Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sheltering Pines Kristine

Sheltering Pines Kristine (Underhill Thelonius Monk x Sheltering Pines Catherine). Kristine is coming from my friend Gary Anderson, of Hillside Farms in Sparta, MI. She is eight years old. I suspect she is either p'/p' or p/p'. She appears to be Aa/Aa Bb/Bb Ss/Ss MM/MM.

 I believe her sire was p'/p' and I have long suspected her dam to be p'/p, as she has produced one ewe, Amity, who has small button scurs, and many rams with monster horns.

Kristine's Sire, Underhill Thelonius Monk (Underhill Bartok AI x Underhill Amanda Panda).

Kristine's sire, Underhill Thelonius Monk(Underhill Bartok AI x Underhill Amanda Panda).

Kristine's dam, Sheltering Pines Catherine (Underhill TS Eliot x Justalit'l Pebbles).
Kristine's dam, Sheltering Pines Catherine (Underhill TS Eliot x Justalit'l Pebbles).

2009 ram lamb of Kristine's, Windy Meadows Columbo.

 Catherine, as a nine year old, had the following micron results:
Click to maximize.
Talk about fineness well into old age! This exactly what I would like to add to my flock, and my hopes are that Kristine inherited this trait.

I am excited to have Kristine stay with us. Not only will she be a great addition to our p'/p' breeding program, but she also brings back lines into the flock that I no longer have, as I used to own a ram out of Catherine, Sheltering Pines Blanc De Riz.

Blanc was sired by Wintertime Fudge, and had been bought as a replacement for Wintertime Moth, my first registered ram, after Moth died amid a ram battle. I unfortunately only had Blanc for a month, before he died too, from causes unknown (likely some kind of worms). When I purchased him, he had a "dopey" appearance and bottle jaw, and he just went downhill from there (for the record, Steve did replace Blanc with another ram for free the following year, SP Boston (Wintertime Black Forrest x Sheltering Pines Hermione), but I never used him...I don't think he was ever even registered).

Before I put him in full quarantine, he did manage to breed one of my ewes, Farview Farm Rosie (Wintertime Blues AI x Sheltering Pines Gwenhwyfach), and produced a favorite ewe of mine, Korsvejgaard Corrina. I kept Corrina for a few years, but she was one of the first ones to be purchased during my more recent fire sale (people go for the white sheep first).

Sheltering Pines Blanc De Riz (Wintertime Fudge x Sheltering Pines Catherine).
Sheltering Pines Blanc De Riz (Wintertime Fudge x Sheltering Pines Catherine).

Sheltering Pines Blanc De Riz (Wintertime Fudge x Sheltering Pines Catherine).

 I can look forward to decent fleeced lambs from Kristine, with good depth, thick horns, and great toplines. I do have to worry about slightly weak rear legs (*COUGH* I blame Catherine! *COUGH*) and possibly narrow polls.

 At this point, I am feeling like I will put her with Korsvejgaard Luminous. I think that will produce a better outcome than putting her with Sheep Shed Edsel. This pairing will also insure that one of Luminous' offspring will be heterozygous, carrying at least one allele for solid, if he turns out to be Ab/Ab.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Started a New Blog

Hey, whoever's out there (if anyone), I just started a new blog! It's going to feature my nature photography along with stories, experiments, and other things. I'm still keeping this one up, for sure, so you won't have to worry about that. My other blog isn't really going to feature sheep stuff a whole lot (that's what this one's for), but some of may be relating to the Shetlands from time to time. Check it out:

