Several 'finallys', actually. Finally posting again, for one. While I'm on here, I might as well say everything, right? Just can't seem to ever blog, what with school and having to get Mom off first!
First finally-I’m on my way to becoming a Shetland Sheep judge! While at Jefferson, I did an apprenticeship with judge Letty Klein during the Shetland show. It was actually her idea, and I jumped at the chance. Many, many thanks to her for teaching me! I really learned a lot on how to actually judge a show, and learned some new traits to look and judge for -I ‘judge’ all our sheep on an almost daily basis, but I don’t always feel them or get to compare them with each other, etc. I had a great time helping Mrs.Klein, and I’m ready for more-I really do like judging. I think I’ve completed most of the other requirements to be a judge, but I probably need more show-ring trainee experiences. However, that doesn’t restrict me from my own flock! They had better shape up! :)
I've been waiting for microns for about a month and a couple weeks, and I'm very excited that they just came this week. Naturally, I expected some sheep to be really bad, but I was actually surprised that they weren't as bad as I had thought. Nice surprise!
Here is my whole flock, excepting lambs and one ewe I'm not keeping anyway, ranked in order of age. This includes microns that I just got today, and an overall profile of each ewe. I also put who they're going to this fall - only a few of mine can go to the pure, as my numbers can only get so high (which is a bummer, but oh well).
Names (all S'more unless otherwise stated)
Joyce- 27.7 6.5 23.6. Joyce is a modified fawn/mioget '05 ewe out of UTS Heath and Gloria. She is a big girl with great hocks and tail, and a nice intermediate fleece, but horned (which I don't care for.) Blue.
SheltrgPines Corina- 26.6 4.8 18.0 Grey kat’05 ewe, Underhill TS Eliot x Claystone Pansy. Corina's micron is low, but she also had trips this year, so that probably brought it down. This is my best all-around ewe so far. She always produces great lambs, with good conformations and fleece, which she passes on from herself. She has a gorgeous variegated grey fleece with a great handle and lots of luster, and a big framey body that's excellent all around. She also carries polled, which she may or may not pass on in her daughters (I know Spunky carries it, obviously.)I'll put her to UTS Broderick (I think) to see what happens.
Aster- 29.4 6.1 20.9. Grey smirslet 3 year old horned ewe, with great hocks and tail. UTS Galway x SheltrgPines Starlet. What makes her stand out is her fleece. She might have a higher micron, but it is gorgeous! Very lustrous, kind of BFL-type, soft. She also possesses what I've heard a very experienced fleece judge call a rare pattern- she has a dark grey fleece during the summer and fall, but it grows a pure white tip in the winter! It really is cool. I'd really like a grey spotted daughter out of her, but she has to go to the BFL this year. At least her Mule lambs will be gorgeous.
Smily - 26.6 6.1 22.9. Mioget smirslet '06 ewe out of UTS Brandon x Joyce. Everyone that saw this girl wanted her when she was a lamb, just for her fleece! She does have a gorgeously golden, crimpy, very soft fleece, and she throws nice lambs. She, in my opinion, has the prettiest head of all my sheep (and many others!) She also throws nice lambs-and again, a mioget spotted! However, to Blue she goes. Just not enough room!
Spunky - 29.0 5.2 17.8 White, '06, UTS Connaught x SheltrgPines Corina. This ewe is the example of how Shetlands can develop! Born at 2 pounds, she was small until her second summer, when she finally grew up! She is now the biggest ewe in my flock, and the biggest barreled Shetland ewe I've ever seen (probably don't want them bigger!) Not that she's terribly fat. She carries polled, evidenced by the fact that she produced Courante, a half-polled ram. This girl has my favorite fleece. It's an intermediate, and not the finest, but pearly crimp is beautiful, and it's my only white fleece! I really have too many browns- I like dyeing, and you can't dye a dark moorit, and it would be a shame to cover up a mioget, or even a dark grey! She will definitely go to a pure, but I can't decide if it's going to be Dreamie or Broderick! She's either white/kat or white/solid, and so is Broderick, but I'm not breeding her to a moorit to find out what she is! lol: ) All well- here’s hoping for a white ewe (better yet, twin ewes!)
Petal - 29.7 7.0 23.4 Grey smirslet, ’06 ewe, UTS Connaught AI x Lillian. This girl has conformation nailed. Her head, body, and tail are a great package. Unfortunately, she is fairly primitive and double-coated, though her fleece is soft and silky. She’s also double Ag, but she’s spotted. I really want a daughter from her, as I sold the only one I got. But, she goes to Blue, again.
Coppelia - 25.7 4.8 18.8 Moorit,’07 , UTS Brandon x SheltrgPines Corina. Now this girl surprised me! I really did not expect her to be this fine, especially since she is a very dark red moorit. Ringlet-y, pearly fleece, not very dense, and soft. And she is (was?!) up for sale! She also has faultless conformation, including all the details. She is going to Dreamie. That was a change of plans!
Gypsy Legend - 30.6 8.4 27.4 Emsket gulmoget , ’07, SheltrgPines Gullant x Gloria. Okay, she’s bad, but better than I thought! She is a modified gulmoget, but not exactly what I want, so to Blue she goes.
Waltz - 27.9 6.6 23.6 Black ’08 ewe out of Chaparral Snowshoe Hare x SheltrgPines Corina. I was slightly disappointed in her micron, but hey, her fleece still placed second, first (Grand Champ), second (would have been first in a handspinners’ class, but it was judged as a breed), and first (and Champion) at 4 different shows, under 3 completely different fleece judges! Not to mention the 20+ people who wanted to buy it! Waltz is my only black ewe, and she’s a good one at that! She has great conformation, nice breed-standard ewe. Going to Broderick, as I don’t want double blacks from Dreamie.
Fantasy Dance - 24.5 5.4 21.9 Modified light moorit/fawn ’08 ewe, UTS Cleggan AI x Aster. Wow! I’m liking this ewe, even if she is brown. Great rear end, her tail, at only 2.5-3 inches, fluked, is the tail to have-perfection- and a cute face! Then there is her fleece, which is similar to Coppelias’, only denser. She also carries spots. Going to Dreamie, hope for an anything – other –than – moorit ewe!
Danza- a pretty shaela gulmoget lamb out of UTS Apache and Gypsy, more primitive, though soft, is for sale.
My flock average is 27.8, 6.1, for micron and SD. This includes everybody, but without my two primitive/double coats, it goes down to 27.4, 5.7, though my math might be off. Since the biggest thing to me is softness, I’m pretty happy. All the ewes going to the pure have good conformation, with only a few things wrong with them. They’re going to the rams that I think will most help them in whatever area they need it. My main thing now is color – as I said , I really like dyeing, and I only have one white Shetland! So, if I get some nice ewe lambs, I’ll be moving my less than ideal adults out. Here’s hoping!