Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Our Rams

These photos don't really show off the great qualities of the rams that are standing here at Boston Lake Farm. But I wanted to introduce them anyway. The moorit standing with only one horn is Kimberwood Kavan. The moorit ram in the grass is Kavan's sire, Bramble Allister. The white yearling ram is Windswept Unicorn. His fleece has the most incredible softness, lustre, and crimp. Kavan and Allister have very uniform fleece. I am hoping to produce lambs eventually that have the best qualities of both lines.

Breeding plans for this fall are constantly reorginized. I am certain of a few matches though. Sheepy Hollow Rachel, (the grey ewe out on pasture in the last post) will be paired to Allister. I can't wait to see those lambs. I'm determined to keep Rachel's ewe lambs, and I'm anxious to keep a ram lamb out of her as well. I would like to put one of her sons over some of my other ewes since I love everything about Rachel.

I think Windswept Northwind will be put to Kavan again this fall. I'd like to repeat this breeding to see if I can get a super soft moorit EWE next time. Kavan also improved Northwind's weaknesses in both her 07 lambs. This is the kind of consistency I like to see.

Unicorn will probably get Sheltering Pines Dolce and her two yearling daughters, Boston Lake Delyth and Dova. They have double coats and I am hoping to improve the softness and get a more intermediate coat type. The lambs will probably all be white, but that will be a new color around here so I don't mind.

Boston Lake Sian, Rachel's 06 daughter, is the ewe I am really undecided about. I am leaning heavily toward putting her to Allister. This would be linebreeding granddaughter to grandsire. The hope that I could lock in some of the best features I see in her is the motive. She is an incredibly soft, crimpy black. Allister is also getting older. I'd like to try this linebreeding before I lose my chance. I calculate that there is plenty of time to put Sian to other rams.

Of course, I can't predict the future. Things go wrong...the unexpected always seems to happen. But I am trying to go with my hunch. I'm not sure I would care one way or the other if I missed my chance to breed her to Unicorn, but I would regret not doing the linebreeding with her at least the one time.

Such is the beauty and excitement of being a farmer that raises breeding stock. One has the opportunity to use intuition. My disclaimer is that I find no fault in using computer tracking methods and hard-core facts to make breeding decisions. I'd like to become stronger in my use of such. But I consider intuition a worthy tool as well. And I am the personality type that feels comfortable using it. In fact, I try to tap into it as much as possible.

For now, I am enjoying the view of my hansome gents out on pasture. Kavan is the exception; he's still in a pen so we can treat his wound easily. But he will soon get his own patch of grass, and then I'll put his 07 son in with him for weening. Kavan has done well without a buddy so far, but I don't like keeping him that way. Maybe I'll get a photo of little Tormey posted soon.


Garrett808 said...

wow that kavan is quite striking, even with one horn. Isn't the 'pre-breeding' thinking just fun! It can be crazy but its the 2nd most favorite time of the year for me (the 1st being when the babes are born!) Hope to see you at the BBQ!

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Thank you, Garrett! Yes, I love everything about dear Kavan. The BBQ sounds great and I will do my best to be there. I look forward to meeting you and your flock of shetlands-not to mention your other sweet creatures. Let me know the date. And thanks for reading my blog. :)