Sunday, September 13, 2009

Designing my ideal flock

Recent correspondence with Beau's and Boo's mistress got me thinking of what my ideal flock would look (and act!) like. This is purely an exercise in fantasy, of course, since I am not prepared to scrap my entire flock and start over, searching the country for each ideal individual, should they even exist. Still, it is fun to think about, and helpful to keep in mind as I breed what I have, or when an opportunity to add a new individual or two to my flock arises.

My ideal ram would be a fully polled, four-square boy with tiny tail, a bit of wool on the poll, and a consistent, soft, fine (below 25 AFD and CV, low SD and high comfort factor), crimpy, lustrous fleece with a staple of 4-5 inches. He would be moorit or fawn with spotting (a large krunet or even HST markings). He would be calm, respectful of humans, and gentle with ewes and lambs.

My small, ideal ewe flock would be made up of proven poll carriers with the same four-square conformation and good breed characteristics, but allowed a little more wiggle room with regards to tails, wooly polls and fleece (could go up to 28 AFD). I would have one dark katmoget with rich blue fleece (Aa/Ab BB/Bb), one Aa/At BB/Bb or Bb/Bb gulmoget, one Awt/Aa Bb/Bb or BB/Bb white, and one Ag/Aa, either grey-carrying-brown or musket. At least some of them would be spotted or carry spots. All would be problem-free lambers and good mothers, and puppy-dog friendly, even to strangers. If at least one of them also carried the modifier, I figure I could conceivably get every color in the Shetland rainbow along with all the patterns and some chrome, too; fun, huh? (See here for a key to genetic abbreviations.)

Speaking of Beau and Boo, they now have new pasture-mates; their flock has doubled! Here is a photo of the little fiber flock "outstanding in their field;" Beau and Boo are in the back, Jamocha Jo (uncovered wether) and Jazzlyn (ewe lamb, covered) are in the front. Rumor has it that two more flock mates will be joining B&B and J&J soon; I think their owners have a virulent case of Shetlanditis, don't you? :-)

Sheep dreams, from . . .

4 comments:

Dianna said...

Reading about your Shetland flock, color genetics, micron testing, etc makes me want to break out my little stash of Shetland to spin...

Even though I mostly lurk, your blog posts bring a smile to my day! Thank you.

Michelle said...

Why, you're welcome, Dianna! Thank-YOU for the high compliment of brightening your day and making you want to spin Shetland!

Kathy said...

"To dream the impossible dream..."

heeheehee

Christine said...

It must be highly contagious. I think I might have it, too. Someone should call the CDC.