Finn sheep have the potential for several different color variations. These colors are buried deep in the genes of the sheep - both the ewes and the rams. White is probably the most common color found in Finn sheep, but there are other natural solid colors and variegated shades that show up in characteristic patterns. Finn sheep are genetically part of a group of sheep called the Northern Short-Tailed breeds. So they typically exhibit the same patterns and colors as the Shetland and Icelandic breeds. I cannot even try to explain color genetics, I still need to study the subject! I simply offer the following short explanation of why our Finn sheep look the way they do. There are basically two factors at work to determine what we see: color and pattern.
We have two white Finn ewes. White is the dominate color for Finn sheep. To be called white, the fleece must be white and the skin and tongue pink. These fleeces are prized because they allow one to use dye without wo...
Melly is our new Great Pyrenees puppy and she is learning fast to be the guardian for the sheep. She is a little older now than this picture and is coming into her instincts. She is beginning to bark and I realize how much I have missed Rosie's deep booming bark. Rosie was with us for 13 years and I still miss her. But Melly is beginning to take her place.
Late spring is the hardest nutritional time of year for sheep. Even though it is a little warmer, there is still little nutrition on the landscape. Plants from last year are bleached of nutrients and this year's growth is yet in its earliest stages. High elevation landscapes are still cold, windy and dry, further retarding new plant growth. This leaves our sheep still relying heavily on stored nutrients and stored energy from last year. The situation for the ewes is further complicated by pregnancy. So feeding has to be done carefully.
Over conditioning ewes with too much nutrition and too much fat, can result in metabolic disorders during the final phases of pregnancy. As a sheep shearer, I see many a backyard sheep that is too fat. However, too little conditioning before lambing leaves a ewe with not enough milk to nurse the new-born lambs. So proper feeding is heavily dependent on the ability of the flockmaster to evaluate and judge the condition of the sheep, especially ewes.