Friday, May 29, 2009

Oatmeal Rams

The Brown Boys. More correctly: Moorit. And even more specifically: Musket.
I have been using moorit rams since I began breeding registered Shetlands. All of my ewes are black based but most of them carry moorit. This rather basic color recessive continues to elude me, however.
Two years ago, a ewe gave me a moorit ram lamb. He contracted Lyme's disease and experienced several other setbacks. He died at 8 months. Last year Rai Min gave me another moorit ram lamb. Except if Bombarde was his sire he should have been katmoget or musket. But he wasn't. I now suspect Rai Min of carrying extension genetics. That lamb left to be a buddy to a ram lamb I sold. This year, Rai Min gave me little musket Roux-a ram lamb.
Excepting those three male individuals-every other sheep born on this farm has been black based. What are the odds? If I ever get a moorit ewe lamb, I might just keep her as a novelty; regardless of her merit or lack thereof!
Because of these circumstances, I tend to associate the color moorit with masculinity and the color black with femininity. I can't even imagine what a moorit ewe would look like out upon the lawn. I've never seen such a thing at this farm.
Thank goodness my musket boys keep me aware of the fact that there are brown Shetlands out there. Someday I shall have some-maybe.
Roux received several comments when I featured him in a post a few days back about his half-poll potential. I was thoroughly surprised to read opinion that his Ag pattern was not the major detractor that I thought it was. Not that Ag is on every one's wish list. But I seem to only hear how unfortunate the Ag fading is. I happen to like the heathery color Ag gives yarn. Since I was so pleasantly surprised to hear such nice comments, I decided to feature Roux's cute little face. I like his pale nose and eyeliner.
I laughed when I first saw this photo of Parker. He looks like he is happy to see me and calling out a big "Hello!" This glimpse of his easy-going personality is quite accurate.
Now comes one of the Big Guys: Bombarde. I have never seen Unicorn's feet leave the earth. Bombarde is an agile fellow, though. Given access to a tree that has never before felt the predation of sheep, there was quite a bit of foliage available to the ram willing to stand on his hind legs. In this position, Bombarde is quite a bit taller than I am. I'm glad he doesn't walk around like this all the time. I'm sure he's a much more manageable creature with all four feet on the ground.


Gail V said...

Jeesh, Sabrina.
Brown is king around here. I yearned after white the way you seem to for brown. Ah well, we're having fun, right?
Re: Ag polled rams: I am sort of falling in love with Ag-- for the wool color it gives. I sell more wool than sheep, so I care! And I understand the fear of Ag dominating the lamb flock, but gulmoget and katmoget surely would, too. So whatever, I think your musket fellow is adorable.

Kara said...

I am with Gail, but maybe because we own twin sisters that are Ag. :) I love my Ag ewes. I have three and I am keeping a fourth. So I run almost a high a risk as someone that uses an Ag ram...but again I do love my Ag and as a spinner and knitter it matters to me too.

Becky Utecht said...

I don't mind Ag at all. But I don't ever breed Ag to Ag for fear of getting homozygous Ag lambs. I always like to have heterozygous everything so there's an element of surprise in lambing. I love the cute little faces on the Ag lambs, and I love the Ag fleeces too. And yes, I'm sorely missing moorit lambs this year. :-)