Sunday, June 30, 2013

Whispering Pines 2013 Sales List

This was a particularly tough list to put together this year because all of the ewes in our flock (and very nearly all of the rams) would fit into our breeding program going forward. I suppose that’s a good problem to have, but as we put this list together, we came up with good reasons to keep everyone. But, since that isn’t possible, here is what we have to offer this year so far. We will be doing a separate ram list once we sort that out (which will be this week). We’ll probably pick three or four rams that we think will add something significant to a fine fleece flock, and we’ll probably limit the sale of them to flocks interested in improving their flocks (genotypically and phenotypically).

The ewes are out of three rams: Winter Sky Khan, Barenfang, and First of Fifth Avyt. Avyt is one of the nicer horned Shetland rams that I have seen, and Khan is one of the nicer polled rams I have come across. As a point of reference, Khan’s three-year old micron average was 22.5 and his spinning fineness is 21.7, which probably makes him the finest Shetland ram in North America for his age. I don’t have micron data on Avyt, but these ewes are out of the finest Shetland genetics in the U.S.

The first ewe is Sommarang Isla, a two-year old ewe with an outstanding conformation and fleece. Her mother was Sommarang Ginger, and her father was Firth of Fifth Avyt, who is one of the nicer Shetland rams I have seen during my travels. As you can see here, here twin ewe lambs are pretty outstanding, so she should produce exceptionally well in the future. It’s hard to sell ewes this good, but you can’t continue keeping mothers and their twins if you want to keep the old flock size down to a manageable number. That’s the only reason she is for sale. This is a rare opportunity to obtain these genetics. I don’t have much to criticize about this ewe.

Sommarang Ilke is another super fine ewe that we brought in from Wisconsin in 2011. Her father is also First of Fifth Avyt, which is why I brought both of these ewes back with me. I liked that ram a great deal, and wanted those genetics in our program. Ilke is denser and a little crimpier than her half-sister Isla. She is also smaller, which some people will like and some will hate. It would be nice to hold onto some of these genetics a year or two longer, but we can’t really do that. She is two years old. Beautiful head on this girl as well, in my opinion.

The only ewe lamb we are selling this year is this one out of Barenfang and Ilke. We like her and the fact that both of her parents are super fine, but at the end of the day, we have too many ewe lambs we are trying to keep. I think she will produce well, but since we aren’t breeding ewe lambs this year, it doesn’t make sense to keep all that we are planning to keep. This lamb is also the darkest chocolate lamb we had this year. She almost looked black for the longest time. I say this about a lot of our sheep, but the genetics are outstanding here going back several generations.


Anisetta is one of the few khan lambs we are selling. She is a 2012 lamb out of Isla and has a lot of promise. She wasn’t bred this year, but she will produce for people when bred to the right rams. This is another ewe that we would like to keep. If I were to offer up a criticism of her, it would be that her fleece isn’t as crimpy as we prefer. But it is fine, and it is crimpy. The staple length is about four inches.

Izarra is the last Khan lamb we are selling this year. She is a yearling out of Sommarang Idelle. We like this ewe and she will offer a lot to a fine fleece breeding program. Her fleece is nice, with maybe a 4.5” staple length, with nice crimp. We bred her to Barenfang this year, and she had a very nicely built ram lamb, with a very uniform fleece from front-to-back. So, I would expect her to produce well in the future with the right ram.

The other thing Izarra offers that the other ewes on this list do not is spotting. I no longer value spotted Shetlands like I once did, but if you are into nicely conformed, fine, spotted Shetlands, I think this ewe can offer you a lot.

So, there it is. We decided to really do a hard look this year to be sure our list was correct, and although you can never say that for sure, we think the ones we are keeping will move us toward our goals, and we think the ones on this list will do the same for other folks looking to improve their breeding programs. If you have any questions, by all means, email us or call us. We'll be happy to discuss the attributes of each sheep on the list. These ewes are the result of careful breeding and selection, and we think they are some of the best we have ever offered. Our sales list is always small, but we think what it lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality.

We will offer a group discount depending on the number of sheep involved.