Monday, May 11, 2015

More History on Shetlands in America

American Sheep Breeder and Wool Grower June, 1912
"And don't forget the Shetlands, not Shetland Ponies, but Shetland Sheep. The only flock in America belongs to ye editor's wife and was presented to the fair lady by Mr. Stephens, the Noted English Hampshire Breeder, and purveyor of more writing fluid than any other gentleman on earth. The mere sight of a bevy of Shetland beauties grazing on the lawn at Cholderton sets wild the sheep visitor at Manager Kerr's domicile. They are all shades and colors, with black or brown legs, small, nervous heads, with "yellow eyes". They are a regular greyhound sheep, and can vault an eight-foot fence with the ease and grace of a Russian wolf hound, and as for getting through the wires, the have been known to push through fish net to get at green stuff. They are used to the rocks and hills of the Shetland Islands, and, like the cheviot, will climb if they have to hike up the side walls of a sheep shed. Their favorite resort at our ranch is the top of the milk house. They scorn to associate with other breeds, are more likely than to lambs in a bush along the river banks, and in six hours the youngsters can gallop like deer. The best wool from the Shetland Sheep is known as "moraise", and brings hree shillings per pound. The fleece is as soft as down, and such delicate texture is found in no other covering of the ovine race. The Island peasants spin by hand this wonderful wool into marvelous shawls that make the feminine eyes sparkle with delight. There are but few flocks in England. We have had a de'il of a time acclimating these sheep to Michigan. They pine for the stormy winters of the rock bound island. They love snow and sleet, and sniff at grain when there is browse and bracken in plenty."
The Field Illustrated, October, 1917
"Bunn breeds more winners, shows more winners, owns more winners, than any breeder in America. The greatest Shetland sire known to the world, Prince of Wales, his son, Champion Prince Patton, winner of first, New York and Chicago, 1916, Nipper Jr, the greatest living Hackney Pony sire in America, sire of Mighty Mite, and others, Champion Welsh Stallion John Brown, are all in --- in this herd. Two hundred and fifty bred for sale. Also breed pure bred Hampshire Swine and Shetland Sheep. Write your wants.
 Charles E. Bunn, Peoria, Ill."

The Sheep Breeder, 1921
"A new York subscriber wants to know where he can buy Shetland Sheep. Not in the U.S."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Genetic Make-up of the Flock

Korsvejgaard Rambo (Wintertime Blues AI x Hillside Dolly)

Percentage Dailley: 51.5625%
Percentage Flett: 1.5625%
Percentage UK: 46.875 %

Farview Farm Angelina (Sheltering Pines Darius x Sheltering Pines Gwenhwyfach)

Percentage Dailley: 100%
Percentage Flett: 0%
Percentage UK: 0%

Korsvejgaard Lucille (Korsvejgaard Sting x Shaltz Farm Katie)

Percentage Dailley: 56.4678125%
Percentage Flett: 0%
Percentage UK: 43.5321875%

Underhill Bridget (Underhill Gulliver AI x Shepherdwds Tara)

Percentage Dailley: 75%
Percentage Flett: 0%
Percentage UK: 25%

Korsvejgaard Fudge (Korsvejgaard Lazlo x Underhill Bridget)

Percentage Dailley: 74.663828125%
Percentage Flett: 0.390625%
Percentage UK: 24.945546875

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Plight of The Flett Shetland Sheep

In July 1948, George A. Flett of Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, Canada imported three moorit ewes and one moorit ram from Shetland by way of the Orkney’s with the help of G. E. Anderson, a livestock agent in Lerwick, Shetland and a family friend John T. Flett in Orkney. They sailed on the SS Laurentia to Montreal, Quebec, Canada and then were moved by train to Fort Qu’Appelle where George and his son Peter went to pick them up.

The sheep were allowed to roam the Flett's property freely until they had problems with dogs attacking the sheep, at which point they were kept closer to the buildings.

"The Fletts operated their flock as a closed hobby flock with no particular management plan, breeding time, or goals. Because of this, some lambs were born in cold weather, were weak, and did not survive. They used a ram for 5 to 6 years and then switched to a younger ram. There were very few lambing problems. Most adults twinned and about half the lambs twinned. They culled all but the best rams, keeping only the best three. "Only the rams with the finest traits were kept, always two or three in case something should happen."  "All lambs with bad horns were culled." "The rest were slaughtered for meat." "All lambs were always straight moorit with no marking patterns. The life span was a high as 13-14 years, but averaged 10-11 years. Jean started working with the flock in 1982, trying to have a more organized program. The flock remained closed for nearly fifty years until Jean brought in a moorit Dailley ram in 1991." 

