Friday, September 23, 2011

Keeper Ram Lambs and bucks

I sent in papers for these ram lambs to be registered. I forgot what names I put down.
This guy is a twin out of PS23 Fairlight, an F1 Jings and Sheepy Hollow Sienna. He weighed 53#.
Perfect tail-it's flat too! Mid side fleece.
Fleece towards rump.
This white ram lamb is a twin out of Drum Jings and PS23 Forsythia, an F2 Greyling. He weighed 53#. His fleece is very soft and silky. (I couldn't catch him as he is shy.)
This guy is a triplet, raised as a twin by a nine year old ewe. He weighed 62#. (As much as a single ram lamb that I have!) His sire is Drum Ram (aka Black) and dam is Sabbbath Farm Fonteyn.His fleece...I like the color and crimp.This guy is also friendly.
Buck kid out of Belle, a color carrier white and Caspian a faded red who got culled last year (due to attitude.) I'm going to see what he looks like next fall. This is a very fine fleeced yearling buck out of Danburry (the AAGBA TX boy) and China, a black. He is a very pale red and should throw fine fleeced colored kids. I wasn't going to use him as he is related to all of my does, but I think I'm going to do some linebreeding anyways-I really want color!!! I am going to buy a black buck kid, but I've never had a kid breed. (So many of the colored goats available have poor quality, kempy fleeces. I was actually told at the sheep and wool festival that some mohair I was selling as "rug grade" was nicer than some other breeder's good stuff.) This guy will be for sale after I use him. He will be registered so I need to think of a name for him. He was born in the "G"year.
This ram lamb is a twin out of PS23 Campbell, and F1 Jericho and PS23 Ferndale, an F1 Gordon. He is the biggest ram lamb at 67#. His fleece is med. fine and crimpy. He is for sale for $250.Tail shot.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lamb weights

I finally ordered a scale! I had been planning on ordering one for several years now and decided last winter that I was going to get one this summer after trying to weigh lambs and ending up in muck with the lamb running away. I got the same one as Theresa Gygi, but without the cage as the cage was an extra $600. I just cut some hog panels and made my own cage. The scale arrived yesterday morning and (I had been planning to vaccinate and deworm ) I used the scale yesterday afternoon to weight all of the lambs and kids. (I have been weighing my lambs and kids at weaning with a bathroom scale for several years, but this is more accurate and much less back breaking!)

Coopworth X Shetland 30 lambs 60.50# ave. (colored Coop X Shet 12 lambs 52.83# ave., white Coop X Shet 18 lambs 62.22# ave.)

Corriedale X Shetland 10 lambs 66.60# ave.

purebred Shetland 29 lambs 52.13# ave.

Angoras 12 kids 38.4# ave.

All 84 lambs and kids 55.04# ave.

I weighed two Shetland cross yearlings and they were both around 120#. The one yearling Angora doe was 65# (and probably 6-8# is mohair!) I did not weigh any of my rams, ewes or Shetland yearlings. Just not enough time... it was almost dark by the time I got to the last lamb.

Interesting thing is last year I did not like the Corriedale crosses, they were small and I did not like the fleece. This year's ones are by the same sire, but most are whites. All of last year's were colored.

The Coopworth X lambs do have a different "look" than the Corrie X lambs. The Corrie X lambs are leaner and taller.

On another note. I have been thinking, the UK judges mentioned that a Shetland ewe who does not meet the standard is placed in a conservation grazing flock. The sheep are all bred to flockbook Reg. rams and after 3 generations (or was it 5?) the offspring are allowed to be registered.

So if we have a Shetland ewe who would not meet the standard/pass inspection (say her fleece falls of a bit or her tail needs improvement) and we get a stunning ram lamb out of her perhaps we should still send him to market as he may have a higher chance of passing on low quality sheep than one who is out of a line who has been bred to good rams without flaw for several generations.

I know I have gotten nice crimpy/med.crimpy fleeces out of a more double coated type ewe to a single coated ram in one generation and I have also fixed tails in one generation. I wonder if those lambs are more likely to revert back to the more double coated fleece or poor tail than a ewe who's sire, grand sire and great grand sire all were "perfect"sheep.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fun At WI Sheep and Wool

I had a great time at the WI Sheep and Wool Festival. The Shetland breeders had a potluck by a campfire and I got to meet several other Shetland breeders. It was also nice to be able to meet and talk to the two UK judges Kate Sharp and Alan Hill. Theresa Gygi has a lovely write up about the show and some of the talks on her blog .

A couple non-Shetland related things that Kate mentioned are all the rules and regulations in the UK. It is illegal to pick up a sheep to put it in a car or truck and open/soft top trailers are also illegal. The sheep have to have ramps to walk on but the ramps can't be too steep for loading on a trailer. It is illegal to hold or pull a ram by it's horns. Each animal needs to be tracked and if one has more than 10 chickens they also have to be in a government program.

This hansom boy came home with me. Right now he is hanging out with the boys, but he will get a nice group of girls this fall. Sommerang Gilroy is a fine fleeced black ram who can throw spotted lambs. Thanks Corinne!

I entered 5 fleeces in the show this year. I showed a colored Shetland lamb fleece that did not place, a white lamb that got a fourth place and Fairlight's fleece got a third. The other two fleeces were crossbred fleeces and one, a white Shetland X Coopworth, did not place (it had gotten Champion at Greencastle) and the other, a variegated charcoal Shetland/BFL X Corriedale) got a second at both WI Sheep and Wool and Greencastle.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

WI Sheep and Wool

WI Sheep and Wool festival is next Fri, Sat and Sun. I have a booth there this year and will be selling on Fri and Sat. I have a friend who has a hand-spinner flock and will be using the booth space on Sun.

I have a lot to do before then! My lambs and yearlings are on "vacation" and need to come home before Sheep and Wool. There return is scheduled for Mon.

There is an English man who had some grass/alfalfa he wanted grazed off so that is where they are. Paul, the English man had been a sheep farmer in Kent, England. He had 1000 Romney ewes (add in the lambs, ram and yearlings and the No. would be around 3000.)

I have some last minuet dyeing to do and the general "set up enough fence for the sheep while I'll be gone" and packing to do.

I am showing several fleeces this year and am quite excited ad the Shetland fleeces will be judged from a UK Shetland judge. The Shetland sheep this year also will be judged by the UK judge. I am not showing sheep as it is to hectic to do both a booth and show.

See you at WI Sheep and Wool!