Friday, January 22, 2010

Expanding fleeces, expanding flock

Yesterday morning while doing chores, I imagined beginning baby bumps under the ewes' coats and fleeces. Took pictures of everyone, although not everyone's portrait turned out. My two fawn (modified) gully girls are pocket pets, always lookin' for lovin':
Here are the mothers of those two pocket pets, Inky in the foreground and Dinah in the back corner:Dinah is also the dam of this chunk of chocolatey goodness, wether Browning (obviously, no baby bump there!):Hey, stop chewing on Brava's fleece!

Brava posed very nicely:She has many nice qualities - big, dense, soft fleece; straight topline; pretty Shetland head (yes, there's a little poll wool up there); wide, square hindleg set. Her tail is very woolly, but she threw proper tails on her ram lambs from Franjean and I expect as good or better on her lambs from Braveheart this spring.

But I wasn't just talking about lambs in the "expanding flock" part of my title. There's a new ewe in town!This is McTavish Katie, sporting this year's hottest beach-bunny fashion. (Okay, okay; my neighbor graciously lent me her pickup with topper since all of our vehicles were indisposed, so I put a diaper on her to keep the back of the truck clean. Lady that she is, she didn't soil it.) Katie has come to Boulderneigh so I can investigate further the possibility that she carries a poll gene. Lois has not only graciously let Katie join my flock, but she exposed her to THIS handsome fellow before she left Stonehaven Farm:He's Sheltrngpines Constantine, and although he looks like (and Lois fervently HOPES) he has full-horn genetics, his sire IS Roban Dillon, so the possibility is there that he is aberrant-horned. Both Lois and I are hoping that Katie has lambs for me that clearly show their horn genetics one way or the other, but regardless of that, they should be stunners in every way. While waiting for them, I am going to enjoy getting to know Katie of the intelligent eyes, pretty head, and soft and lustrous fleece. I do hope she'll be happy here. I know I am happy to have her here!

That's it for now from . . .

28 comments:

Sharrie said...

Oh, boy, I bet they will have some handsome babies. Love your new ewe, even with the diaper. She looks like she took that like a lady.

Heather said...

Wow - I just fell in love with your ewe. And what a gorgeous ram!!! I'm excited to see their babies.

Michelle said...

Thank-you both; I love Katie, too! I'll put up some more pictures of her when I can; she is a looker coming and going.

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Congratulations!

ladyb1 said...

What a wonderful looking Ram. Hope you get lots of lovely lambs.

MollyBeees said...

Constantine! :SWOON: :THUD:

Christine said...

Wow, you just know those two have got to produce some beautiful babies.

Shula said...

Looks like a wonderful addition to your flock that should have some stunning babies. Congratulations.

Kara said...

I love Constantine! Olympia has him a few generations back. Congrats on your new ewe as well, very pretty.

Rayna said...

omg...I see a musket gulmoget ewe lamb in your future...YUM! :)

Mom L said...

What a beautiful new face on your farm! And she sure had a gorgeous hunk of a mate...good luck with babies!

Nancy in Iowa

Theresa said...

Nice sheep and nice fleeces, Michelle! Be patient in waiting for lambs!

Tammy said...

Pretty little gully girls and can't wait to see what you get out of Katie. Love, love, Lois' sheep! I guess your 'restrictions' on flock size have been relaxed a little? ;-)
Tammy

kristi said...

I definitely think I am going to try the coats after shearing this year. Love those little girls...as for horned ram....beautiful guy just as long as those horns are on someone elses farm. So done with the big horns:)

schoonoverfarm said...

Man- that is one gorgeous ram! You should have gorgeous lambs from them.

Michelle said...

I agree, Kristi, I don't want horns like that on my farm, either. But they do make Constantine look the picture of Shetland majesty! If he's hiding a poll gene, I would love for his and Katie's lambs to show me, and if not, Lois would love a fully horned son of his (he's produced mostly ewe lambs for her). I just hope she's pregnant!

