Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rams used for the 2015 lamb crop

Here are this year's sires prior to shearing.  I'll post the other rams later.  The rams are not coated in the winter like the ewes are.  I don't trust horned rams with coats on.  The fleeces are in great shape, except for Mahon's.  He should have been sheared a month ago as he has been trying to ditch his fleece.   It is a long staple.

UTS Mahon - 2013 WSWF Supreme Champion Shetland


Mahon's fleece.  He is a milk chocolate in color.  

UTS Stilton - 2014 WSWF Supreme Champion Shetland


Stilton's fleece - fawnish moorit (varigated in color)

UTS Cameron - grey spotted

Cam on the stand.

Cam's fleece - he is very dense.  

UTS Dawson - grey katmoget (19 microns)


Dawson's fleece (sorry it's blurry). 

Here are the 2015 ram micron stats.  All very fine boys!!  Butter soft, crimpy, fine fleeces, top quality in conformation and breed type, and great horns.  

When you are choosing a fine fleeced Shetland, please remember the following:  Fine fleece, when referring to Shetland wool, should mean that the wool is fine, crimpy, and soft handling. 

Fine means:
  • a mid-side sample is tested, that is NOT separated (undercoat from outer coat)
  • that the microns are low - in the G1 (20-25 microns) or G2 range (25.01 -30 microns), preferably in the G1 range for very fine.
  • that all of the OTHER numbers are given out - the SD, CV, CEM, and SF.  Low microns mean absolutely nothing without these numbers to verify that the fleece is actually fine.  
  • pictures of the whole unsheared animal are available to verify all of the above.
When an AFD is only posted, with no indication of anything else (where it was sampled, whether it was separated or not, what all of the other numbers are) and no picture is given, it is buyer beware! With numbers higher than the following, SD above 7, CV above 25, CEM above 13, are all causes of concern. High numbers here indicates a coarse outer coat that will give even a low micron fleece a harsh handle.  Note:  There are a few exceptions to the rule.  But this generally means that all the numbers are not high.  

Here at Under The Son Farm, we always give you the maximum amount of information.  With top quality, show winning Shetlands, you are assured of getting sheep that meet the breed standard with fine, soft, crimpy fleeces. We strive to have the following numbers for the best breed standard fleeces:

AFD - Grade 1 (20-25 microns) or Grade 2 (25.01-30 microns).  G3 is fine for a few ewes.  Rams should be G1 or G2.
SD - I like below 7.  Our current average is 5.2 for the ewes, and 4.6 for the yearling ewes.  Rams should be low, since the rams are half the flock.
CV - 22 or below for a premium quality fleece.  Our ewe average is 18.8.  Lambs can be higher (although our ewe lambs are 19).  CV is the least number to worry about.
CEM - Below 12.  Our ewe average is currently 9.0, yearlings currently average 8.0.
SF - LOWER than the AFD.  This means it spins finer than it actually is.  Around a micron lower than the AFD is great.  An SF that is the same, or nearly the same, as the AFD is fine as well.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

FFSSA Fleece Performance Registry Announcement

The Fine Fleece Shetland Sheep Association is pleased to announce the addition of a Registry to our endeavors to allow FFSSA Shetland breeders the chance to register their eligible sheep.  The FFSSA Registry is based on the sheep’s performance in producing a fine fleece, according to the parameters as set by the FFSSA Fleece Grading Chart.  This ensures the fleece, as well as the structure, on the registered sheep meets the 1927 Shetland breed standard as clarified by Appendix A.  This will allow breeders the opportunity to serve their customers the best quality in Shetland sheep and their wool products. 

To join FFSSA, or for more information, please visit the website:  www.finefleeceshetlandsheep.org
For FFSSA members, go here for FAQ’s: http://www.finefleeceshetlandsheep.org/registry_FAQs.htm
For FFSSA members ready to register:  http://www.finefleeceshetlandsheep.org/registry-forms.htm

Theresa Gygi

FFSSA President