Friday, January 28, 2011

Today's Featured Ewe - Minwawe Sprinkles

 Minwawe Sprinkles (Minwawe Cupid 2 X Minwawe Marshmello)
2008 moorit and white flecket single ewe
Sprinkles came at Marshmello's side as a lamb.  She is reserved with her affection but is slowly coming around.  She has fine, short, and the most single coated fleece in my flock.  Her color is almost fawn and she has had two lambs that I have registered as such.
 If you are interested in Sprinkles lambs...please keep her fleece type in mind.  Her ram lamb from her first lambing was outstanding but I get a sense, after the fact, that he went to a flock that was looking for something other than that type of fleece.  I could be wrong, but to be sure that doesn't happen with any future lambs I want to you all to be perfectly clear on her fleece type.  Fleece samples of parents always available.
 Minutes old and look how square that ram lamb is!

This past year she had twin ewe lambs...also unbelievable!  I almost kept them both but "Misbehaving" (cleverly named so by her new shepherd) had a tendency to go through my electronet.  You can see her at Utopia Farm with Mapleton Buster Brown and Minwawe Cha Cha.  Cupcake pictured on the right stayed and has her mother's soft super crimpy dense fleece.  Missy's staple length seems to be a little longer in the blog pictures I have seen of her recently.
Sprinkles was in with fawn katmoget Mapleton Zeus' breeding group this past fall.  Really hoping Zeus carries SPOTS!  I think she will be one of the first Shetlands to lamb this spring.  If I don't get something spotted, katmoget, or modified wouldn't be bad either.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Today's Featured Ewe - PikeHill Olympia

 PikeHill Olympia 
(PikeHill Stanley Pease X PikeHill Poa)
2008 Fawn Gulmoget Twin Ewe

This ewe is maybe the most favorite of the entire flock.   She is in your pocket sweet so impossible to get a good picture of, as she is always running your way to get some attention.  She is F4 Enfield Greyling, F4 Roban Dillon twice, as well has Willowcroft Jamie 4 and 5 generations back.  Her soft fleece and excellent conformation is only rivaled my her outstanding mothering ability.  She has lambed twice for me.  This past year she had twins, a ewe and ram, by Bahama.  The twins have a wonderful home with a new flock with 3 other lambs from this past year.  I was VERY tempted to keep her ewe lamb.
 Can you see why?  Meet Mapleton Fiona
But having kept her ram lamb from the year before and knowing that when she gives me a gully, that lamb will stay, I refrained.  But it was really hard.  The only comfort was knowing what a wonderful home she was going to.  You couldn't ask for a better Shetland to built your flock on, having her mother's wonderful disposition. 
 Olympia above trying to figure out the German Shorthaired Pointer who thinks she is a herding dog.  Who by the way may be expecting a litter herself.  She had a  weekend away with a Champion Field hunting GSP.  Stay tuned!
Olympia below with her first lamb Mapleton Zeus, by Mapleton Cooper.
 Zeus as you know was retained and had a breeding group of his own the past two years.
 Zeus' lamb photos
Okay so here is the mystery...look at that noggin...I wonder if she carries polled with her linage and head shape.  To test that theory she was in with Harvest Thyme Champ before he left, a half poll that could carry modified.   However, I never saw him have any interest in her in the least.  I fear he may have left all his ewes open she went in with Neville a few weeks after just in case.
Either way, I am really looking forward to her lambs.  If I get a gully or a modified lamb they will be staying.  The twin might be offered for sale.  If she was not settled, I will be very disappointed to say the least.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Today's Featured Ewe - Twin Springs Cotton Candy

Twin Springs Cotton Candy 
(Twin Springs Gideon X Twin Springs Gemma)
2006 single fawn ewe (maybe also Ag)

