March 23, 2009


Gee! How I wish I could tell you that 'TitBijou finally had her lamb! But NO ... she's still holding on. That said "it must be any day now" --- of course isn't that what I said exactly 3 weeks ago?!!!

So no lambs here!

But I would like to introduce you to the latest addition to the fold, Dagobert.

Dagobert : 3 year old ram

Dagobert : profile

I'm very excited about this new arrival.
He measures in at 47.5 cm, but with all the fleece it's a bit hard to judge.
That said, he is under 49 cm, which is the height limit for ouessant rams.
I would have prefered a smaller ram, but due to his rare color, I am prepared to forgive him those few extra centimeters!
I'm absolutely delighted that he is within the the standard, BUT he is on the upper limit!
So from a breeding point of view I will need to be very careful : he will only be used on a few carefully selected ewes.
With that small reservation, I'm looking forward to Dagobert's potential genetic contribution to the flock.

But take a look at that fleece!
When the wool is parted you see a beautiful grey fleece :

Dagobert : fleece

When you look at the fiber samples below, the base color is a solid light grey with no white fibers. You will note that the three samples below look like they are three different shades of grey. In fact this is due to the varying amount of black gard hair that is found in the fleece. Ouessant rams tend to have a fair amount of hair fibers in their fleece, particularly along the top of their back and the chest area. So depending on where the sample was taken there is more or less gard hair mixed into the wool. For example, the sample on the far left has a lot of black gard hair in it and is thus quite a bit darker than the other two samples.

Dagobert : 3 wool samples
note that the longest sample is over 15 cm long!

Dagobert is settling in quite nicely and will be spending the next few days in a quarantine pen.
.... in the mean time I am still waiting for this season's first lamb!
Of course, there's much more to be said about the lovely color of Dagobert's fleece, but that will have to wait for another day!

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