Wednesday, 24 June 2009

More tales of tails!

I've been very interested to read on other folks blogs discussions about Shetland breed standards. This year I'm lucky enough to have some ram lambs that I consider nice enough to sell on as breeding animals. However, I have some reservations about one of their tails...

This is Smali Big Wig. I think he's a super lamb, but I'd be interested to hear other opinions.
"Wiggy" has a very correct little fluke tail: short with wool at the top and hair at the tip.

Then there's Braeface who is beautiful in everyway and has the softest grey fleece, but has sadly inherited his mother's tail...

Rosy is a lovely ewe in many ways and I'm happy to have her in the flock. If it weren't for that tail!

Worryingly she has passed it on to her son.

Sure it's woolly at the top, hairy at the tip, but it's a big long and chunky... isn't it? Or am I being overly critical?

When I compare this tail to the likes of Carlin who is also growing into a nice lad with a very fine fleece (but of the shorter staple length type I think) it does make me think that it is on the large side!

Sullivan of course is just a wonderful big strapping lad. I hope that there are some yuglet fans out there. I'm going to be taking the photos to the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh on Friday to see if I can drum up any interest in my stock. I can't wait to see the Shetland Showing... lots of photos to come :o)

Kate wonders why all this fuss over the boys when I have lovely girls like her!


Nancy K. said...

I think I'd give Braeface a chance to grow into his tail One of my favorite rams looked like he had a long tail, as a lamb, but it was perfect for him as an adult.

Sullivan looks like a wonderfully 'square' ram lamb! I like them stocky and masculine like that.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I think that tail looks long and heavy, too, but Nancy has a point. Ideally I think we should ALL hang onto our ram lambs until they are a year old before selling to evaluate them better -- especially the horned stock who can have horn problems show up later rather than sooner. I only know of one breeder who does that, though.

Sullivan is stunning!

Mim said...

I love Sullivan! Horn's are a big concern to me mostly because I seldom get horns that grow away from the face. That would keep me from selling a ram too young. Poor rams have to be so perfect!

flickerslair said...

I can't offer much in the way of constructive comments as we only got our flock last spring and I am still learning. But I think you have really gorgeous lambs, I especially like Smali Big Wig.

Jenny Holden said...

Thanks for the input folks. The word from the folk at the Royal Highland Show is that the tail doesn't look too bad and that tails have been getting too short anyway. So we're going with you on this Nancy and keeping him to see how he grows! All my boys will be staying for a while since they're too small for the freezer for some time yet anyway.

I wouldn't sell males with any horn guarantee. Horns growing the wrong way are usually just trimmed over here if the animal is good enough to keep. It isn't necessarily a genetic problem. It's usually just that the horn has been knocked out of place while growing. You assess when you buy and if it goes wrong then you made a wrong judgement or something has happened since. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it's just my experience here in the UK.

Claire said...

Braeface appears to have a lovely fleece. I am just itching to spin some of it! I have Icelandics and not Shetlands so I can't comment on their conformations, but they all look super to my eyes, which are wearing fleece-coloured glasses!