Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ram Fleeces

These rams are the best that we’ve had here at Whispering Pines. Sure, they pale in comparison to some of the rams I’ve seen, but we feel lucky to have this group. Each gives us unique traits, and yet for all their diversity, each shares something in common -- fine, crimpy fleeces with very nice density!

These fleece pictures were all taken at the last rib.

Pompey will be five this year. The old man of the flock. His fleece is very crimpy and soft for his age. I’m not an expert on fleeces, but I would say that his micron results will be between 26 and 28 microns with a 20% CV. I have a tougher time figuring out adult microns, so I’m giving myself more of a window than I did for the lambs. His fleece feels like it is on the lower end of that range, but that doesn’t seem possible, given his age. I might be picking up on his low CV and silky fibers. Silkiness is definitely a confounding factor.


Bond is a great ram, and his second fleece looks great! He will be two this spring. A very crimpy fleece and he passed that on to his lambs. His color is wonderful as well. I would say that he will micron between 24 and 25 with a 20% CV. I would be delighted with those numbers for a two year old ram! Especially one of his quality. That would be a big jump from his yearling results, but you can’t expect two year old rams to remain at < 21 microns. That’s pretty rare. In fact, after looking over maybe a 100 micron reports, I’ve only seen two rams stay at that level as two year olds. Stephen’s ram Fudge is one of them, and Pompey is the other. I’d love to hear if other breeders have seen that. Garrett probably has.

Little Buckaroo

Little Buckaroo is a yearling. I’ve liked how his fleece handled since he was a lamb. Very small crimp and nice luster combine to make him feel finer than he probably is. I would say he will micron at 25.0 with a CV below 20%. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was at 15% or close to it. It’s a shorter fleece, but he has so much potential as a flock sire.

Egyptian King

Egyptian King will be a yearling this spring. What a fabulous fleece. He is our densest ram, and probably the crimpiest. He has very tiny crimp. I hope he shears well so we can use his fleece. I hate losing nice lamb fleeces. I would guess that his fleece might be in the neighborhood of 22 to 23.5 microns with a 20% CV. He looks finer, but he doesn’t feel finer (if that makes any sense). You can get a good feel (no pun intended) for fineness by looking at the crimp. There is typically a strong correlation between the two. Genetic lines tend to skew that correlation a bit, but it’s still there. The great thing about this ram is that his fleece is uniform from front to tail. He doesn’t fall off at all in the britch area. I should have sampled him in all three places just to compare, but I didn’t.


Rowdy is a ram that we elected not to use this year. His fleece feels really fine, and it’s a pretty shaela! I suspect his fleece handle is attributable to his silkiness and not fineness. I think he might be in the area of 24 to 25 microns with a 20% CV as a yearling. Not too shabby. I plan on using him this fall, but I say that about all of our rams. Rowdy isn’t as dense as Egyptian King but they look a lot a like. I mean I really have to look to tell them apart.

Rowdy isn’t as fine, and isn’t as crimpy, but his fleece is a bit longer. I doubt it will spin up longer, however. He has a different lock structure is all. Rowdy’s mother is Christmas Holly, a ewe that I really like. I posted her fleece picture the other day.

I definitely liked the Bond sons better than his daughters last year. We have two other nice sons that we retained, but neither is quite up to par with these guys. Even the ones that we took to market were big improvements on their mothers, however. I asked a lot of Bond last year, and I got more than I had a right to expect. I wonder if my affinity for Bond’s ram lambs has anything to do with testosterone. Maybe the added muscle and frame made them appear so much nicer. But their fleeces were also nicer, so that doesn’t add up.

1 comment:

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

First time I've visited your blog I think. I'm blown away by your fleece photos. Oh. My. Gosh.

Wow. yeah, I'm speechless...