Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The last of 2014 lambs

Winding down for 2014.........And here are the last 3 ewes that lambed for this year. 

Salicional's little ewe has a bit of a wonky birth coat, but I've learned to be patient with that line because the fleece can and probably will change to a tighter, crimpier style in a couple months.  I originally thought that the ram lamb was fawn, but after he got out in the daylight I see he is actually grey. 

Sheltering Pines Salicional x OK Acres Bing grey kat ram-Kennsington

Salicional's grey kat ewe-Cardoness
Sommarang Edrea x OK Acres Elvis moorit ram-Dundee and ewe-Ness (no horn buds on this guy and he's a looker)
OK Acres Shania x OK Acres Garth grey kat yuglet ewe lamb-Eriska 

Shania's black ewe-Lamba

Monday, April 21, 2014

7 more wooly creatures

Good Friday lambing surprise was OK Acres Celine x OK Acres Elvis' ewe lamb.  A lovely moorit smirslet that is Celine's first lamb.  I could not have hoped for anything nicer from these two, a truly lovely lamb that will be retained to see how she matures.

Meet OK Acre Lunna

Keeping your snarky comments to a minimum, but please notice the up side down heart on Lunna's uh hum....hooohoooo.
Next was OK Acre Seneca on Sunday night, very late on Sunday....

Seneca is one of my top ewes, she's a VCreek Sarah daughter and her structure and overall size and appearance is what I like to see on a Shetland ewe.  Her ram lambs last year were some of the best I've ever had here and this year's lamb seem to be following in their footsteps.  It's too early to make too bold a statement about them, but I'm pretty happy with that I see.

Black krunet ewe: Skye       Fawn kat smirslet ewe: Iona
Followed by OK Acres Vienna x OK Acres Bing at 12:30 am with a pair of really nice ram lambs, they both appear to be modified.

Dover is a great looking moorit with very rich color

Bristol is quite the little looker when he's not snoozing after a hard evening of being born.  

Finally.........Kimberwood Dot had a nice set of twins out of OK Acres Bing.

They were still pretty damp from their 5 am arrival, so not the greatest photos.
Black ram: Glasgow

Fawn kat ewe: Keighly

Friday, April 18, 2014

More lambs:

This nice set of twins is courtesy of Lil Country Meadow and a ewe that consistently produces outstanding quality lambs for me each year since I purchased her from Juliann Budde.

This Lil Country Meadow x OK Acres Garth pairing gave me a grey kat ram (Fetlar) and fawn kat ewe (Tiree)   Both appear to be spot carriers.  Both of these lambs have top quality fleece, so it will be tough to decide if they are staying or going.  Meadow is 7 this year.

Current lamb tally is: 10 rams and 7 ewes  (7 ewes left to lamb)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lambing to date for 2014

Lambing has been a long, drawn out affair this year.  I think that the girls had a premonition of the crappy unseasonably cold weather we'd be having this spring way back in the fall when I decided to introduce them to the boys.  Sometimes Mother Nature just plain knows what she's doing and sometimes her warped sense of humor just likes to torment us.  As was and is the case this past couple years, she's showed us a bit of both.  
Bengal started off lambing this year on April Fools Day with a single black ram lamb (same as last year).   Next to lamb, after what seemed like years, was Anais on April 9th with 2 more ram lambs, then more waiting........(can you hear the crickets, cause I did) Sierra & Alabama finally decided to have single rams and Velma had a ram and my first ewe for 2014 all born on April 13th.  April 14th....Catherine had a ram and ewe, then the 15th Killian with a ewe, Santana with a ewe and my lamb stealer Garnet with a ram and a ewe.  Bee Sting had a ram and a ewe on the 16th and after a run home at lunch to check on sheep, no lambs for the 17th....yet.
10 ewes down and 8 more to go!!!  

Bengal's ram lamb (Carlisle) looking awfully lonely without other lambs around. 


Amais is one of my favorite girls, she's friendly, a good mother and I like he typey structure and overall look.  This year she gave me a black smirslet ram -Hyde(dog coat-but this line tends to get those and then they change. ) and a fawn kat ram (Preson)  that seems to scream "look at me".

