sometimes they are very light tan, and other times they are milk chocolate.
One's memory fails to recollect all of the small differences in lambs from year-to-year, but I think this one ranks in the top five certainly. I like him even more now that I see him running around side-by-side with the others. Since he is out of Rosewood, this one gives me options for the future.

We had a little bit of a break after Venice before Sarah (AKA Picasso face) had a fawn katmoget ewe out of Canterbury at 4 am on 4/28. Picasso face is out of Stonehenge and Kiyah and has a 22.6 micron SF. Picasso face is two years old. She is noteworthy in that she has a really nice fleece and is spotted. Those two things don’t usually go hand-in-hand on our farm, but it's awesome when it does.
As I completed this post, I realized I have no picture of this lamb, so I may have to rely on our friend Hannah to help us out with that, sice each day now seems busier than the last. In the meantime, this is Picasso face as a lamb two years ago and then last fall.

Okay, here is Picasso face's ewe lamb:

Mustang Sally and Reawick are up next and then we are going to call this a wrap for 2016.

Monday, May 2, 2016

2016 Lambs - Second Installment

Kelly Kelly is one of our two year old moorits that we like a great deal. She is a smaller ewe (which is a new goal that we added last fall), and she has a Spinning Fineness of 21.2 microns, which is outstanding for a two year old Shetland. She is out of Stonehenge and Kahlua. Last fall we put her in with Mr. Darcy in hopes of tapping into his genetics, and his yearling 18.7 micron Spinning Fineness. I was happy when I discovered Kelly was pregnant, and more excited when I saw this grey katmoget ewe lamb. It matters less to me what her micron ends up at than the fact that she is the type of lamb for which we are breeding. This lamb wins the prize for prettiest lamb so far this year.

It took two years to get offspring out of these two year olds, but it seems to be paying off. Also, not a bad start for Mr. Darcy. Sometimes when a lamb is born, you are already thinking about what is next and who we might pair him/her with in a year. That's the tough part - knowing we'll be waiting for two year's before we get the next generation out of these lambs. Then I realize that we have a bunch of last year's lambs that I thought the same thing about, and they are on deck for next year's lambs. Speaking of last year's lambs, here is the lineup in solitary confinement:

Sure, they look innocent enough, but these yearlings (AKA "Raptors") earned this with their mischief and general horseplay. They are like rebellious teenagers. I could also call them the dirty dozen. Every day they run and frolic with the flock, and every night I have to put them in solitary to restore order.

Whispering Pines Florence was the second ewe to go on 4/24, giving birth to this really nice fawn katmoget ram lamb out of Canterbury. Last year, her ewe lamb Lydia was the prize, and although it’s tough to get excited about ram lambs (especially fawn ones that you have a lot of), it’s nice to see that she produces consistently, which is rare for a Shetland. They so often throw back to garbage many years in their past.

Blue Sapphire then had two fawn katmoget ewes later on that evening to close out the day. These lambs are out of Rosewood. Good looking lambs that are very similar in appearance and quality. It always amazes me when twins are born that look so similar. I would say that Rosewood is proving himself this year as well. This is the first year we have used him, and it’s a bit of a trial balloon for this fall. Rosewood is two this yea r and has an impressive Spinning Fineness of 20.2 microns. More importantly, his fleece is very consistent from front to back, which is also a goal of ours.

Things started up again the next morning on 4/25 as Siena had two very nice lambs. The moorit is a ram, and the fawn katmoget is a ewe. These lambs are out of Canterbury. Canterbury has a Spinning Fineness of 19.4 microns, which is fantastic for a three year old Shetland. That gives us two moorit Canterbury ram lambs this year to evaluate. I think last year’s Siena lambs were some of our best (Fanny and Knightley), but I think these two might be their equal.

Kyrie put us on lamb watch all day, but didn’t give birth until 10 pm. Kyrie is a moorit out of Egyptian King and Pearl and is another two year old with a nice SF (22.4 microns). She was also bred to Mr. Darcy with the goal of adding nice black-based sheep to our flock, and that’s what we got here. This black ewe looks to be very nice. Mr. Darcy is out of Canterbury and Genoa, two Superfine Shetlands, and of course, Kyrie is out of two Superfine Shetlands as well. Lots of promise here.

This gave us a break until 6 AM the following day (4/26) when Pamela gave us two excellent ewe lambs out of Mr. Darcy. Pamela is out of Egyptian Autumn and Frangelico, two Superfine sheep that we sold last year. I like both of these lambs pretty equally, which is a surprise given that the katmogets are generally nicer than the moorits and blacks. We’ve had a good crop of moorits this year. For comparison purposes, Pamela is a Superfine two year old ewe with a 22.9 micron SF.

Kahlua had these twin moorit ewe lambs early afternoon the same day. These lambs are out of Canterbury, and look to be super nice. Kahlua has a fantastic handling fleece and I’m hoping these two inherit that.

That'll do for now. We had quite a run on ewe lambs for a while there, but it's been mostly rams since then. At least they are good ones. You never have a 100% success rate with lambs, but we always track that pretty closely to see how we are doing with our breeding program. I figure we are on track if 80% of our lambs meet our lofty expectations. The last two years, I estimated that we were around 85%. Even the "bad" 15% were pretty darn good, to be honest. But when most of our adult flock are Superfine with fleeces that we are striving for (looking at all the fleece attributes holistically), the lambs have to be really good to force me to move out some of the adults. In our program, a keeper lamb typically means an adult has to move on to make room in the barn. That's the part of this that I don't like. Success means getting rid of ewes I want to hold onto. Of course, who am I to say that any of these lambs will be better than the 12 raptors we kept from last year or the amazing crop we had two year's ago. It's a good problem to have I guess. At least that's what I keep telling myself when I am lying awake at night fretting about it. It seems like each lamb has me labelling it as a keeper as it is born, not realizing we have 17 such keepers so far and another 12 Raptors from last year that I am really high on still. The math doesn't quite work.