This ram is known as L.H.E. Flett Dailley, and was bought from Doreen McLean in Alberta, Canada.

At the time Linda Doane visited the Flett Farm (November 7th, 1992), she indicated that the composition of the Flett flock was as follows: One Dailley ram, One six year old ram and one three year old ram, both full Flett, six ram lambs sired by the Dailley ram, twelve adult ewes sired by a Flett ram, and six ewe lambs sired by the Dailley ram.

In 2002, Jean sold the last remaining ewes to Kathy Baker of Nier Lakes Shetlands. Kathy already had a flock of Shetland sheep. The ewes she got from Jean, a lot of them were already bred. The first lambs didn’t do so well because the ewes from Jean were in poor condition. But, Kathy had a “bumper crop” of lambs in 2004 and they are doing quite well. She changed her breeding program so that the Flett rams were bred to her Dailley ewes and not the Flett ewes.

There were a few other breeders along the way who also kept Flett stock, but all were eventually crossed with Dailley Lines.

 In 2005, Kathy Baker and Christine Greene collected the last remaining pure Flett ram, L.H.E. Flett Manson.

Currently, there is not much left of the Flett lines.

Photos of Flett Sheep:






Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My Collection of information on what is "Sweep" in Shetlands.

This is all the information I have gathered on Sweep.

"Sweep", I have learned, is the Shetland dialect for this pattern. I don't know whether the name was passed to Roger Lundie from the Shetlands, or the reverse.

Saskia Dittgen, Germany
“The left hand ewe has a very interesting fur.  It is very light at the skin, than has a darker grey area, and then the brown color that you see at the tips. I'm not sure if she has a mix of light and dark fibers. For me all fibers looked the same, but it has this color banding.”

Lynn Robertson, Foula, Shetland, United Kingdom
“This is 'sweep' (what it is called in the dialect). This black ram has tear drop marks, but no chin markings like gulmoget/imie. Just looks like an ordinary black ram everywhere else, with slight shaela (what we call shaela) on his sides. This is the only sheep we've noticed with it so far. He is a hill ram.”

Same ram as above. Lynn is hoping to reproduce more of it, along with Sheila Gear of Foula.

Dori Ann, Statesville, North Carolina, United States

Unregistered ewe, Maggie May, pictured below.
“Her stomach is brown like her neck and her fleece is a light silver at the root and her under coat is taupe. She is the oddest colored sheep I have ever seen! The eye spots come from her sire, MidnightBrez Erin's Glofly.”

Norma Moore, Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, United States

“I bought MidnightBrez Erin’s Glofly from a lady outside of Charlotte, NC. I think his Sire’s name was Red Ram Firefly. I do know nearly all of Glofly’s offspring had the teardrops beneath the eyes.

I know Firefly's owners flew sheep in from all over.”

Katy Abbas, New Hampton, Iowa, United States

Katy Abbas had many animals with this pattern in her flock, over a few year's time. Katy no longer registers her sheep with, or associates with NASSA, and has not for a couple years now. She did not seem to understand my questions about the patterned sheep she had, and stopped replying to my e-mails. I don't know if she still has it on her farm or not.

Jean Franklin, El Dorado Hills, California, United States
I gathered the picture of this ewe from Jean Franklin's website. I tried to speak with her via e-mail, but she is very old and conversation proved to be difficult.

Lindsay Hermanson, Theodore, Saskatchewan, Canada

Lindsay did not notice the eye spots until the ram was around 3 or 4 months. It may be Ag as well.

Jonathan Loftin, USA
Probable cases of Sweep in his flock.

New Sheep and Sales

So, yesterday, I picked up some sheep from Tim Slocum. The first, is Shaltz Farm Ragnar. Tim purchased Ragnar last year when Zack Shaltz d...