Well this is the flock matriarch and the one that started it all!  I didn't even know if I wanted sheep until I met this ewe as a lamb at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival.  I walked away not knowing if "investing" in registered Shetlands was the way to go.  After coming home we decided yes, let's try sheep and brought home the Cheviot and Corrie cross from local farms but they just weren't Shetland.  When this ewe's breeder was coming back to NY to pick up a loom, I jumped at the chance for her meet us to bring us this ewe.  Yes, I have transferred sheep from one vehicle to another at Walmart, Burger King, gas is always funny to see the looks you get.
So my Shetland addiction began and every other sheep added since has been Shetland.  Cotton Candy loves me and she is the leader of the flock so it makes management easier.  She follows me...they follow her.  She is a fair minded leader, being gentle with the lambs and will never start anything...but if someone dares start with her they soon learn not to.   She has lambed three times for me.
 As a two year old she twined with ram lambs by High Bid Kermit:  Gusto above and Cooper below.  Gusto remains a flock sire at a local farm, Cooper was lost due to a horn incident with his father and the fence.   However he had a few lambs for me first:  Liberty Bell, S'More, Peep, and Zeus.
I repeated that breeding and in 2009 she had triplets but I was unfortunately was unable to get the ram lamb out before he drown in the sack...his ewe lamb sisters were breech.  I retained both:  Carmel Apple and Peanut Brittle pictured below.  Coming two year olds, both are expecting their first lambs.
In 2010, nature decided to cut Cotton Candy a little slack and she had a beautiful single ewe lamb by Minwawe Bahama.  Annick can be seen at MacKenzie Child's gracing their Aurora farm gardens, doing her best to promote the Shetland breed.
This year Cotton Candy is bred to Swiftriver Neville, as are her two year old daughters, and I just can't wait to see what they have in store for us!  Not to mention her great grand lambs from Peep also bred to Neville, as well as the great grand lambs from Zeus' whole breeding group.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Today's Featured Ewe - High Bid Hester

 High Bid Hester (Maple Ridge Logan X High Bid Gladys Lucille)
2007 black triplet ewe
Hester is a favorite to all around here.  She is a friendly tail wagging sweetheart.  Halter broke very easily but didn't decide she loved us until her first lamb was born.   She is a wonderful mom...lambed as a yearling with no trouble and had HUGE twin lambs the past two years unassisted.  I love her fuzzy poll and cheeks!  She is BB, as she has only ever given me black lambs.  Hoping for a modified black this year.
 Hester pictured below with her lambs:
2010 twins black ram and grey katmoget ewe (by Mapleton Zeus)
2009 HST black and white ewe lamb and black smirslet ram lamb (by Minwawe Bahama)
2008 black scurred ram lamb (by High Bid Kermit)
Hester was in with Harvest Thyme Champ for the first part of breeding season, and was then in Zeus' back up group.  I suspect her as a poll carrier due to the scurred ram lamb she had her first lambing, so this breeding will help me test that theory.   Her ram lambs the past two years were fully horned.  Two of her rams are now wethers, Atticus and Blackberry, and are with Marshmello's "Muffin" in the lovely fiber flock here in NY.  Archie is a ram being shared between two new Shetland flocks also here in NY.  Her ewe lambs have been retained:  Mapleton Violet and Mapleton Silvermist.  Although Hester has some age greying or iset in her fleece, her daughter Violet has retained her blue black color.  Hester's sire Logan is now up in NH at Painted Knoll Farm.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Today's Featured Ewe - Minwawe Marshmello

 Minwawe Marshmello (Minwawe Spots X Moo Chris Licorice)
Grey Flecket 2005 Twin Ewe

I didn't know were to start with meet the ewes flock series.  Marshmello (still not sure why it is spelled like that) is the most viewed ewe on this blog, so what better place to start.  She is the oldest ewe in my flock.  She joined us in 2008 with the Missouri 8 that came to me from Meadowwoods when Mary Ellen was dispersing her flock.  In that group was also her ewe lamb Sprinkles at her side.  Before arriving she had only ever singled.  Here she has twined for me the past two years.  Pictured below is Mapleton Peep and S'more (2009).  If you have seen Shepherd Valley's lambs this past year, they were sired by S'more.
 In 2010 she had twin ram lambs:  Mapleton Thunder is at Hidaway Farms in NC and won his ram lamb class and was Reserve Champion Shetland Ram and the NC State Fair.  I can't wait to see his lambs with the lovely ewes down south.  "Muffin" was smaller than his twin was wethered and joined a fiber flock here in NY with several other sheep and lambs from Mapleton Farm.

 One my favorite things about my MO sheep, besides their loud their nice straight backs as you can see in the photo below.
I do love my Miss Marshmello.  She was in Neville's breeding group...hoping for some lovely grey lambs!  Maybe they will even be spotted!   She is not white...She is grey covered with a very large white spot.  To date I have kept both of her daughters and one of her grand daughters.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Present Flock Sires

Breeding season of 2010 taught me a lot about rams.  It was the first year I had a ram here older than a year and a half, and the first time I didn't move all mature rams out after breeding season.  At present I am wintering over 4 rams.  So far so good...we will see how it goes.  If all goes well, all will likely be the flock sires for fall 2011.  I can't wait to see their lambs I will get from this year.   If I get a ram lamb I have to keep, one of these boys may  be for sale next fall.  I think I have learned I like 4 as the number of rams.  Everyone has a buddy and someone to be in charge of, but there is enough of them to diffuse most situations.  I plan to start my ewe of the day introductions soon, but before I do I wanted to briefly reintroduce the rams.

