My husband and I attended the Mid-American Dorper Show and Sale this past weekend. We walked through the pens looking at Dorper sheep. Seeing traits we would like to have in our flock, and some we did not.
Attending the show and sale encourages us to continue with breeding Dorper sheep and going forward. Watching the sheep show, I always realize how much I do not know. I strive to learn more on how to judge a sheep and pick the best of my flock to use for breeding and sell the others. Going to the show helps me to stay fresh in my mind about selecting the sheep I will retain or purchase to improve my flock.
After every show or visiting a sheep farm with high quality Dorpers, I feel my sheep are worthless. They have so many flaws and faults, I should just get rid of them all and start over.
I have what I term a negative critical eye. I will find every fault in an animal, before I ever see the good traits. Making it hard to select an animal to retain or purchase.
Truth: There is no perfect Dorper Sheep.
My sheep no longer look like auction culls. I have a goal to breed the “perfect Dorper sheep”.
My husband and I came home and I was ready to sale the rams and some ewes and purchase new sheep. My husband says “No”. We do have good sheep. I have done a good job developing the herd we have. I only need to keep with the program and we will have not perfect but really close to perfect Dorper sheep.
We can not afford to buy the Grand Champion Dorper Ram that sold for a record breaking sale of $12,800 USD. Our rams are good and will improve what we currently have.
Not everyone is able to go to a sale or sheep farm and purchase the best ram or best ewe. We start with the sheep we can afford and improve through culling and breeding and new bloodlines.
Meeting some new people at the show, I was able to get new information on how to evaluate Dorper sheep. They gave links to videos and reading materials. Taking the information and doing some research I saw pictures of Dorper sheep to compare good, better and best. The comparison helped my “eye” to improve what I was looking at and looking for.
I would love to sell one sheep for $12,500 USD as the Champion Dorper ram sold for. Or even what the Grand Champion White Dorper Ewe record breaking sale of $20,000 USD. And hopefully one day I will.
I need to do the best with what I have, and not forget my accomplishment of building from what I started with.
Keep stepping up the ladder towards perfection, one step at a time.