Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dailley Moorit Ewes - January 4th

I love the Dailley moorits in Carole's flock. The one below was one of my favourites, but not for sale.

Dailley Flock ... July 4th

On the hill ... a wonderful sight!
An older ewe (she had no teeth) and one of Carole's legs ... ;-)
The 'group' in desperate need of shearing ...
A mid side sample of Iris' fleece ...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Older Dailley Flock Pics ... last one for the day ... PROMISE!

These are pictures from Carole's presentation at the 2005 AGM.
Note the dark katmoget lamb in this picture ... a Dailley katmoget.

Below is the famous S0555, sire of so many spotted Shetland lines.

Kate ... 1993 Dailley Ewe ... I'll quit after this ... :-)

This is Dailley Kate. She was born June 16, 1993. I had her micron tested as a 12 year old ... AFD 29.06, SD 8.46, CV 29.1. I think that because of her age, she is a pretty good example of the early Dailley flock.
Interestingly, I bought her because Carole wanted me to buy ewes and lambs ... and Kate had a smirslet daughter.

Kate was a wonderful ewe. Her last lamb in 2006, was a single ... Box Car Willy. Kate died with her head in my lap late in the winter, 2007, at almost 14 years of age.

Other Older Ontario Flocks

Two of the older flocks in Ontario have had a real influence on fleeces here in Ontario. The prefixes are ... Skerryvore ... and Cherrington. These flocks were run by two women who were spinners and worked hard to maintain the quality of Shetland fleeces.

I don't have a lot of pictures that I can find on my computer, but these three will show, at least, the fleece type that can be found on Cherrington and Skerrivore sheep.

My First Purchases from the US

Here are some of my first year purchases from the US. I could find nothing like them in Ontario as most of the flocks here were developed and maintained by handspinners who KNEW what the original Shetlands were like. You will find NOTHING like them in my flock NOW, though ... :-)
I LOVED these girls, but in their second and third fleeces ... they were very course!
I have none of these ewes left, and very limited genetics from them left in my flock.
In my defense, I wanted spotted Shetlands and the fleeces on many spotted Shetlands were LESS than desirable.
This ewe above, had locks of britch wool 14" long! OMG!!!
Something seemed to happen to Shetlands when they hit the US midwest. Not sure what or why ... but long flowing fleeces that blew in the breeze when the sheep ran across pastures just seemed to become what folks liked. Interesting.

Maple Ridge Shetlands

These are pictures of the second Shetland flock that I visited ... Maple Ridge Shetland Sheep Farm, NASSA flock # 2. Shots were taken on a wet, cold and drizzly day in late March.

One of my breeding goals is to maintain a flock of sheep that closely resemble sheep in these flocks. My assumption is that both Carole and Linda have worked to maintain the sheep that they imported.

Dailley Flock

Here are shots taken of the first Shetland sheep that I ever met ... the Dailley flock (NASSA flock #1) in 2000 or 2001. I post these shots since not everyone gets to visit (and handle) this flock as much as I have ... :-).

When we had the AGM here in 2005, Carole had jusy sheared the flock and we didn't get to see the fleeces on sheep.

In light of recent discussions about fleece in Shetlands, I hope folks find these pictures of interest.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Breeding Groups - Richard Geere

WillowGarden Richard Geere is a half polled black katmoget out of WillowGarden Gin and North Wind Holiday. He was born late in the season, but was too good not to keep over. I had a couple folks interested in ewes exposed to him ... so, since I had to set up a breeding group anyway ... I have one ewe being bred to him.

HarmanyMarsh Willow (AFD 22.2, SD 5.6, CV 25.4), a pretty mioget ewe out of mostly domestic lines.

Breeding Groups - Columbo

WindyMeadows Columbo is a spotted grey ram, linebred on a Thelonius Monk and Underhill TS Elliot. I don't have a micron report on him yet, but he looks and feels marvelous.
Since Columbo is, as yet unproven, he will be used on just three of my ewes.

WillowGarden Liberia AI (AFD 26.5, SD 6.4, CV 24.2), a fawn katmoget out of Glayva and spotted Daiiley lines.

HarmonyMarsh Autumn (AFD 22.9, SD 5.9, SD 25.7) a black yuglet ewe out of a variety of UK and domestic lines.

WillowGarden Chocolatini IAFD 25.4, SD 5.3, CV 20.9) a moorit katmoget horned ewe out of SheltrgPines Iren and Thelonius Monk.

Breeding Groups - Holiday

North Wind Holiday AI (AFD 23.5, SD 6.4, CV 27.0) is my current favourite ram. He is in with four ewes that are sold this round. In round two, he will be with 3 ewes that are sold. Then he will have a group of six girls from my 'keeper' flock.

SpringWater Eve a white ewe out of Valley Road Sidney (a Dainty X Lerwick daughter) and WillowGarden Nelson AI (F1 Hornblower, F3 Greyling, F3 Timothy). I am picking up Eve when I deliver a group of sheep to eastern Canada next month.

WillowGarden Macaroon (AFD 23.8, SD 5.2, CV 22.1) is another white ewe out of Great Plains Sara AI (Lightning) and Bramble Nick.

WillowGarden Opal (AFD 25.3, SD 5.3, CV 20.8) is a katmoget ewe out of WillowGarden Linyanti (a Hornblower extension dominant daughter) and V creek Hummer.

