Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Deborah the Glamorous

(Minwawe Redford x Fairlight Blackberry Winter)

I love this first picture of "Little Deb" who is somehow not fitting that name anymore. With her lovely presence and dramatic color changes, it just seems she needs a new name...hmmmm.

Last night I tried to take updated pictures of some of the for-sale sheep. Let me tell you there was no cooperation at all, from anybody. By the time I got the chickens up and the sheep in, it was getting a bit too dark for good pictures, but I snapped a few so-so ones anyway. I had to use a flash on the darker sheep, so there are some funky eyes in some of them.

Deb is for-sale as I don't need another grey ewe. She has a lovely soft long fleece, with dramatic color changes---and more to come! Her lamb's fleece will be very variegated and striking. She is a long bodied ewe, with good leg placement, a nice tail and just an over all beauty. She is shy, but not wild, and I think in the right home she would become a big loving pet. Her mother is very tame. Her mother is scurred and also carries the gene for horned ewes, although so far Deb doesn't exhibit horn growth. (Her full sister from last year does have horns though). If you are interested in this beautiful grey ewe lamb, let me know and I can give you further details. I have a lovely Moorit yearling ewe who is also for-sale that paired with Deb would make a nice start to a flock. Both of these girls are by Minwawe Redford and are spot carriers.

Just as an interesting 'aside' to those that are interested in genetics, here is a little more about this family. Deb's mother is Blackberry Winter, a light grey ewe, who was born black with lacy white splashes on her head. Her mother Locksfield Willow is also a light grey ewe who was born a very wild flecket. Willow has produced some really extreme fleckets (that are Ag), and also head spotting on her non-Ag offspring. So a couple of years ago I bred both Willow and Blackberry to Redford, a moorit (possibly fawn or modified) smirslet sokket ram. Willow produced a very loud musket/white ewe lamb (Luna) and a moorit boy with head splashes. I figured that Blackberry would give me a grey lamb with some light white splashing. Instead she produced Selena, a moorit ewe lamb with a large krunet! Very surprising. This year with the same breeding she produced Deb---the original color I imagined she would give me--a grey with light splashing. Just goes to show that even with the same breeding pairs, you can never be quite sure what will pop up. Regarding the horn genetics, Blackberry's grand dam on her sire's sire was horned. I bred Marius, her sire to three ewes when I leased him--Locksfield Rain, Locksfield Willow and Shandrew Rouen. They each produced twins---each had an ewe and a ram. The three rams were wethered and went off to fiber homes. Of the ewes two were black, and one grey (Blackberry). Rain's ewe, Ivy, developed weak horns---one straight horn and one curly horn (very much like Selena's). Rouen's ewe, DuClair has the largest horns--nice and straight and firmly attached. Blackberry has tiny scurs which she occasionally knocks off when one of her and the other girls 'have issues'. So what makes this interesting is that when both Ivy and DuClair's ewe lambs were sold as weanling's neither had horns, scurs or even nubs. However, Blackberry, who has the least amount of horn growth, produced a horned ewe. Go figure......

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