Sierra produced this ubber flashy black flecket ram (Danby) this year and he has no sign of horns yet, and is the friendliest lamb on the property.  He will be held over for evaluation. 

Velma is another ewe that produces keepers for me every year. This year she's given me a moorit ram-Hastings (spot carrier) and a black ewe-Laxey (also spot carrier)

Alabama is a favorite around here, she had a flashy little fawn kat ram (Ashby)  that is the spitting image of his sire, Bing.  Fleece looks to be exactly what I'd want in a flock sire, so he will be watched.

Catherine is 9 this year and once again she's given me just what I wanted, a white ewe lamb-Victoria, with the bonus of a black ram-(Devon) that carries spots. 

Fawn kat smirslet ewe (Charolette)....born with a dog coat, but her mom & grandmother did the same and it changed at about 3 mos. of age)  The white on her head goes all the way around her neck too. 

Killian's fawn kat ewe-Tamara (i had originally thought she was grey due to poor lighting, but she is fawn.

Bee Sting's moorit flecket ram (Barlow) and her spot carrying fawn kat girl.(Bala)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

2014 Micron data

Ok, ok......I admit it, I'm getting lazy in my old age.  This year's micron data has been scanned and uploaded to this blog because I just plain don't have enough time or energy to type out the information.

For those of you wanting to make informed decisions about sheep I may have for sale next year, here's the meat and potatoes of my flock fleece stats.  For conformation and breed type information, request photos when shopping at Ye Ole OK Acres.  I currently have nothing for sale except a couple ram lambs and won't have a sales list for a bit yet, but if you want on a waiting list, just let me know.  I've only bred 18 ewes this year, so I won't have 42 lambs to choose from again, Thank the Good Lord for that.  Last year was insanity. 

I've handwritten the age of each sheep after their name.  Also, there's 2 samples for Duchess, one is a mid-side and one is the area just about her britch.  Just satisfying my own curiosity with that.  All samples were taken mid-side last rib, same place every year to maintain consistency.  

My personal flock goals (my ideal) for fleece are as follows:
AFD   (average fiber diameter)  26 or less
SD   (Standard deviation)   5 or less
CV  (Coefficient of Variation) 20 or less
CEM (Coarse Edge Mean)   10 or less
SF (Spin Fineness)  this needs to be lower than the AFD
CF  (Comfort Factor)  -My ideal is 90 or more

Keep in mind that this is only the fleece portion of the whole sheepy package.  You have to have good breed type, acceptable to outstanding conformation, good mothering ability, parasite resistance (to a point), hardiness, and must be the proper size for a Shetland sheep.  So many things make the whole sheep, but since Shetlands are considered the finest of the wool breeds you really have to take a hard look at how good your fleece is and having micron testing done is scientific data that can help to train your eye and hands for fineness.  Another "tool" to help us evaluate our fleece. 

Just because a fleece is soft or silky does not mean it's fine.......and that's where a lot of us get off track, it feels soft so we assume it's fine and that's not always the case.   Fine can be measured and that's why we do the micron testing.  It's an unbiased look at our fleece stats, not just how an individuals' hands interpret "fine".   Testing removes the human opinion from the equation. 

Happy Lambing everyone.......

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

April Fools Day and Lambing 2014 begins

Bengal was the first of my girls to lamb this year, exactly as she did in 2013......with a single black ram lamb.  This little guy is out of OK Acres Garth, a shaela ram that I used for the 1st time this past fall.  His lamb fleece looks really nice and he is horned, so I may have a nice fine fleeced horned ram for all you horn lovers out there.  He has some minor head spotting, so probably a spot carrier too.  His dad is Smirslet sokket, his mom is a grey kat, so lots of possibilities genetically.

I've got Garnet, our resident lamb stealer, cooling her heals in a lambing jug until she lambs so I don't end up with her stealing lambs for the 3rd year in a row.  She is such a great mom that she just can't help herself when she sees lambs crying.

I only have 3 new moms this year, but if I leave Garnet out with the others, she's sure to grab a baby from someone and the new girls need to figure things out without the added frustration of an over zealous mom to be.

Mike and I

Mike and I
Mike and I at Nick and Emily's wedding

Raised beds & chickens coops

Raised beds & chickens coops
Can't wait for this stuff to actually be food....