Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bits and Pieces

I have too much time on my hands I will admit it. Retired and doctor ordered to take it easy...I have my hobby farming set up for ease of feeding and care. Half my barn is filled with hay and straw (yes right now plenty for winter 2010-11) and am feeding the last of the hay out of the garage. Now the garage is for parking vehicls in! Grains and supplements are handy by the hay, water hydrant in the barn, a heated tub for winter water- which I dip out a pail so the chickens get warm water. Chicken walk-in pens inside the barn. Chores are 'too easy' as in not time consuming.......more time to lean of the fence and watch.
Goldie possible parentage
Goldie  Note Goldie's ear 3 notches left ear ewe and a  triplet?

 Finn Tunis ewe  Same bare head and coloring

Where do I go from here? Shetland ewes weigh 68 to 100 pounds. A pure Shetland lamb is slow to mature. I have been surfing the internet for ideas. I found farms using colored Finn rams on their Shetland ewes. Today's Finn is larger and bigger boned. Finn ewes 130-160 pounds, rams 150-200 pounds, Finn cross lambs have small head and make for easy lambing. Finns are very docile so the crosses will be tame and easy to handle. The Finn increases milk production and the cross lambs weigh 80 -90 pounds by fall. And as we all know a Finn cross ewe can routinely have triplets and raise them. The Finn fleece micron test is 22-29. wool clip is 6-10 pounds and soft enough to be worn next to the skin. So adding Finn blood will maintain or improve the quality and quantity of the Finn/Shetland fleece I have spoken to Gail and have reserved a Spring ram lamb from her moorit Finn ram and her colored, blue-grey and spotted  all of Wee Croft breeding.  I can maintain my Shetland colors on the crosses, increase prolifically, increase size and market a bigger lamb.  And most/all the lambs will be polled.
Gail's Osmo Finn yearling Ram  He is half again the size of Gail's Shetland rams
(pic courtesy of Little Red Oak)
A blue grey Finn Shetland ram lamb

A whole pasture of ewes like the blue grey above would be just great

Till later



Rayna said...

Ooo that blue grey is gorgeous!!!

Gail V said...

It's true those Finns are bigger. Osmo is now heavier all over; I've always shipped even my biggest shetland rams to the butcher in a huge dog crate; my husband and I together can lift that crate into the Ranger topper.
We don't know what we'll do when Osmo has to leave this farm. Our old methods won't work!