Coats are the way to go as long as I have to live on five wet and muddy acres with lots of trees and twigs and the necessity of feeding hay. If I lived on a barren, windswept Scottish isle and my sheep grazed and foraged year-round, I can see how coats would not be needed!

Theresa, it's hard to be patient until the end of May! I should get other lambs by the end of March, though.

No, Tammy, the size restrictions have not really been relaxed. Dinah has a new home after weaning this year, and I don't know how long Inky will be used for breeding. She seems to have arthritis pretty bad; we'll see how she is after this year's lambing and decide about her retirement. (I'm crossing my fingers for flashy, as both she and Braveheart carry spots.) Bramble, one of the gully girls, may be advertised for sale this year as well.... Oh, for lots of space on a windswept isle!

Michelle said...

Kara, do you mean Olympia has Roban Dillon a few generations back? Constantine is a young ram, so I wouldn't think HE could be an ancestor of Olympia's!

Laura said...

I really like your "pocket pets"! they are very pretty and look like they have nice fleeces too! Your new ewe is pretty too. Hopefully she will have twins for you.

sheepsclothing said...

Congrats on the addition! Katie is a really pretty girl-

Kathy said...

Lois talked about this so much during her visits here. I envy you both Katie and Constantine, Lois' fav ram. I'm sure you'll know soon enough re: the horns.
I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you. And poor Miss Inky...I was so hoping you might get more breedings from her. But then, I'm a member of the Inky Fan Club. ;)

Juliann said...

Congrats on your new purchase, she's beautiful! Constantine is just a gorgeous flock sire. Finger's crossed for awesome lambs.

Kara said...

Hi Michelle,

Pike Hill Olympia S 27933 (my fawn gully) is SheltrgPines Constaintine's great grand daughter. :) Her dad is PikeHill Stanley Pease, by SheltrgPines Aspen, by Constantine. She also has Dillon through Sheltrgpines Justinian, and Willowcroft Jamie thrown in a ways back in a couple of places. I really think she is a poll carrier. If her son who might be a half poll throws a me a full polled son with Hester another suspected polled carrier due to scurred son in 2008, I will know for sure...a half poll the mystery will remain. Here is to both of our discovery process! Those two ewes are why I bought Champ, the plan is that he will have both in his breeding group next year to help me figure them out.

Vicki Foster said...

Lovely new ewe!!! The diaper made me laugh out loud (and get funny looks from the husband!). Your ram, beautiful!! Love his horns ... cannot wait to see their lambs.

LDSVenus said...

Ah Michelle, Katie is a very pretty lady, and the ram that she was bred to is stunning! With all that fleece and their little legs I am reminded of the drawings I've seen of a big ball of fluff and little stick legs sticking out ;P. Your shetland stock are beautiful :). Let me know when you have any of it made into roving (I dont work with raw fleece yet, tho hopefully later I'll be addicted to that too :P).

Michelle said...

LDSVenus, I DO have roving, in fact! Email me through the link at right and I can tell you what I have available. I plan to have most of this year's clip processed into roving as well - unless, of course, the fleeces sell first!

Dianne MacDonald said...

Being a CVM, BFL, and Romney breeder, I don't know much about Shetlands, but your new girl looks like a beauty to me.

Claire said...

Goodness me, what a HUNK of a ram! Hubba hubba!! Such wonderful new additions to your flock. What size of diaper do you buy for the full grown sheep? It would be nice to have that as a backup plan for transporting, you know, in the back seat, if one went somewhere and unexpectedly found a sheep that MUST be had...even though one left one's livestock trailer or pickup at home. I could store one in the trunk for sheep emergencies. I wondered if it was really a diaper or if it was a "Depends" type of garment.

Michelle said...

Claire, I found the "diapers" at Walmart. They are the "Assure" brand, which was cheaper than Depends (although they come 30 in a package -- maybe I should just sell you five for $5 including shipping!), and are also a belted style, NOT pull-ups. Worked slick, and I will keep some on hand for just the reasons you mentioned. It will also take away excuses if someone falls in love with one of my available sheep at a show but doesn't have a trailer! hee