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.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jeffrey's Breeding Group

Fairlight Jeffrey
(Stone Ridge Harris x Locksfield Willow)
Jeff is six and half years old now, and I haven't used him for several years, having had access to some rams with outside bloodlines. However, this year I wanted to give him a couple of ewes in hopes he will produce a nice ewe lamb for me. He always produces lambs that have lovely soft fleeces in the intermediate range I like. His fleece stays very consistent throughout, only falling off on the back of the britch area. However he does produce 'scadder' around his neck area, especially just before breeding season--perhaps in attempts to impress the ladies? He is sired by Stone Ridge Harris who was a grey flecket and out of Locksfield Willow, also a grey flecket. Jeff himself was a wildly spotted grey flecket as a lamb. I plan to get a fleece sample to micron before I break the group up. I had intended to get one when I put them together, but with all the excitement I completely forgot.

Jeff's twin brother, Callum, who is now a wether, sired two lambs before the big surgery. Of those two, I still have the ewe lamb, Duckie, who has produced both Omen (smirslet) and Jackdaw (this year's black and white flecket). This line seems to cross very well on spotted lines, so we shall see. Both breeding groups are basically much the same lines crossed backwards...Jeff is related to most of the girls in Jackdaw's group and Jackdaw is related to the girls in Jeff's group.

Now on to the ewes...all two of them..

Fairlight Lark
(Minwawe Redford x Shandrew Rouen)
This ewe is a nice darker moorit (under that sun bleached fleece) with a very, very dense fleece. She has one of the lower micron counts in the flock. Lark produced a nice ewe lamb for her first lambing this year, Fairlight Eve, but no spots. Lark is out of a moorit smirslet ram and a solid black ewe.

Fairlight Chickie
(Locksfield Griffen x Fairlight Duckie)

Chickie is a sweet little solid black ewe, possibly double coated. There will be a little line breeding on her dam's side by putting her back to Jeff, but nothing to close. I'm hoping for spots out of both of these ewes, but who knows. I know Jeff will produce wildly spotted Ag fleckets, but here is hoping for a nice little spotted ewe lamb that isn't Ag! Chickie's sire is a black smirslet, and again her dam, Duckie has produced both a smirslet (Chickie's twin brother) and a flecket ram.

Sorry for the slightly blurry pictures. The girls were being very clingy and nervous, and would either hang out next to the fence, or I would have to snap one across the pasture...


phylliso said...

What a sweet pic of the dogs.I just love Boone`s sweet,sweet face.He sure looks after Ashley who captured my heart as soon as you got her.
Your breeding group is beautiful,I look forward to buying wool from you in the future,phylliso

Vicki Lane said...

What a handsome guy Jeffrey is!

Brenda (Prairie Daisy Handspun) said...

They look great! Boy, there's sure a lot of color and genetic terminology to learn with Shetlands!

Janna's Page said...

I can fully attest to Jeffrey's "prowess".. I have 2 of his sons! :)

Bert (white) and Ernie (Gray), who are both weathers by the way, have the most amazing fleeces!

I LOVE spinning their wool and have gotten gorgeous skeins from their fleeces!

Not only that, but they produce an amazing amount of wool too. :)