The farm house

The farm house

Thursday, January 16, 2014

To Pedigree Or Not To Pedigree ? n..That Is The Question...

When I first purchased my two ewes, I didn't think much about pedigrees. I did buy registered because I wanted the real thing and it was like a certificate of authenticity. I wasn't sure where I was headed with sheep..Would 2 be enough? Do I want a flock? Are they going to cost me the earth to care for? etc...Now, I have 12 sheep, most of whom are registered stock, I feel it is an important element to my flock. It's not an elitist thing. I have ewes that provide wonderful fleece who are not registered.

The pedigree provides useful information such as who the parents are, the lineage, where the animal is from. Some of mine I can almost trace back to the original flock imported to Canada in 1982-it would cost me more to get the older abstract of the pedigree. Genetics are a funny thing and color is where it's at with this breed. So, sometimes as in the birth of Fiona and Fingal, you end up with some unexpected coloring and markings. I then turned to the pedigree to see how and where this came into play.

Another aspect of the pedigree is that it would provide a building block for a future generation if the number of sheep decreased again. Shetland sheep are no longer at risk in Canada but are still in the recovery stage of the American livestock conservancy.

So now, when I look at my sheep I see lovely, soft colored, fleeces who are also wonderful bits of history. Woolly time capsules.
What a messy bunch! These are the spring 2013 babies(except far left)

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