Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gold - Rich

Gold is a mioget yuglet sokket ewe lamb with a primitive fleece. It’s sometimes difficult to really explain to a new buyer what primitive means, but for the most part, I’ve used the length of the fleece as a guide along with the lock structure. Gold has a beautiful, lustrous fleece without much crimp. That’s pretty much a textbook definition of primitive. We decided to add Gold to our flock last year because she met most of our criteria. She had an excellent conformation, she was modified, and her markings were just stunning. Plus, she has a facial structure that Jen and I both like. We both picked her out at the same time and we weren’t looking to add another ewe. I suppose that’s how it works for everyone. Sometimes you just see something that fits with what you are doing. Gold won’t be super fine, but her fleece has a really nice handle, and it’s the type that seems to really spin up nicely. Mioget is so nice as yarn, and given Gold’s luster, I would expect her fleece to make really nice yarn. I’ve not run across many mioget yuglet sokket shetlands in my travels and I’m glad we have one this nice!

We decided to breed Gold at the last minute to Cihat. We weren’t going to breed her this year, but decided to do it a few weeks into the season, so she’ll probably lamb late (if at all). We could’ve put her with any of our rams really, but decided to go with Cihat this year. I’m trying to get a few really nice ewe lambs out of him, so he ended up getting some of our nicer ewes.


Michelle said...

Interesting what appeals to each of us; Gold's head is not the type I find most attractive. Love her fleece, though!

Hidaway Farms Shetlands said...

Is Gold from Windswept Farms? If she is than our Shania (regularly on our blog) is her maternal half sister. Shania's lamb fleece looked a lot like Gold's. Now it is long, straight, and lighter. I prefer to spin the more primitive fleeces. Gold's coloring is beautiful!

Jen and Rich Johnson said...

Yes, she is from Windswept Farms.

Shetland heads are a funny thing. First, I'm surprised at how much variation there is in that area. I've seen wildly different heads. Some I like; some I don't. The sad thing is, if you did a police composite sketch using the current standard, you and I would probably sketch different heads. Of course, your sketch would look better because I can't draw. I do love the diversity within the breed, however.

Jen and Rich Johnson said...

One other thing on heads that I just thought of. Compare Peony's head with Gold's. There are two totally different shetland heads! I prefer Gold's head, but I've seen a lot of Peony-type heads at different farms. If you look at the taper, you might conclude that Gold's is closer to the standard, but that's just my interpretation. The strange thing is that those two sheep have the same father.

Michelle said...

You're right about the standard and different resulting composite sketches! I would love to have a live demonstration with a judge pointing to specific spots on a live sheep while quoting: "Good width between ears, tapering rapidly to base of nose, which should be broad and with little taper to the muzzle, hollow between cheeks and no sewell marked" (what's a 'sewell marked'?)
"Face -Medium length of face from eyes to muzzle, nose prominent but not Roman, small mouth"
"Eyes -Full, bright, and active look"
"Ears -Fine, medium size, set well back, carried slightly above the horizontal"

Of course, every judge, being human and therefore subjective and biased towards his or her own preferences, would interpret the standard differently as well. What is "good width"? What is "medium length"? It seems to me that if you start with a "good width between ears" and then "taper rapidly to base of nose," but that nose is supposed to be "broad," you'd have to start with a head that is quite wide between the ears to be able to taper rapidly to "broad." At any rate it sounds quite wedge-shaped, which I like, along with prominent eyes and eye orbs. Gold's head doesn't fit that last sentence of mine, which is why it is not my "style." :-)