Sunday, November 04, 2007

Breeding groups for 2008!

I said good bye to River Oaks Darcy, Grace and Jake this morning. They are off to greener pastures north of here. I love that little Darcy and yearling Grace finally got tame just last week. I know they are going to a good home and that's all I can hope for with my sheep.

I have finally got my breeding groups planned out! Now I just need a helper to get the appropriate sheep to the appropriate pens. With the hubby off deer hunting and my son at work, I'll just have to wait one more day.
Once they are in their appropriate pens, I'm going to hope and pray that they stay there. I don't have the best fencing and I remember resorting to electronet last year to keep the boys in their intended places. Well electronet seems like a great idea on a warm November day in Minnesota, but there's no getting it out of the ground in mid-December. We had to go out with many, many pots of boiling water during a January thaw to finally get that electronet put away for the winter.

Okay, here's what I'm doing for round one - starting tomorrow afternoon when I have a helper at home:
Sheltering Pines Bombarde, fawn katmoget (Ab/Ag) yearling ram, 44% UK, maybe half poll:

Bramble Jemma, F2 Minder black iset ewe, may be haf poll. Hoping for grey katmoget or nice Ag grey lambs from this paring. Bombarde should improve the fleece on Jemma's lamb(s) and maybe we'll find out if she carries Bb.
River Oaks Amber, F2 Minder musket ewe lamb, with long silky fleece, sale pending.
River Oaks Abby, F2 Minder fawn katmoget (Ab/Aa), long silky fleece. Hoping for a homozygous katmoget ewe lamb here with great fleece.
Brita, white ewe lamb 11% UK, carries modified genetics, long silky fleece, sale pending.

Bombarde gave us some really nice ewe lambs in 2007-- great conformation (great little tails) and improved fleece on all his lambs. He sired one scurred ram, so we're pairing him with Jemma to see what kind horns we'll get there.

Windswept Boggart, mioget yearling ram, dual coated:

River Oaks Eliza, white 2 year old ewe with really great fleece, this pairing gave me a very nicely fleeced white ram lamb in 2007, hoping for a mioget ewe lamb in '08!
River Oaks Hanna, F2 Holly dark moorit blettet yearling. Hoping to see some modified spotted lambs with this pairing. Also hoping for a longer stapled fleece.
River Oaks Hattie, F2 Holly black smirslet yearling. Again, hoping to see some modified spotted lambs here and longer stapled fleece.
Bramble Cordelia, F1 Minder, fawn katmoget ewe, 8 year old with long soft fleece. This paring gave us two great ewe lambs in 2007, so we're going with it again.
River Oaks Cora, F2 Minder musket yearling ewe. Very dense fleece on this girl, she gave us an absolutely gorgeous Shetland Mule lamb in 2007, so we're hoping for some nice purebred lambs in 2008.

Boggart sired several nice lambs for us in 2007, they all had friendly personalities and that distinctive soft fluffy shetland sheep look.


Beechtree Dougal, white BFL yearling ram who carries color:
Beechtree Lanora, white yearling BFL ewe who carries color
Beechtree Rhyn, natural colored BFL ewe lamb
Dougal has really nice fleece and he's a proven sire. So we're using him on the two BFL ewes and if we get white BFL lambs that will be fine. Just so they have Dougal's wonderful curls and luster.

Beechtree Granite, natural colored BFL ram lamb:

Cocoa, moorit 5 year old blettet shetland ewe who carries spots

Jasmine, yearling black blettet shetland ewe who carries spots
Mabeline, white 2 year old Shetland ewe who carries Ag and spots
Elsa, white 2 year old Shetland ewe who carries modified genetics
Derra, Shetland mule (50% Shetland/50% BFL) out of Cocoa and Dougal
Delia, Shetland mule (50% Shetland/50% BFL) out of Mabeline and Dougal


Granite gets our unregistered Shetland ewes. They carry spots and it would be fun to see if their colors and spots are manifested in the crossing program. The Shetland mule fleeces are long and crimpy and have the softness of BFL. I can't wait to see this type of fleece in colors too! The ram lambs will go to market. We've found the crosses outweigh the purebreds by around 30% at 3-4 months old. Of course Derra and Delia's lambs would be 3/4 BFL which should be great for fleece too...



This leaves River Oaks Lucy and Dot with River Oaks Harley for a couple weeks...unless I can find another pen for Harley until Dougal goes off to work at Kimberwood Shetlands... Then maybe we'll get Kimberwood Harrison, a black gulmoget ram lamb here for them and Abby. Dougal's ewes will go in with Granite's group for clean up duties.

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