Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A photo-heavy detour

While I wait for some photos that other people took at BSG, I thought I'd give you an update from the homefront. Let's start with the youngest members of the flock.

Now you see them . . .

. . . now you (almost) don't!
Monday morning after BSG, the time was ripe for Katie and her twins to join the flock in the big pasture, and then share the greater fold at night. (Right now that flock consists of Dinah, Bramble, Inky and Banjo, since the other lambs and Bronwen are in after-show quarantine and Browning is keeping the new ram company in the Ram-ada Inn.) Bardas and Byzantine thought they were pretty hot stuff getting to run with the big sheep, and Byzantine told Bramble what he thought of her pushing him around:
Both boys quickly figured out lamb races and hopping through the arena panels like all the other lambs before them:
Here's one last shot of Byz, just for Lois:
Today I picked Bronwen's and Blake's on-the-hoof fleeces and put coats on both of them.Several people at the show gave me positive comments on Blake's fleece, confirming my plans to keep this young ram for flock sire evaluation. His fleece is a lustrous rosy taupe with lovely wave/crimp; the jury is still out on whether he is a musket or rose mioget.He is very woolly from his poll to his hocks, and yes, even on his tail, although there IS hair at the tip. His teeth are nicely on pad now, and he still has just rough little bumps of horn material in the depressions in his head. I'm not holding my breath, but it would be wonderful if he turns out to be a full-poll. I won't know for quite awhile yet, though, because there's a new ram in town who gets all the ladies this fall.That would be Franna's new ram FirthofFifth Barish who traveled all the way to BSG from Minnesota, and is on a breeding layover here until late October. (Oh my; I'm going to be actively involved in breeding season in just over three months!) He's a polite, small three-year-old with big (aberrant) horns and a very soft fleece; I am hoping he passes on that softness to his entire lamb crop, and that lovely katmoget pattern to at least some of them. He is homozygous black, so all his offspring will be black, grey or grey kat (unless Dinah passes on her white pattern).

Another BSG report coming soon from . . .

13 comments:

Garrett808 said...

It was SO awesome to finally meet you in the flesh! I wish we would have had more time to hang out and talk sheep!

Your lambs are truly wonderful, so keep up the good fight!

I hope that Barish's size doesn't affect your judgement on him! My rams are around his size or maybe 5-15 pounds heavier. His mother was small, as were most of Mary Ellen's stock.

I hope he can produce for you! I miss the boy, its true!

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Great to meet you at BSG Michelle! Will be waiting for that post :)

thecrazysheeplady said...

He's handsome. Love the color!

Tammy said...

Love those Katie lambs. What beautiful little tails, rears and overall expression.
Tammy

A :-) said...

The new boy is quite handsome - but I'm confused. Didn't you want to NOT have horns?

Michelle said...

Garrett, I'd rather have small than big, and that fleece is YUMMY!

It's coming, Becky. :-)

Thanks, Sara!

I agree, Tammy. While they are somewhat different in type, both Bardas and Byz are SO correct. Lois has her eye on Byz; I'd love to find a breeding home for little hunk Bardas.

It is easy to get confused on the horn/poll genetics, Adrienne; even my husband isn't sure he gets it, and he's a vet! Genetically, or genotypically, the new ram with his "big" horns and Braveheart with NO horns are the same; both carry one poll gene and one horn gene. The phenotype, or how they appear, are obviously quite different. Since very few known full-poll rams exist, I am using a finer-fleeced half-poll ram this fall in hopes of getting softer fleeces in my flock.

Karen B. said...

Love those fleece pics, and those lamb tails are really wonderful. I am smitten with Byz...

kenleighacres said...

I'm waiting for BSG pictures from friends as well :) Blake's fleece is very pretty - love the luster in there!

Why do you refer to the new ram's horns as aberrant? Sounds like you have some good - long term goals for your breeding program.

kristi said...

They all look great Michelle! If I "had" to add a new pattern it would be a moorit gully girl. I really like the brown shades. I am going to also use an aberrant horned boy this Fall just because he is a yuglet/flecket. Really? 3 months only?:)

Michelle said...

Shannon, scurs that are big/long enough to fool some/all people have been called "aberrant horns," since they are not caused by full-horn genetics. Some of the polled genetics that pop up in people's flocks uninvited sometimes come from rams like this, and sometimes from ewes, who can "hide" the poll gene for generations. In the past, rams with bad/wimpy/slow-growing "horns" were culled as faulty, since not many realized they were dealing with poll genes in their flocks. Now, those of us who want polled flocks can use such individuals in our breeding programs to "breed up" to fully-polled individuals. No question about it, scurs can be a pain to deal with along the way, but as long as you know the genetics, they can still be useful when they have other great qualities.

kenleighacres said...

Thank you! I didn't realize scurs could get that large. Very interesting food for thought.

Kim said...

Love the hiney shot of ewe & twins in the second pic. (That IS Katie, right?) Anyhow, she looks like an old-time covered wagon. If you blur your eyes a bit, the lamb with his head down looks like the horse pulling her. :0)

Michelle said...

Yes Kim, that's Katie-the-Conestoga. You're a hoot!