Monday, June 29, 2009

Two new rams heading my way.

I've got a few new boys coming this way, as well!
I am very fortunate to have the wonderful rams I have. They came from flocks that are breeding for the very highest quality horned Shetland stock, and "oops" there happened a polled ram or two. Because these are conscientious breeders, they were good rams. And Juliann was there to snap them up.

Most of these rams just happened to be katmoget, which is a dominant pattern. And all those katmogets went on to produce more katmogets. So now I've got a bunch of katmoget.
Moorits used to bore me to tears, but now I found myself in the position of trying to find some good quality polled ones.
This fellow is coming all the way from Maryland. Gail Former will be transporting him from the NASSA AGM for me. Thank you Gail!

This is Fox Meadow Sheamus, from Fox River Croft. He is already a year old, which I really like because now I have a better idea of what kind of ram he will be, opposed to buying a little ram lamb. I am pretty leery of buying sheep over the internet. I requested photos of Sheamus from several different angles, then asked for a fleece sample on top of it.

Once I got this guy's fleece sample in the mail, I swooned with delight. I said to myself "okay, I have to have this ram!" Super soft and crimpy! Right up my alley.

This little shaver is from Kristi's Harvest tyme flock in Ohio. At two months old, he has such little scur growth that I think he'll "stay polled". Looks like he carries spots (yum!), and a rear photo showed straight hind legs and a workable tail. His bite is even, and his testes are coming down. I am a sucker for a pretty Shetland head.
I'm happy to support a new polled breeder by giving the little fellow a shot here at Little Country. I won't use him this fall, and like to give him some grow time and get a micron count on him before deciding who to pair him with.

Polled little noggin.

I'm thinking that breeding 15 or 16 ewes a year is my "sweet spot". Lambing was a breeze this year compared to last year, even with the Octomom.

Having lots of potential flock sires isn't a necessity for a small flock, but I can rest assured of having a lower coefficient of inbreeding by maintaining a wider genetic base due to keeping a healthy sized pool of polled rams.
I'll have sheep to retain every year, can still cull reasonably heavily, and have a few nice sheep to offer for sale every year.


Carol B. said...

I like that ram from Maryland. I am glad you got transportation worked out. I think I might miss having moorit sheep around now that I have committed to breeding only BFL's, but I still feel like this is the right thing for me to do. I will just have to admire my friend's moorit sheep and maybe buy their fleeces :)

Franna said...

Nice ram! I like his more elegant appearance and pretty, though masculine head.

Funny, the stages our flocks go through. We have a predominantly "solid brown" flock right now, so I'm looking for a black based, patterned ram to "fix" that. :-)

- Franna

kristi said...

Thank you for your support are one of the reasons why I stayed with Shetlands. Finding someone who supports new individuals is often frustrating and can be discouraging. There needs to be more of "you" out there:)

Juliann said...

Carol, get a pretty English Blue BFL. Then you can have the breed and the lovely color as well.

Franna, kats were hard to come by just 6 years ago. I had so many moorits I had to give them different tags so I could tell them apart.

Kristi, people will be more apt to buy from you once you join NASSA and get a registered flock. Grades just don't sell too well. It takes a while to get your name out there, plus there are a lot of breeders here in the Midwest. Lots of good sheep go unsold every year. Some years are better than others.

Kathy said...

I am so tickled you're adding to your breeding program, Juliann. Go for it! :) It's so much easier to freshen genetics with the ram-side than replacing many ewes.

Cool beans. I can hardly wait until next spring to see what you get.