WillowGarden Tabasco (AFD 23.8, SD 6.0, CV 22.7) a dark grey spotted katmoget out of Sherdswd Linga AI (Orion) and Underhill Thelonius Monk.

Great Plains Isabell AI (AFD 26.3, SD 6.0, CV 22.7) an Ag grey katmoget, Greyling daughter.

Windwater Rolo, a mioget smirslet gulmoget (out of Tisket lines)

Breeding Groups - Leo

V Creek Leo (AFD 25.8, SD 4.5, CV 17.5) has not had his chance to shine yet. He only had a few ewes here last Fall. Later this Fall, however, he will be going to Canterbury Farm to be their flock sire this year. We are looking for great things from him there.

This year, I am breeding him to WillowGarden Gin (AFD 23.4, SD 4.7, CV 20.0). Gin is a dark grey katmoget out of an Extension dominant Glayva ewe and V Creek Hummer (Ab/At). She could beeither Ab/Ab or Ab/Aa. I am hoping for a fine fleeced double patterned ewe that can be bred AI using my Tidhill Hornblower straws.

Breeding Groups - Aman

This year, I am breeding just 23 ewes for my own flock. This is the lowest number since my first year, but they are awesome girls ... bred to awesome boys and I am thrilled at the thought of what my lambs will be like!

I am synchronizing ewes so that I am able to use more of the wonderful rams that reside here at Willow Garden. I have the first 18 ewes synchronized and in with their six rams right now. 14 of these ewes are sold as 'ewes exposed to rams'. Four are mine. I post a seperate entry for each ram used this round. I will only post the ewes of my own in each group.

FirthofFifth Aman AI (AFD 26.3, SD 4.9, CV 18.7) continues to impress me ... colour, conformation, attitude, presence, FLEECE! I used him extensively last Fall and kept many of his daughters. I also expect that he'll be here for a while and I can use him on Holiday or Red Velvet daughters. I am breeding one ewe to him ... WillowGarden Amaretto (AFD 24.2, SD 5.6 CV 23.1). Amaretto is a mioget katmoget out of a Dailley Iris daughter and a spotted katmoget ram out of Todhill Glayva. Last Spring this mating produced a beautiful mioget ewe lamb that I lost to the coy/wolf.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

REAL Incubator

The REAL incubator that I bought from a lovely woman on Kijiji arrived yesterday. It is exactly what I was expecting ... :-). I've tried it out to confirm that everything is working right (it is) and will now carefully put it on a shelf so that it is handy if and when I need it.
Thank you Manon! I may need to call you for some help in translating the directions as my French is rusty, at best ... :-)

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Can't Believe That I'm Thinking About Doing This ... But I Am!

When I bought my first Shetlands many years ago I was really interested in spotted Shetlands. One of the rams that I purchased was ShelteringPines Kyrie. He was striking ... long flowing fleece ... presence ... carried and threw spots ... and he had size! I LOVED Kyrie.
But ... soon I began to develop a better understanding of the Shetland Breed Standard ... and I realized that Kyrie had very few characteristics about him that were 'Shetland' ... especially his fleece which was like hair and a disqualification since there was DEFINITELY excessive britch wool (like all over his body!).

I kept his last fleece and pull it out each year when I evaluate fleeces before deciding which sheep to keep. I am always impressed with how far my Shetland flock has come toward meeting the Standard ... from that beginning.
BUT ... something really appealed to me about Kyrie when I bought him ... and even after I made the hard decision to cull him!

Then, this past August at Michigan Fibre Festival I got to see Lettie Klein's Karakuls BEFORE she sheared them. They were magnificent. They had a fleece like Kyrie's ... but THEY were supposed to look like that! They were also gentle SOULS, like Kyrie was.
So ... I became fascinated with the Karakul breed. The internet is both wonderful ... and dangerous. I found three breeders in Ontario with Karakuls. I have a lot more thinking and research to do, but ... I think that I'd like to find two ewes here ... and then import a ram from Lettie. The history behind this breed ... their wonderful hair-like fleece that will work so well in rugs ... the grandeur ... the connection with centuries of shepherding ...
I'm not rushing in to this ... but ...

Life is SO good ... :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Well ... just to show that I DO listen to those who respond to questions I pose on this blog ... here is a picture of my Blue Splash Silky hen who has decided to hatch out her five eggs on her own. Indeed ... we'll let nature take her course. Eggs are due to hatch November 10/11. Wooo Hooo ... :-)
I did also buy the incubator so that I'll have it. The lovely woman who I bought it from reduced her price and made all of the shipping arrangements to get it to me as smoothly and cheaply as possible. Thank you Manon!

Life ... is good ... :-)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I am hoping that at least one of my faithful readers of this blog knows SOMETHING about incubators.
I found one of these ... Hova-Bator 1602N ... with a turner ... and a turbo-fan on

I know NOTHING about incubators ... other than that they hatch eggs and that I don't want to spend a LOT of money on a new one ... :-)

Mark's Silkies have 5 eggs so far. I know that they'd hatch them on their own, but it is late and I'd like to 'simplify' the process ... :-).

Suggestions? Benefit of experience? I'd like to hear it all ... :-)

Life ... is good.