Thursday, April 30, 2009

A little Spring Frivolity - Jen

I am the local crazy sheep person, so everyone finds funny little sheep things and gives them to me. Katie (my sister) gave me this because I always tell her that I cream her in Canasta because I have Jesus.
This little ewe came with 5 seasonal outfits! And a fleece you can velcro on. She is sporting a polka dot bikini under the raincoat!
Just got this one as an Easter gift from a church lady. She's a little conformationally challenged, but I adore her!

This is my new thing. Just pick em! Bring em in! I always miss the tulips, but not this year!

One of these three are dinner, can you guess which?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Violet is staying - Rich

We re-evaluated our flock after shearing, and as always, there were a few surprises. Last year, we put Violet up for sale because we felt she was the next one in the queue according to our ranking system. It looks to me like someone almost had a real gem!

My stupidity was almost someone else’s gain! To make a long story short, she has gone from “for sale” to one of our top ewes! I’m just blown away by how good she looks as a two year old. It just goes to show you that it can take some time for a shetland to reveal its true potential. Wow! We were watching the barn cam the other night and I jokingly asked Jen who put the Suffolk lamb in there? She looks that good. Now I refer to her as our little Suffolk .

Of course, with every positive, comes a negative. She didn't lamb this year. That’s disappointing because she had such a nice ram lamb last year. Maybe she just caught late? I’ve been fooled by this before, but she looks open to me. What a nice looking ewe though! I’m looking forward to her micron results from this year's shearing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cour D'Nuit's Ram Lambs - Rich

Cours yuglet flecket ram looks like he'll be a half poll. I also like his fleece at this point. It looks single coated. His mother and father (Cihat) are two of the nicest shetlands we've ever seen. I'd like all of our sheep to have her fleece type.

Her black ram has an even nicer fleece. It already feels dense like his mother's. He also has a nice luster and tight crimp. He's definitely going to be single coated. I would also expect him to be a half poll.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tiara's ewe - Rich

Tiara had what is probably our favorite ewe this spring. This is her mioget gulmoget out of Clover. She is very feminine and striking! Very very nice! So many nice lambs, wish we had more room...this is a common refrain from most shetland breeders.

Fawn is a great shetland color, but there is nothing like a honey golden mioget, is there?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pyrennee's Rams - Rich

Pyrenees (Clover) rams are both excellent! She had a solid black and a black gulmoget.The black one is very silky with excellent luster! Both are very soft right now. I love their fleeces, but they are different than what we’ve had in the past. Both have dog hair right now, but I don’t expect that to stay. They just have a very nice handle! The black one is slightly smaller, but both look superb at this point! I think he’ll end up shaela, but it takes time for that to appear.
Her gulmoget ram has very striking markings in addition to the cool fleece! He’s probably our most striking ram this year! He’ll have a nice intermediate fleece in my opinion. It has nice density and luster! Clover is the sire, so both carry the modifier. In the past, both of these guys would be keepers, but this year we are offering them both for sale.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kiraz's Ewe - Rich

Kiraz always has nice lambs for us, and this one is no exception! She has a soft even fleece and will be modified. My guess at this point is that she’ll be fawn, but mioget isn’t out of the question. She’s going to be one pretty ewe though. She carries her mother’s spots as well. She is for sale.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Queen Anne's Lace's Ram - Rich

This ram is a black gulmoget out of Leyland . He looks very nice at this point! He carries moorit from his mother and may carry spots from either of his parents. He is for sale. We’re keeping his father.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bluebell's ram - Rich

Bluebell’s ram lamb this year might be our best. His fleece has the softest handle of any born this year, and he carries the modifier. He has a perfect tail and just looks solid at this point. I can’t make a call on his horns yet. It’s possible that he’ll be a half poll, but it’s also possible he’ll have a full rack. He is for sale because we are keeping his father. We’ll continue to evaluate him and may eventually keep him, but with so many nice rams, we can’t keep everything. If we find the right home for him, we’ll sell him, however. He may also carry spots!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Morning Glory's Ram - Rich

Today’s trivia question: What do you get when you cross a moorit gulmoget ewe with a grey katmoget ram? Answer: a solid black ram lamb. Fortunately, he carries moorit, and there is a 50% chance that he also carries nice spotting.
This ram is Morning Glory’s entry into the nice lamb category. His fleece is very uniform as well, but not quite as tight and crimpy as Sparkles’. In terms of build though, Morning Glory’s guy is tops. I think his structure is very close to Betulina’s ram, but he’s a touch smaller. Of course, he’s a week younger, so that’s not exactly a shocker. I do think he’ll be slightly more refined than Betulina’s, however. Both rams are very similar. Black Walnut is the father. Perfect little tail as well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sparkle's Ram - Rich

Sparkles recently gave birth to a black smirslet ram. This little guy is intriguing. His fleece is very uniform and crimpy. I can’t say that we’ve ever had a lamb born with a fleece like this. At this point, I would say that he is very single coated, but I’m sure that could change as he grows. Cihat is the father. He looks like he’s going to be a nice ram and he certainly has one of the nicer fleeces in this year’s lamb crops. There’s also a 50% chance that he carries moorit.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Betulina's Ram - Jen

Betulina had a black ram on Monday, very early in the morning. Cihat is the proud papa. Their lamb is a spot carrier and carries brown, so he could sire a variety of offspring depending on who he's bred to. He is a solid little guy, nice and straight like both his parents.

