Sunday, October 23, 2011

Speaking of the Captain and Tennille...

Do that to me one more time....

Today I broke up my breeding groups as planned, but I almost did it Friday. After all, that was 19 days after I set them up, which should have spanned two breeding seasons after removing the CIDRs. Good thing I didn't, though, because guess who was getting some serious attention yesterday morning when I went out to do chores!
And it wasn't just posturing on Bunker's part. The date went on the calendar.

Now my rams are back in the Ram-ada Inn (from left: Cadbury, Bunker and Blake; wether Browning not shown) and my ewes are in the Sheep Sheraton (back to front: Marta, Sarai, Annabelle, retired Inky, wether Bart's rump; Bonny was nibbling on my camera case; Bramble not shown). Once everyone gets "flocked up" again, I can lead the ewe group to and from pasture.

I am so happy with my little flock of many colors. From them I have the potential for white, musket, grey, moorit and black sheep with or without the gulmoget and katmoget patterns. Modified colors and spots are in there genetically, too, although less likely to show up. Structures are excellent to good, tails are excellent to acceptable, wool grows on the poll of each one, and fleeces are soft and eminently spinnable with varying amounts of wave/crimp. All will be micron-tested next spring, and I expect them to fall within acceptable limits (back when our breed description still listed a micron range).

This morning's sheep shuffling prompted some coat changes and one pedicure. Here's Marta from the side and at mid-side before getting a size D coat:

Here's Cadbury from the side, at mid-side (dark) and at the flank (lighter) before getting a size E coat and a pedicure:
(Note: Marta & Cadbury were shorn late - July 11.)

Brian's wether Browning has gotten a LOT lighter with age-greying. This is his fleece at mid-side before getting covered with a G(!) coat:

Now to dream of lambs at . . .

10 comments:

Deb W said...

Wow - wow - WOW! Is Marta a 'shaela?' As I understand it, that is black with silver strands. ??? Boy that is a beautiful fleece!

Michelle said...

No, Marta is a "black gulmoget." As I understand it (from people much more experienced than I), shaela is a modified color, and as such, is supposed to be a "whole" color, with all the fibers the same, not a mix of dark and light. But it is described as looking like "black frost," so I can see why you wondered!

Michelle said...

I should clarify a bit more. "Black" is her color, and "gulmoget" is her pattern. Gulmogets often, but not always, have that "side-dusting" of lighter fibers.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Pretty!
Why do you only leave them together for 19 days? I always leave the ram in for at least two months.

Michelle said...

They were actually together for three weeks. I used CIDRs which theoretically brings them into heat within 24 hours of removal, so three weeks would have the ewes with the rams for two heat cycles. I'm fine with leaving a ewe open if she doesn't take by then, and lambing early works best here for a variety of reasons, personal and otherwise.

Cloverleaf Art and Fibre said...

What wonderful diversity in a small flock. And those beautiful fleeces! Every time I see your fleece photos I get one step closer to getting coats for our girls.

Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

Beautiful colors... Love the pictures! I am excited to see what color baby or babies our new Romney ewe has. The color thing is a whole new world for me, being as we've had Suffolks. One question for you, re rams. We are hoping Lyndsey's new Suffolk (the 350 lb'er) produces a ram lamb that we will keep. Should we get him a buddy to hang with? Seem's like he'll get awful lonely up on the hillside by himself.

seashells said...

Wow! Browning really did lighten up. Such a change from the chocolate brown fleece of a few years ago. I love looking at all the fleece colors.

Sharon said...

Flock of many colors. You got a laugh out of me :)

thecrazysheeplady said...

Gorgeous fleeces!!!