Sunday, January 17, 2010

Colors, Markings and Patterns. Oh My.

So I had the opportunity to attend the Indiana Shetland Sheep Breeders meeting held at Under the Son Farm yesterday. It was nice to get out and meet fellow shepherds crazy about the colorful little breed. After the business end of the meeting, Theresa Gygi presented on the topic of genetics. One of the the things about Shetlands I had yet to comprehend fully.

Shetlands come in so many colors and patterns it tends to be more than a little complicated but Theresa did a fantastic job of explaining it. People, much smarter then me, have figured out if you breed certain colors and patterns to other colors and patterns you will get a certain result. If you follow all of this when choosing your breeding pairs you could predict what the lambs will look like. About the time I started to really understand I started smelling smoke. And it wasn't coming from the wood burning stove. I think I fried my brain. I decided that if and when I decide to breed Sophia I'll be breeding for cute. Much easier result to predict!

Visiting Theresa's basement is a fiber lovers dream. I emerged after the meeting with a burning desire to felt some wool, a bag of raw fleece from the mule lamb I purchased from her this fall and a large bag full of Shetland roving. Just what I needed to break Mildred out and take her for a spin today.