Fine Fleece Shetland Sheep Association
FFSSA Registry FAQs
Q: How will this registry benefit me or my flock?
A: It will provide a way to identify and track fleece quality and heritability in your flock. It is easy to see at a glance the quality of fleece on each line as well as show customers your product comes from a long line of quality fleece producers.
Q: As a member of FFSSA, I would want to know if the database will be available for all members?
A: A membership accessible database is available, it is the FFSSA/GLM Registry.
Q: If an Associate membership with registry privileges costs the same amount as a Senior membership, why would I want to upgrade to a Senior membership?
A: Senior members can vote, only have to submit yearly micron tests on their sheep until the sheep is 3 years old instead of 5 years old, and they have full use of the Logo and Collective Mark on all their sheep and wool products.
Q: Is there a place for members to ask questions of the board and other FFSSA members?
A: Yes, there is a private Facebook group for asking questions and making announcements. Questions can also be asked by clicking on the "Contact Us" button on this website. The website's "Members Only" section gives all FFSSA members access to Board Minutes, Treasurer Reports, FFSSA documents, Newsletters, Brochures and Logos. FFSSA wants our membership involved in major decisions, and that's why the registry was voted on by all the Senior members before we moved forward with it. Our board is very concerned with what the membership wants for this organization and feel that they should have a voice.
Q: Why have a performance registry at all?
A: These animals are fleece tested for quality assurance, so that the buying public can be assured of the quality they are purchasing. Additionally, these animals must meet all of the criteria of just a straight lineage registry and then go beyond that to exhibit a fleece performance quality.
Q: Why are there two levels of registration?
A: Fleece characteristics and quality could and may change within the first several years of life, thereby needing yearly monitoring until an animal reaches maturity and then be permanently accepted into the registry.
Q: Technically, would a sheep be registered twice in the same registry?
A: No. This applies only to sheep that were Provisionally registered. They aren't being registered twice, but are being "upgraded" to a fully "approved" animal. Adults older than 22 months would only undergo acceptance in the registry once, if the registration is sought after that age.
Q: How do I apply for my sheep to be included in the registry?
A: FFSSA membership is required. You can check out our website for additional info on the organization's goals and purposes.
Q: Do I have to own an FFSSA registered ram?
A: No, you can lease a ram that qualifies. As long as you are using an FFSSA Approved ram for breeding, this is ok. Ownership is not mandatory.
Q: Is Senior member status maintained if you only use an unregistered, but eligible for provisional registered ram lamb?
A: If both parents are FFSSA approved/registered, yes.
Q: What does it mean that animals are admitted for Approved registration at 22 months? Is this based on the second fleece result or does a new sample from the third fleece need to be sent in? Do I wait until its chronological age is at or greater than 22 months?
A: The fleece samples should be taken when the sheep reaches the age of 22 months to qualify for Approved status. The fleece sample should be the same age as the sheep when removed for testing.
Q: If you don't own an FFSSA ram but own semen straws from a qualified ram and use them for breeding, can you become a Senior FFSSA member or maintain your status as one?
A: Yes, as long as the semen is from a ram whose fleece, etc. has been tested and met FFSSA ram fleece requirements, and as long as that ram has passed a Shetland Sheep Society type inspection (the SSS assessment form), if the semen comes from Britain. If the semen is from the US or Canada, then there must be appropriate fleece data from that ram.
Q: Is a final registration at 22 months final or do I have to resubmit micron data every year thereafter?
A: If you are a Senior member, you only have to micron test annually to age three, Associate members will be required to do yearly micron data to age 5 and submit it to the membership chair.
Q: If I micron test every year and a 22 month old sheep qualifies for grade 1, but doesn't at age 3, are there steps I need to take with the registry to modify the registration status? What if a ram didn't qualify at age 2, but at age 3 I discover that he is now grade 2. Can I now register him as such and use him to produce FFSSA lambs?
A: There is a place on the back of the pedigree to track yearly micron data. If you'd like to submit your pedigree to have the grade changed and are willing to pay a fee to have this done, you can submit the necessary forms and micron data/histogram to the membership chair for review and once approved you can then submit the necessary fees to the registry to change the grade, or simply record the micron data on the back of the certificate where a space is provided for recording yearly results.
Q: If I use a two year old grade 2 ram to register sheep, and discover at age 3 that the ram is no longer grade 2, but rather grade 3, do I need to modify my registration of the offspring of that ram?
A: No. Those offspring will have been either provisionally registered prior to 22 months of age, or they have qualified on their own merit after reaching the age of 22 months.