And of course, Betulina is a wonderful mother. Again. Just so proud and happy to just go off with her little lamb in the corner of the pasture.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Peony's Lambs - Rich

We’ve been slow in getting around to posting some of our lambs, so we’ll do the nickel tour here. The weather has been so lousy, getting pictures has been very tough. Nothing unusual for this time of year in Buffalo , and we have no flooding or other serious issues, so we are grateful.

Peony lambed on Saturday morning and gave us two really nice lambs. The ewe lamb is a fawn or dark mioget gulmoget, and the ram is a fawn or dark mioget (unpatterned). Both have very nice luster and the ram is very silky! It’s too early to make any statements about fleeces other than that. Peony has one of our more primitive fleeces, but the lambs seem to have gotten their fleeces from their father (Clover). It looks like that right now anyway.

On Sunday night, Betulina kept us up and delivered a nice ram. I think he's brown, Jen thinks he's black. Once we get some sun and can really look at the color we'll be able to tell better. He is really built! I could be wrong, but I think he’s the largest ram we’ve had! Cihat is the father. He’ll carry moorit and spots and that’s about all I can say at this point. He looks very promising!

Up next? I really can’t say. Both Queen Anne and Buttercup are bigger than Betulina was, but history hasn’t shown that to be a good indicator. Kiraz is also in the mix. I don’t think so though. I’d be happy if all of them hold out until the end of the week. We’re getting close to the date where the weather switch gets turned off and spring starts for real. If I’m not mistaken, the peepers are still on their second peep, and as you know, spring doesn’t start until the third peep cycle. That’ll happen this week.

So far, so good. Three ewes and two rams. All look very nice to me at this point!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fantasia's lambs - Rich

Lambing has begun here at Whispering Pines and V Creek Fantasia has already set the bar very high for the other ewes (not that they care)!

Fantasia has a short, UK style fleece – very crimpy and lustrous! She definitely has our prettiest fleece. Her ewe lambs look to have the same style fleece! Their fleeces are very tightly crimped and uniform. They are quite striking! I love katmoget fleeces to start with, and these two are wildly spotted to boot! Last year, we really liked the ram that Fantasia threw, so we thought we’d take another shot at it in 2009. It looks to have paid off! Fantasia carries the polled gene, so one of these gems may as well. Cihat is the sire (and does not carry the polled gene). We’ll get some better pictures once we can get them outside, which probably won’t be until Sunday. Our flock enjoyed a nice day and a half of sunshine, but now it’s back to solitary confinement until the wind, snow and rain passes. (note the winter gear on Jen...)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kiraz - Rich

Kiraz is a very soft ewe with an AFD of 26ish. She’s single-coated, but we’ve never been entirely sure what color she is. I believe she is fawn or light moorit. We don’t know whether she would technically be considered modified. She has a good conformation and outstanding markings. She also has had very nice lambs for us. We bred her to Clover this year in hopes of getting fawn or mioget lambs. I’m a sucker for that delicate face, and she has it!

So, as you can see, from all our ewe posting (this is the final one as we go into lambing season) we have a good mix of colors, patterns, and markings, but we aren’t really going after anything in particular in those areas. We’re probably a jack of all and master of none, but we like variety. You can’t really have everything with a small flock, but it’s nice to have some genetic diversity. We do have several of Stephen’s sheep on the farm, but for the most part, they are from separate bloodlines. Onyx and Cor de Nuit have the same father, but aren’t related otherwise; Pyrenee and Kiraz aren’t related at all.

We put a lot of thought into our breeding groups this year and expect to have our nicest lamb crop. As a result, some of these ewes will be for sale if we are going to keep ANY lambs this spring. We have committed to keeping a small flock and would like to be down to a dozen ewes this fall. We won’t be able to do that without releasing some really nice ewes. We like all of our current ewes, so our decisions will be based on several factors, with customer interest being one of them. There are a few that aren’t likely to be available, but we’ll probably move five or six for sure. Every time I make a sales list, there are different ewes on it, which is why I can’t say which ones will be available. We don’t know at this point. Complicating the situation is the fact that there is a lot of demand for the fleeces from some of the potential sale ewes. It’s hard to sell ewes whose fleeces are flying off the table.
We will be posting lambs as they arrive, and will try to tweet updates as they occur. Happy lambing everyone!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Snapdragon - Rich

Snapdragon is another very friendly lamb from 2008 that we like a great deal. So friendly in fact that its impossible to get her photo because she comes right up to me and won't back off for a decent shot. Also, she climbs all over me when I am trying to take other sheep pictures. So, I had to resort to haltering her and tying her to the post, just so I could get some sheep pictures!
She has a cool looking fleece with decent density and a nice feel. She is also out of White Pine and was the only katmoget ewe that he threw. I like her markings and color a lot. I think she has a great conformation and is similar in many ways to Primrose. She’ll be micron tested, but we don’t have anything right now on her. We didn’t breed her because of her small size. Her mother apparently carried the polled gene, so Snapdragon may as well. She’s always been a very striking ewe. I find that the spotted katmogets are very striking, but I’ve not seen a spotted fawn katmoget before. I’m sure that there are many out there, however. Her mother was about 90 pounds, so I’m not sure why Snap is so small, but we’ll see how she grows. The same is true of Primrose, but she’s out of a small ewe, so her size doesn’t surprise me.