Sunday, July 20, 2008

why we do what we do?

I read a really good post on Garrett's blog...look at the links on my right.
He was commenting on why we buy certain sheep....and how our goal may change.
One of his most brilliant statements was about keeping what you have bred. Many small flocks concentrate on selling their lambs. We should as breeders be concentrating on what we have produced by our breeding....and where it should go next.

To that end you NEED to keep some ewe lambs and some ram lambs. Only by breeding back our own lambs can we prove what we know....or perhaps what we don't.
I found the recent discussions on spotted yahoo very funny. Everyone has their own opinion of why spots occurr where they occur.....but shetland breeders have never done testing to see what causes these differences. Frankly shetland breeders can't agree on what they are called either.
There were two shetland breeders who actually tested the color theory of emsket and mioget.
Until that was done, I personally thought emsket was a shetland myth.

There are so many differences in the shetland breed.....that each of us could test breed...and come out with different answers.
So don't get excited about what you know about spots....because unless you have tested it many times with many could be proven wrong.

Then again, it is possible that with many breedings of spotted sheep....we are seeing different spotting, spotting that hasn't been seen here.
I have one such spot. Virginia Reel, ewe lamb on the left....looks like a typical Ag grey lamb....but she isn't....Check Karen's blog about Dylan( right link at the top of my blog)....she also looks typical Ag grey...but Karen doesn't have an Ag sheep on her farm. I have twin rams, not pictured.....who look like they should turn grey at any minute....but so far ther is no lightening at the skin at 6 weeks....
Anyone else have this spot appearing? What should it be called??? Bersugget? It's light and dark...but not typical Jacob not flecket.
So back to Garrett's blog. This is your thought for the week.
Why do you buy what you buy?


At 8:48 PM, Blogger North Star Shetlands said...

I'm leaning towards blaget for that looks-like-it-should-be-Ag-pattern. BTW, Virginia Reel is beautiful :) And I have photos for you! :)

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

I buy what I buy because I like wild variety! I like to look out at my sheep and see a wild two alike. If I wanted everything to look alike I'd have solid Moorits and Blacks and Whites. I have those out there - I of course know who's who because I know their faces. My students haven't a clue from one black ewe to another as to who's who - even another instructor that teaches here can't tell them apart if they're all standing in a group. I can, but really, wouldn't it be nicer to say - go get the white one with the black eye patches and the big butt spot? Yep, then they'd know which one I meant......I like wild colors.

Virginia Reel is the epitome of the Dalmatian Pattern in goats. So, why not in sheep too? Black sock, black dorsal stripe, black points on the face. Typical Dalmatian (no, not the dog who actually doesn't have the Dalmatian pattern at all).

I can only see the Shetland Sheep Markings poster fuzzy - it's real small on the net. Who has it there to read the name?? 4th row down from the top, 5th sheep from the left...what's that say there?? That's as close as I coul come with a guess..does she have a dark belly Peeps???

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Becky Utecht said...

Yes, I agree that it's best to retain and breed one's own stock. In fact, with the upcoming sale of my last two Bramble ewes in a few weeks, all my Shetland ewes will be homegrown! I would love to use my shaela ram lamb this fall on a few ewes too. When I bring in a ram, I'm usually wanting to introduce something new, like spots, modified color, and now polled genetics. Suzanne, I've got the markings poster and that sheep is called flecket. Rayna, there are two blagets on the poster, one is the dark brown in the lower left hand corner (must have black spots, very hard to see though) and the other is the Dalmation spotted second from the left in the fifth row from the top.

At 8:38 PM, Blogger Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

Hey Becky!! :-)
Does that flecket on the chart have dark along the back/spine and also along the belly, then black legs??

At 6:37 PM, Blogger Becky Utecht said...

It looks the spots go up over the in the picture. The belly and legs are solid dark. FYI, all the sheep in rows 1-4 in that vertical column (5th in from the left)are fleckets.


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