Monday, June 29, 2009

Lambs we are keeping - Rich

Well, we’re officially in the dog days of summer (whatever that means). Like much of the northern part of the country, we have been relatively cool this year. It’s been like one extended spring. That makes sense, because the winter extended into spring more than usual as well. Will the summer extend into fall?
Some of the farms have been late cutting hay this year. I would say at least three weeks late in many cases. That results in a first cut product that our sheep won’t eat. As a result, we don’t have any new hay yet.

I wanted to take this opportunity to blog about a few of our favorite lambs this year:

This is Bluebell and Leyland’s ram.

He’s really developing nicely. We’re going to hold onto him until we get a micron test this September, then we will decide if we are keeping or selling him. If anyone wants dibs on him, let us know and we’ll give you the right of first refusal. I don’t think he’ll be 20 microns like his father, but I do think he’ll have a nice test. His color, fleece type, and conformation really stand out in a crop of very nice lambs this year! I also believe he’ll have a full rack even though his father is a half poll. I bred Leyland to ewes that I knew lacked the polled gene. This guy is going to be fawn. At one point, it looked like he would be mioget, but now I don’t think so. I realize a lot of people would register him as a dark mioget, but I think he’s technically a fawn.

Why do I say that? Because here is a true mioget gulmoget.

See the difference? This is a gulmoget ewe out of Bluebell’s mom, Tiara. Her father is Clover. We just love this girl! She’ll have an intermediate fleece.

Next is one of Cor de Nuit’s twin rams. We are very pleased with these rams. Both are very single coated (from their mom) and built like greek gods (although none of the greek gods were sheep…that I’m aware of).

This guy is black (duh), but carries spots.

I’m not sure whether he carries brown. He has small scurs (again, from his mother). I don’t know if we’ll use him this fall or not. I’d like to. He has about everything we’re breeding for.

His brother is also structurally fantastic!
I think this guy is an improvement over both parents at this point. He seems to have inherited the strengths from each. He’s certainly the best spotted ram we’ve ever owned! I don’t know whether we’ll use him this year either. We have an abundance of black based sheep and really don’t want to add a bunch more to the mix. But he’s pretty amazing! I can’t find anything wrong with either of these guys. I’m not nuts about scurs, so maybe that’ll end up being the fly in the ointment, but I don’t see anything else. Both are two months old now, so now’s when we normally start to find flaws in stuff. So far, so good with these guys.

I like the bloodlines with these two as well. We took the best of what we liked in domestic lines (Cihat) and crossed it with some UK content that we liked (Cor de Nuit). I would imagine that the results of such crosses would be hit or miss, but I think this one was a definite hit.

We did the same thing with Fantasia and ended up with these gems this spring.

These yuglet sokket katmoget ewe lambs are singled coated, dense, crimpy, and just fantastic! We liked them so much that we felt we could sell Fantasia! The lambs inherited much of their looks from her, but they do seem to have their father’s great tail and spotting. Very nice lambs!Here is another great little ewe lamb out of Onyx Velour and Cihat. Again, we went for the domestic/UK cross. She’s a yuglet sokket gulmoget who looks very much like a caped flecket. She has a nice fleece, even though it’s not exactly what I’m after. Like I said, you can’t nail it every time. I do think she’ll be intermediate, but I’m very interested in seeing her first fleece test. Her father actually has a lower CV than her mother, but both have excellent micron tests. Both have sub 25% CV’s, which is what we’re after. It just results in a much nicer spinning fleece!

Last but not least, is Buttercup and Leyland’s fawn gulmoget ewe lamb. She’s probably my favorite this year! She’s built extremely well (thanks to our dear little Buttercup), and seems to have a fleece that we are targeting! She’ll also be intermediate, but she is very uniform. All of the above lambs are that way, even though their fleece types are very different.

