Wednesday, July 1, 2009
To Be Ag or Not.
As a relatively new Shetland breeder who hated anything science related in school, esp. when it came to understanding DNA & genetics (hence that is why I am a history teacher); I am working slowly to understand the many different components of Shetland sheep. One of the things I am working on understanding is the whole Ag and modified concept. I have spent much time reading through the NASSA on modified, colors, fleece types etc. I am getting there......slowly.
Let me present what I have been thinking about and observing.
Pictured above is Windswept Betsy, a musket ewe with markings labeled as Blet/Biel/Flec. Betsy is out of a blk/wh ram & a moorit ewe. These are Betsy's kids born on 4/19/09. When the ewe lamb was born I would have said she was a dark brown w/smirslet markings. The white lamb is a ram lamb.
This is the same ewe lamb as of 7/1/09.........gee, quite a change in the coloring. So while I was reading the NASSA website on the modified Shetland cases, I was noticing that some lambs that looked just like this were labeled as moorit......some were labeled as mioget????
This is her fleece.......I have never had a lamb with this type of fleece!! I think this is the most exquisite fleece and it is so soft!! I just love it!!! Okay, I am sure I am not saying this politically correct in Shetland terminology so please tell me the correct way to label this fleece.
This ewe would be labeled as Ag correct? Modified? Moorit or mioget?
This is the ewe's twin.......a white ram, a yuglet/flecket correct? Now, how can one tell or is it possible for a white sheep to be Ag or is it just given because they are white? I can say that Betsy, the twins dam, is Ag. Her facial coloring changes completely from summer to winter.
These may appear to be simple concepts for seasoned Shetland sheep breeders; but I am trying to sort through the lambs that I have and what they could produce in the future.
Besides Abigail's beautiful ram lamb, both of these lambs here have the type of fleece texture I think I like the most.
Anyways, I just wanted to share some of my lambs and possibly get some feedback from those that better understand the in's & out's of Ag & modified in the Shetlands:)