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)


Kelly Bartels said...

I'm so glad we can continue to enjoy lambs from Boston Lake Farm. I would miss you Sabrina. (and your beautiful sheep as well)

Michelle said...

Oh, I'm glad to hear you will have more lambs, too, Sabrina! You have made much faster progress than I have; I need you to keep showing me the way forward. :-) There will be big changes in my flock by mid-summer as well, so I'm hoping for good things next spring.

That chocolate lamb is the most SCRUMPTIOUS color!

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Oh my goodness... you ladies are too kind.

I wish you all the best with your big summer change ups, Michelle. And yes, that little Francesca is really special to me. She has super delicate features, and her woolly cheeks and poll just tickle me to death. I hope she stays a nice deep color. Her dam was non-fading, but her sire seemed modified...time will tell. :)

Becky Utecht said...

Oh Sabrina, I knew you would change your mind about breeding next year. And you're so good, selling four in order to keep four. Here I am contemplating keeping all 9 ewe lambs and only selling 2 adult ewes! I'll probably come to my senses this summer...but you know the ASI is wanting people to increase their ewe flock by two this year. LOL.
Oh and are you thinking Ash is modified?

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Hi Becky,
Clancy isn't a fan of sheep...and I'm not a fan of his old cars. We walk a fine line of balance between our two hobbies. :) If I kept more than approximately 15 sheep, I'm pretty sure I'd start seeing more old cars around the yard... lol

I do think Ash carries a modified gene. I know his fleece has grown some iset this year, but even as a lamb he was a light cocoa color at the roots. My other moorit ram, Kavan, was deep chocolate at the roots at that age. But I don't know a whole lot about the manifestations of the modified gene. Maybe he is just in the average range of moorit. I've owned so few moorits...not much experience there...