Friday, October 16, 2009

Oh yeah, Clean Sheep

On one nice day last week in our otherwise wet and cold Midwestern fall weather, I strolled about looking for model sheep.  In the week or two of rain-- hardy sheep steadfastly waiting it out outdoors-- the sheep's fleeces got so nice and clean!  It was a pleasure to see.  A visit to the big boys-- only 3 remain for this fall's breeding:
In front, Kimberwood Leonardo, a polled Shetland ram.
Behind him, LittleRedOak Shawn, a scurred mioget Shetland with crimpy fleece that I've only seen on BFLs (Bluefaced Leicesters) and my own Finnsheep,
and behind him, Osmo the finn ram, from Tim Reese's flock at Gale Woods Farm.  Osmo is 1-1/2 times the size of my Shetlands, and hornless-- a pacifist, a sweetheart.

The other rams who will winter here are White Pines Parker, a scurred musket Shetland I got from Sabrina at Boston Lake a few rainy cold weeks ago.  Behind Parker is LittleRedOak March, a son of Kimberwood Leonardo and Minwawe November.  He has button scurs, and we are trying for polled rams all around.  Hmm, I just realized, all the rams are brown in one form or another. . .  Oh well, we have different colored girls.

This is little LittleRedOak Elise, whose mom (Bramble Elsie) moved away this summer.  Her fleece sample was the finest of all the lambs I tested.

And my old friend Twin Brooks Palisade, whose fleece is still jet black after 5 years or so.  If ONLY she'd give me a ewe lamb-- Always rams!  With big horns! I would let her retire or move to another farm and I'd keep her lamb.  I don't really want the super nice horns she throws on rams, but I want that black, glossy fleece.

Maple certainly cleaned up nicely.  Note the sheen on the wool-- reflecting sunlight-- on the wool on top of her back:
And her baby, Linden:

And finally, what you get when you tell your young ones to go out and take sheep pictures for you:


Michelle said...

Hi Gail, is Leonardo a full poll or a half poll? Have any of Palisade's fully horned ram lambs been sired by him?

Gail V said...

Hi Michelle.
Leo is full poll. Out of about 6 ewes'offspring last year, 1 boy I would call full-poll, Ash (Sabrina, would you call his button horns scurs?), another was my March, whose scurs are less than an inch, buttonish.
I bred Pal to Shawn, the scurred guy behind Leo in the picture. This year I'll try Leo on her.
I'm also thinking of selling Leo, if you are interested.

Gail V said...

Hi again,
also, Linden (Maple's girl) is twin to Ash, so she may be as "polled" as he is. I just decided I need to sell more sheep, hence my willingness to sell the two I'm talking about. I just bought 3 finn ewes!

Juliann said...

Leonardo is GORGEOUS!
Better too much brown than too much black. More flexibility with recessive brown!
Gail everyone looks great!

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Leonardo is so beautiful and masculine. You have a lovely collection of sheep, Gail. I'm glad some of those genetics are here at my farm now.

Boston Lake Farm---where there IS too much black! :)

Michelle said...

Gail, I am interested in Leo, IF he could stay there until next June when Garrett comes west. I would like more fleece info and photos, though, so email me via the link on my blog.

Michelle said...

Linden may be of interest to me as well. Let's talk!

Claire said...

Such lovely sheep pictures. I am envious of your rams. I have all white or black and white ones, so I am very envious of your browns. We lost our moorit ewe this summer and her 2 moorit ram lambs died as well within a week of her. it was tragic and we don't know what happened. I'm thinking about buying a Lincoln ram to add to the flock instead. Only 2 of my Icelandic ewes are registered so the rest could be bred to a Lincoln for a change. Would be neat fleeces!

Candy T said...

They do look so nice and clean. I combed some more of Maple today. That sheen is all the way through her fleece. It is so beautiful.

Kara said...

I love that last photo! Priceless!

Gail V said...

Ooh, people said such nice things about my sheepies. I hadn't realized how nice that would feel!
Thank you all.