Notes from Windward: #58
Lambie takes Judge's Choice award
at the Klickitat County Fair
Lambie's fleece at center stage
After last year's success at the County Fair, this year I entered three fleeces
instead of one! We have a mother-daughter team that are (as best we can tell) a
cross between Lincoln, Hampshire and Karakul and have a very nice fleece in
varying shades of gray.
I entered Hershey's fleece in the medium division and Kiss
Kiss in the natural colored division. I was very pleased when both fleeces were
awarded first place ribbons. Lambie Pie, our Polypay ram, won a first place ribbon
in the fine fleece division (that's two years in a row), and was also chosen as
Judge's Choice over all entries in four divisions!
Lambie Pie is a gem of a ram. Not only does he have a great personality, he
has a wonderfully fine fleece with highly defined crimp and a soft hand. Polypay
compare favorably to Merino, which is considered the cadillac' of fleeces. I had
three people vying to buy his fleece!
As much as we appreciate Lambie, he's also getting on in years, so this year
we kept a ram lamb for breeding. Rodman is out of Lambie and Harley, which
resulted in an excellent, black fleece with soft, defined crimp and a well-muscled
body structure. He should produce lambs good for both market sale and fleece
production. We have high hopes of continuing our run of blue ribbons! Since
handspinners prefer natural colored fleeces, that's the direction we're taking the
flock. The "black" gene is recessive, but by breeding Roadman with all our natural
colored ewes, those ewes will produce "black" lambs.
A justifiyably proud Joyce
Although marketing lambs for meat accounts for a majority of the income
from the flock, fleece sales are now paying shearing costs and several hundred
pounds of grain needed during a two-month period before and after breeding.
This year, we've timed breeding so birthing should take place in a three-week period
starting mid-January. The ewe lambs were bred at eight months, so we'll have a
few more births in mid to late April. Last year we fell one lamb short of a birthing, on average, two lambs for every ewe. Now we're hoping that this will be the year we surpass the 200% mark.
We'll keep you posted.
Index for Notes Issue # 58
The Windward Home Page