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...