(I won't say where this came from, as I have no desire to attack people or their sheep)
|This sample is approx. 8" plus in staple length and the shortest sample among 12 bags of fleece that is supposed to be Shetland fleece.|
Excessive weight......The other excess that I am finding hard to understand is the new weight limits for Rams and Ewes that have been changed in the NASSA judges packet. Where did those numbers come from? Where is the historical data that supports this trend upwards in weights? I'm not trying to be sarcastic or mean, I honestly want to know where those number originated.
Old ranges were: Rams 90-125# and Ewes 70-100#'s....new limits allow the rams to be 150# and Ewes 115#.... that seems to be changing the breed to satisfy the livestock judges in the show ring. I don't know why it was changed or where the historical data is that supports such a large increase in size limits. Over the last couple years there's been a lot of discussion and disagreement about the correct type of Shetland fleece. I actually thought that the only differing of opinions was fleece styles, but now I can see that I was incorrect in that assumption.
How long before Shetland sheep are allowed to be even larger? This truly concerns me, far more than the fleece debate.
Longer fleeces, larger animals, loss of crimp and bounce in the fleece, loss of fineness... how much more will we lose before we care enough to say something or take the time to educate ourselves about what a Shetland should be or what they were?
I think it's time for breeder judges to be trained and utilized, it's time to leave livestock judges in the ring with meat sheep. They do a great job judging the sheep they know, market sheep, let's leave them to their area of expertise and develop judges that have their own area of expertise.......the Shetland sheep that conforms to the 1927 Standard!
How many of you feel the breed is being morphed into something other than a Shetland sheep by the large increases in weight limits? I'm very curious............