Tuesday, June 21, 2011

3 of 4 Ewe Lambs

I wanted to post about all of my ewe lambs, but I could not get Sian's black daughter, Jane, to pose for any photos.  Here are the other three ewe lambs...
Justina (Courante x Hannah) 
My only Courante ewe lamb...but she proved that Courante carries solid, so I'm pleased.  Justina carries moorit and spots - as evidenced by her tiny white head spot at birth.  She is twin to Trans Am (Mr Spotty).  Justina is also the lamb I thought might be modified.  She still has an odd black color compared to the other black ewe lambs, but I can't see any color change at the base of her fleece.  So maybe not.  This little girl is super friendly like her dam.  :)

Penelope (Ash x Lana)  (left), Trans Am (right)
Penelope and Justina look a lot alike.  I need to get ear tags into them soon.  However there are some differences... Penelope's poll wool comes down to a point on her forehead while Justina's is an oval shape.  Penelope is also skittish like her dam and won't come up to me yet.  I'm tempted to wean her at the end of summer in a barn stall for a few days to tame her down.  Having friendly sheep is so much more convenient than having skittish sheep.  This little girl is lovely in every way.  Perfect tail, great conformation, and the genetics and promise of great fleece.  So glad she is in my flock.

Justina (left) & Penelope (right)

Francesca  (Ash x Sian)
Fran is just the sweetest little ewe lamb.  Friendly, lovely color, terrific tail and conformation.  I'm very excited to finally have a home-bred moorit ewe in my flock!  Please excuse the mineral on her nose.  :)

I am so tempted to breed my ewe lambs to Courante this fall... in case I decide to sell him so I can be ram-free the year my twin sons graduate from high school.  (I know that their grad party is going to be a lot of work to prepare for so I'm trying to think ahead.)  But I'm not a fan of breeding ewe lambs... So I guess I'll be hashing that idea back and forth till fall.  Leaning away from that choice at the moment...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trans Am

Even though Trans Am has horns/scurs growing, I still think he is just such a nice looking ram.

Square, with a good tail.  The tail still has some baby hair on the tip, but that will disappear as he grows.

Love that face!

Lots of presence.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Sextant (Courante x January)

I was able to feel his fleece the other day and it is so nice and soft.  Just beautiful.  This boy is the biggest ram of the season.  He is scheduled to leave for another farm after weaning...hopefully to sire nice big unregistered Shetlands with lovely fleeces.  I think he will be perfect for the job!

Pardon the mineral all over his nose.  :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Handsome Fellow

Liking this boy more and more each week! 
This is pic from 5-30-11 though.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thief of Hearts

Clancy brought this small dog home from work on Wednesday.  This little guy had been living in a stack of round bales at my dad's mill yard where Clancy has his sawmill.  He was first discovered in January!...and after many months of coaxing, he finally tamed down enough to hang out around the guys during the work day.  They would set food out for him...he would even take it from their fingers...but he still wouldn't let anyone touch him.
Finally, Clancy borrowed a live trap from a friend and captured this sweet little guy.
He is extremely timid.  Clearly he has learned that he can't trust anyone.  But even after just a day at home with us he has learned it is safe to relax a little bit.  Since we live so far from other people, we think someone must have dumped him off along the main road.  He was obviously some one's pet, once upon a time, because he is housebroke and leash trained.
He also prefers women to men.  He warmed right up to me, and now I have a little white shadow.  He doesn't like to let me out of his site.  Yes....he's a little heart breaker....
This dog is definitely a survivor, and I think he has more than earned a safe and happy life with people that love him.  The plan was to tame him down and then find someone to take him.  Clancy got pretty attached to him at the mill, though, and claims he would not give him up to "just anybody."  We do NOT need a fourth dog!  But with Clancy's heart already melted...I have a feeling that this little dog could end up staying...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Significant Changes

A while back I mentioned that I would be taking a few years off from breeding Shetlands.  I had very good reasons for making that choice.  But I have been re-evaluating my situation... I've always run 2 or more rams on the farm.  This year, instead of nothing, I'm going to run just one ram.  That should ease stress and work load quite a bit while still allowing me to make progress toward my polled and fine fleece goals.  I came to this decision after a fellow breeder asked to buy my last ram, S'more Courante.  I did have him for sale.  But I was already rethinking that notion when the offer was made.  With the pressing reality of Courante actually leaving, I decided only one ewe lamb from him was just not enough of his genetics in my flock.  And the breeder was kind enough to accept my removing the ram from my sales list.  So Courante is staying for another season at least.  And hopefully next spring I will get some more ewe lambs from him that are as impressive as his ram lambs are.

I also decided to sell 4 adult ewes this year to make room for the four ewe lambs I am retaining.  Three of these ewes are reserved now, and it is hard to imagine that they will leave, as they are all friendly girls.  But their bloodlines are well represented in their lambs, and even improved upon with regard to the polled gene... so there is no regret... just a wistfulness at not being able to keep them all.

Below are Sian's two ewe lambs that will be staying, while she and her other daughter, Leil, leave for a new home.
Francesca (Ash x Sian)
Jane (Ash x Sian)