Sometimes I post things on our Facebook page and forget to post about them here on the blog. I just realized that I never posted here about the stud ram we are leasing for this breeding season. Oops!
Toffe joined us on November 14th from Underhill Farm in Indiana. Based on an average gestation of a little under 5 months, we will start looking for signs of lambing around April 9th. Of course, since sheep can only be bred for about 36hrs once every 17 or so days some of our ewes probably weren’t bred until the end of November. Some of them may also not have gotten pregnant the first cycle and would have been re-bred in December so we could still be lambing at the end of May or later.
Toffe is registered “Honor Flock Toffe” out of Underhill Molly and Underhill Oliver (AI). He is more or less part of the Underhill flock (the flock name is different because he belongs to one of Gail’s grandsons, but the bloodlines are all Underhill). You can see his pedigree here. He is a Moorit Gulgomet. Moorit refers to his caramel brown coloring. Gulgomet is the term used for his pattern of markings– light belly and darker fleece with distinctive facial markings. This time of year its hard to see the color distinction on Toffe because his outer coat is a bit sun bleached and, being moorit, it isn’t very dark to begin with. The patterning is mostly important because it is a trait that he could pass on to offspring. If they have a darker fleece color the patterning will be more noticeable. Of course since most of the ewes we are breeding this year are a light fawn, I predict that we will end up with lots of solid light brown lambs. That is fine with me- it makes a beautiful yarn that can be used in its natural state or it dyes nicely!
Speaking of the ewes, this year we are breeding:
Elizabeth, her daughters Kelly and Kaylee and her granddaughter Liisu.
Etta and her daughter Lana (we weren’t planning on breeding Etta this year but she had other ideas…)
and our new black ewe, Lily
We are giving Francine and her daughter LeeLoo the year off. They have such different fleeces from the rest of the flock (very very long and heavily double coated) that we can’t have their wool mill processed with the other fleeces so we don’t want to add more of that fleece type to the flock at this point.