 Swiftriver Neville AI (Heights Orion X Swiftriver Frosty)

Neville is a 2008 black twin ram.  His maternal grandmother is Maple Ridge Althea.  So my solution to a back to basics approach with UK and old NE combination.   His fall micron was 26.5 with a SD of 4.8 and a CV of 18.2.  He as a small patch of white behind his horns so I am curious to see if he carries spots. He is a warm  or Shetland black with a white dam and moorit sire.  He has a fantastic behind...great stance and square legs and a perfect tail.  His temperament is wonderful at this point.  Respectful and calm.  And I don't need to say much about his horns.  They speak for themselves.  In his lamb crop had one musket, two greys, one fawn(Ag too?), one moorit, and one fawn katmoget, and was back up ram for a fawn gully.  So I am expecting a variety of solid colors in his lamb crop and maybe even a few spots or patterns. 
 Mapleton Zeus (Mapleton Cooper X Pike Hill Olympia)

Zeus is golden boy of the home grown lambs here.  He is a 2009 single fawn katmoget.  His spring micron was 22.9 with a SD of 6.6 and a CV 29.  He has wonderful conformation and a temperament to match.  It is hard to tell because he has so much wool near his cheeks, but I can easily fit my hand between his cheek and horn...a more compact style horn but they do clear.  His dad did carry spots.  He had only three lambs this past year.  Hester's twins:  Silvermist a grey katmoget and Archie a solid black ram, and solid moorit wether of Violet's.  The fleece on all his lambs was so soft and had a tremendous amount of luster and crimp.  He may carry the modifer from his mom.  There is a great variety of possibilities in the lambs we are waiting for...colors, patterns, and maybe even those spots will come through a little.  In his breeding group he had two black, one moorit, one black gully, both non Shetlands, and was back up ram for one black and one fawn katmoget.

 Mapleton Storm (Minwawe Bahama X  Minwawe Serendippity)

This moorit 2010 twin ram lamb has the best of both his parents.  His sire's coloring, great horns and wonderfully soft fleece, and his mom's great tail and wide stance...hard to tell here as he is stepping.  From both he got great markings and level topline.   To date his personality is wonderful.   I retained his black and white full sisters Hope (twin)  and Dessie(2009).  His mom and dad are now at Spring Hills Farm in PA with my friend Mac.  Which is where I got the ram below.  Storm spent a short time with a moorit ewe lamb this breeding season, so may have one lamb this spring.

 Spring Hill Patches (Twin Springs Buster X Twin Springs Juniper)

This spotted black  and white katmoget may even be emsket!  He had Storm's twin Hope in a breeding group for a few days...we will see this spring!  I hope I get a lamb from this pair.  I really like this ram.  His fleece has great hand and when you part it the crimp and color is surprising.  I would have used him heavier this fall and even thought about letting him be back up ram, but in the end wanted to wait on that right horn.  He is low man in the pecking order but doesn't seem to mind.  They all actually seem to really like him because he rarely challenges any of them.  His sire is my Cotton Candy's half brother.  Many of my flock is related to Cotton Candy, which also makes him related to Zeus.  However he is not related to my Minwawe sheep or my Bahama babies, so he could potentially get many of my spotted ewes this fall. Patches is a Dailly katmoget and Zeus is a Enfiled Greyling katmoget so two different origins of that pattern in my flock.

Well I will introduce the currnet flock ewes next.  Featuring one ewe each post, over the next few weeks.  By then it will be almost time for lambs.  I am hoping it makes the waiting easier.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I can hardly wait ALREADY...

I am so excited to see what Neville throws!  Waiting is the hardest part!  I just love this ram.  He is so laid back, easy to handle, and good to his charges...whether they are his ewes during breeding season or the other rams in the off season.  Just fair, even though he is head ram, and so calm.  Not pushy or overly friendly in the least but not afraid to be handled by us either, very trusting and respectful.  Here he is putting up with Patches scratching on his horns.  Then there is the fact that he is an F1 Heights Orion, had great microns to go with the wonderful hand of his fleece, and has nice conformation to boot.  He really is as impressive as he looks in his pictures.  This is my blog so I am allowed to gush about him.  Afterall I didn't breed or raise him so it is not like I am bragging just really, really optimistic about his influence on this year's and future lamb crops here at Mapleton Farm.  April can't get here soon enough!