Thursday, February 28, 2008

Photos Desperately Seeking Captions - Jen

In order to get one nice photo of an animal, you must take about 50 bad ones. What did we do before digital cameras?

Anyways, these photos were rejects, but I couldn't delete them cause they are funny, or dramatic or in some way impressed me with their unique quality. I am not funny, so those of you who are (you know who you are...Connie) please email me or comment with your suggested captions and I will add them to the right of the photos.

From Katie:
"Well I heard from Peony who heard it from Lily...well apparently Violet is in trouble, and Cihat won't take responsibility for it!"
Connie: "I can't believe she's wearing that coat again...doesn't she realize that wool makes her butt look huge??"

Connie - "Okay, I saw some frogs playing this...I think it's called Leap-lamb"

Connie - "OOOHH, look at how green the grass looks over on that side!"

OK, OK, who peed in the water? (Thanks Katie)
Connie - "You do the hokey-pokey...that's what it's all about"

Connie - -"Faster than a speeding bullet...more powerful than a's a's a plane...IT'S SUPERSHEEP"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Clover - Rich

Under the Sun Clover (S24963)is our mioget gulmoget ram and he is really quite handsome! He also has a gorgeous fleece. We’ve talked about micron testing some of our sheep (and still may), but my feeling is that if the fleece feels soft, why do I need to put a number on it? Of course, being a very analytical and quantitative person, I can see why a lot of people do that, but I haven’t come around on that yet. Perhaps, someone will persuade me at some point. Clover’s conformation is also outstanding! We have casually put him up for sale, but I’m not going to push that at this point. I wouldn’t hate the idea of using him again. I probably should have bred him to a spotted ewe as I originally planned. If we end up keeping him, I’ll likely do that this fall. I have him listed as our number three ram, but that’s only because he doesn’t carry spots. He’d be right there with the other two if not for my crazy obsession with spots! We actually bought him with the intent of breeding for gulmogets, but then we went out and bought three gulmoget ewes as well, which made him somehow less critical to us. We either sell one or two of them or we have to part ways with Clover…I think.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

White Pine - Rich

Here is Windswept White Pine (S24374, 3/07).In addition to his striking markings, he has an exceptional conformation. I don’t know how he’ll look shorn, but he seems to have a very straight back line, and very straight legs (two traits I demand out of my rams). Those things are not a given with Shetlands, but all three of our rams have them! All three of our rams also seem to be pretty laid back, which I also value highly.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Peony - Rich

Windswept Peony (S25596, 3/07) is probably the closest thing we have to the perfect Shetland. She has long lustrous fleece with some nice crimp and striking smirslet sokket markings. Her conformation is outstanding! I liked her a lot when I first saw her, but I didn’t realize how nice she was until we brought her home and compared her to the rest of our flock! I’m not sure what she lacks. We bred her to Cihat (S17465) this year because I have a preference for yuglets, but I could have gone several ways with her. I expect a nice lamb out of her. Peony wasn’t advertised as being modified, but she looks fawn to me. Her fleece is more taupe than moorit. Regardless, I think she’s probably our nicest all around ewe…or close to it! Now, if I can find a way to get a gulmoget out of her, we’ll be in business next spring! I hate to breed our nice spotted ewes to our gulmoget ram because he doesn’t carry spots, but I may end up doing that if I don’t have a nice spotted gulmoget ram next fall.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sunny - Rich

Sheltering Pines Kiraz (S15218, 4/03) is a ewe that we bought from Scott Bailey because she has an unusual color. She may be fawn with iset, but I’m not sure. She has a butterscotch look about her, and I’ve always liked that. She is a smallish ewe (60-65 pounds), but she spins up nicely. She is a Darius daughter, which is why I haven’t bred her to Cihat (they are half siblings). She has a short fleece, but it is crimpy so it looks shorter than it really is. She is even closer to being an HST yuglet than buttercup. I like her a lot! She is bred to White Pine (S24374) so I expect a nice spotted kat out of her.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Buttercup - Rich