One thing we learned this year is that Leyland is a gulmoget factory. He’ll always throw gulmogets regardless of who he is bred to!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Added 4 ewes to our sales list - Jen

We've added four ewes to our sales list. This was really hard, especially the adult ones. So here goes:

Whispering Pines Snapdragon is for sale. She is a fawn katmoget smirslet out of Bluff Country Zabrina and Windswept White Pine. Full package ewe here. Great conformation, markings, color, and she is very friendly. She comes up to you, stands for scratches and is very halter trained. In fact the only way I can get photos of her from a distance is to tie her to a post, to prevent her from coming up to me and nuzzling my ear while crouching to take pictures. We are going in a different direction fleecewise, just a preference for us, so we had to let her go.
VCreek Fantasia is also for sale. She is a grey yuglet sokket katmoget out of Vcreek Sparkle and Walnut Rise Ivan. Very fine, uniform fleece, great markings and she has thrown some beautiful lambs for us. She carries polled genetics. We are keeping her two ewes from this year and just can't rationalize keeping 3 grey yuglet sokket kats. She is so friendly its sick. Loves attention, easy on the halter, consistently is the first ewe to walk to me in the morning to say hello.

We also decided to let two of Leyland's ewes lambs from this spring go. We had planned to keep them, but we just don't have the room. So, these are both available. Leyland is exceedingly fine fleeced with a nice crimp and is half polled.

His first ewe lamb is out of our Lavender. She was the last lamb born this year. She carries spots, and doesn't appear to have the side frosting most gulmogets have. She has polled genetics in her bloodlines. She is very close to being halter trained and can leave here by the end of June.

Queen Anne's Lace's ewe is also a black gulmoget, in addition she is spotted and carries brown. She is also out of Leyland. She has a lot of frosting, I actually like it as the yarn will end up being a pretty heathery steely grey, I think. She has a large krunet cap and then a cute little white booger on the side of her nose. Very distinctive appearance. She is also close to being halter trained and can leave here any time.

We have more information on all of these ewes on our website. Would be very happy to send additional photos, fleece samples, micron results on the adults and parents. I also have some roving samples on the adults if you are interested.

Delivery is available.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sparkle's Fiber - Jen

I posted some batts from Sparkle's 2009 lamb fleece onto my etsy shop. Rich bought her last year from Tori Gygi, and I am exceedingly pleased with her fleece. It is so dense, soft and consistent - it was a pleasure to process. I try to weigh all my fleeces through the whole process, and hers is on top not only for gross weight, but also for spinnable fiber yield as a % of gross weight as well as body weight. It feels great, cards well and I envy the person who will be purchasing this fiber, whoever it may be. Photos of Sparkles, a lock of her fiber, her little ram lamb and the batts from her fleece are below:

Monday, June 8, 2009

3 month ram lamb update - Rich

We have three ram lambs that we believe will be excellent breeding quality that are for sale. I thought I would take a rare free moment to blog on how they are progressing.

The first is a black ram out of Pyrenee's Morn (grey katmoget) and Clover (mioget gulmoget). I like the structure on this guy. He has great presence! His fleece has nice density and luster as well. It's a wavier crimp and I expect him to have an intermediate fleece.

His twin brother very similar in structure. Very square and level. His fleece is also similar, but it feels softer. Both rams are very uniform as well. I've always liked this guy's markings though. He's a black gulmoget. He just looks stunning out in the pasture.

Both of Pyrennes rams carry mioget and are 46% UK.
The last ram lamb for sale is a black gulmoget out of Leyland and Queen Anne's Lace. Leyland has an excellent fleece, testing in at 21 microns last fall with a very low CV. This guy looks a lot like him, he looks like he will not have side frosting. He carries brown and possibly spots. I think this guy will have an intermediate fleece.

We had a good lamb crop this year and are selling some that we would have kept in any other year. Right now we have four rams we want to use this fall, and not enough ewes to really make it work right. So these guys have to go. We wethered several very nice rams already this summer and these guys made the cut! We've decided to wether anything that we wouldn't use ourself, no matter how nice we think they are. Those are tough calls to make, but we think it's the right thing for the breed. Rams are a dime a dozen; really good ones are tough to come by.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Peony's fiber - Jen

Finally have some batts to list in my etsy shop. These are from 2009 shearing, first one is from Peony. I divided her fiber up into 4 listings of batts from Peony's fleece. Peony is registered fawn, but has colors ranging from brown to almost white, so you get a really pretty heather when its spun up. She has a long staple length and is very silky, so nice to spin! So if you are interested, click on my etsy link! If you've never used etsy b4, just pop me an email and I can help you through it, its really easy and they have awesome stuff - all handmade or vintage.