This Year’s Stud


It just occurred to me that I don’t think I ever introduced this year’s stud ram on the blog. Like in past years we rented a ram from Rare Find Farm in North Carolina (the farm we bought our original ewes from). This year’s fellow is named Icon and he is pure white with fine, tight crimpy wool. White sheep are interesting when it comes to breeding because “white” isn’t actually a color, its a pattern. Its as if they are a colored sheep but covered in a giant white spot. So even though you can’t see it, they carry the genes for a particular color, and separate genes for their white patterning. This means that they are still contributing to the color genetics of the lambs, you just don’t know how. If you look at Icon’s pedigree you’ll see that his parents were Mioget and White. Tracing that white mother back through the pedigree she has black/gray on one side but the other side but lots of white on the other side. So basically there is no telling what color genes Icon will be passing on to his lambs. His lambs with other ewes have been mostly Moorit (brown) out of fawn or musket (light tan) mothers. We select our rams based on fleece quality rather than color since at this point we are mostly interested in increasing the softness and single-coatedness of our fleeces rather than trying for a specific color. Next year I may try to bring in a ram with strong black or grey genetics to see if we can get some shades of grey in the flock to go along with all the shades of brown we already have.

Hello Lana!

Etta and Lana

After saying goodbye to my grandmother, we got home late this afternoon to discover a new addition to our flock. Little Lana was born sometime today. We aren’t sure exactly when, but when we got home around 6pm she was cleaned up and dry but her wool was still a little crunchy feeling so I doubt she was born any earlier than this morning. She is solid dark brown right now but sometimes lambs that are born solid and dark like this end up lightening as they grow and sometimes develop patterns so we will just have to wait and see. I would be perfectly happy for her to stay this rich dark chocolate color but with out flock still so small I’m not opposed to any colors right now!


Lana looks tiny compared to the two week old kids, but then Nubian goats are a much larger animal than Shetland sheep with extremely long legs compared to the squater Shetlands. Lana weighed in at 5lbs today which is about average for Shetlands, possibly a bit on the small side for a single rather than a twin, but not undersized. We are glad that Etta didn’t have twins because she lots one of her teats in a shearing accident last year (one of the reasons we do our shearing ourselves now…) and so if she had twins and one was stronger than the other it might have monopolized the single working teat. With just one baby there will be no competition and less to worry about.


Tomorrow Lana will be a bit steadier on her feet and probably more energetic and curious, and I’ll have more daylight, so I’ll try to get some better pictures of her!

Still due to lamb are Francine and Elizabeth. It is hard to estimate when they are due. They are both probably as large as Etta was but if they have twins or larger singles then they could still get bigger. Elizabeth got huge last year with her gigantic twins. So they could lamb any day now, or wait another week or two. Thankfully its easier to be patient and wait now that we have two bouncy kids and one sweet little lamb to adore in the meantime.