Whispering Pines Buttercup (s23372, 4/06) remains one of my favorites. She was our first spotted lamb and she has really developed nicely. She has such straight legs and the roundest rump we have (mine excluded). She really has an outstanding conformation and striking markings! She’s definitely a smirslet, but almost a yuglet. She also has a very dense fleece. I don’t think her fleece is the softest in the barn, but I could see her lambs having something special if bred to the right ram! In this case, the right ram was Windswept White Pine (S24374), our Yuglet HST katmoget. I’m looking for a spotted kat out of this breeding, and since both parents have very few flaws, I could see keeping this lamb (or hopefully lambs). Buttercup is a good example of a ewe that benefited from the extra year of growth. Don’t get the impression that I don’t breed lamb ewes. In fact, this year we bred eight of them, but they were all at least 50 pounds. I do so cautiously, however, using the look and weight of the ewe to make the final decision. I try to resist the temptation to breed ewes that aren’t ready, just because I’m excited about the possibilities. I was tempted to breed Tink this year, and Buttercup last year, but I didn’t think it felt right.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tiara - Rich

Under the Son Tiara (S24624, 3/07) is a spotted mioget with a soft wavy fleece and a fair amount of crimp. We brought her in last summer for her beautiful fleece an outstanding conformation. She really has everything we are looking for except striking spots. This year we bred her to our mioget gulmoget ram (Clover, S24963)with the hopes of getting a nice mioget gulmoget. I doubt she will throw spots because the ram does not carry spots (to my knowledge), but the lamb could carry spots. Gulmoget or not, I fully expect the lamb to be very nice given the genetics here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cihat - Rich

Cihat is a special ram in my opinion. I would guess he is about 125 pounds! I’m guessing because I’m not going to pick him up and weigh him. He is very powerful, but he is very docile. Our shearer last year was blown away by his fleece! I like his fleece a lot, but this guy wouldn’t shut up about it! It has a very soft feel and my wife tells me it spins up nicely! She made a hat out of it last year, and it is very soft to the skin.

Cihat has an amazing conformation! I’ve seen nice rams before, but I still feel he’s quite unique. I don’t see many flaws in him. I would like to see more color on him and less white, but that’s a pretty small criticism. We only got four lambs out of him this past spring, and all were very nice with excellent conformations! We sold all of them before we really knew what we had, but in hindsight, it was probably the right thing to do. Those sales funded some nice ewe purchases. My goal is to keep three or four of his lambs this year, but we’ll see. That means we need to sell some adults if we are going to get down to the 14 or 15 ewes that I’m targeting. I’d like to get at least one more breeding season out of him, but I have no plans on stopping there! He has everything I want in a ram, so why would I go in another direction?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dahlia - Rich

This is Twin Springs Dahlia (S25782, 4/07). Dahlia is a spotted gulmoget with a nice fleece with some crimp. She’s black as the picture shows, although one could argue her fleece is more shaela. It’s hard to tell with gulmogets, isn’t it? There sides are always lighter and it makes them appear several shades lighter than their base color. I think she’s black, however. Dahlia is a bit of an experiment for us because she doesn’t exhibit the kind of spotting that we want. I prefer the striking look of a yuglet sokket or a strong smirslet sokket. Although she’s neither, I’m curious if we can get that by breeding her to our yuglet flekket ram, Cihat, who has a lot of white on him. Last year, we bred him to a black yuglet sokket and she produced a ram lamb that had much more white than his mother. I’m hoping for a similar effect here. My goal with her is to produce striking spotted gulmogets. I think I’d really like her to have a ram this year (did I say that?), but it doesn’t really matter. The chances of the lamb being an HST yuglet gulmoget ram probably aren’t good are they? A smirslet gulmoget ram isn’t too farfetched, however. Hmmm.