Today, my husband and I looked at the ewes and lambs. Evaluating the lambs on conformation and the ewes with lambs on their mothering skills. Among the things discussed was the improvement of our flock genetics or conformation of our flock overall.
A couple of days back, a ewe lambed twin ram lambs. Today I was tagging the twins. In looking up the ewe’s number, I realized she was one of Big Bertha’s ewe lambs, a triplet. We have five of Big Bertha’s ewes lambs in our flock.
I purchased Big Bertha at a Dorper breeding stock auction. She produced twins and one set of triplets for us before she passed this past July. We did not know at the time of purchase, she had only one working teat for feeding lambs. After discovering the problem with nursing lambs, I bottle fed one of the twins and supplemented all three of the triplets. Four of her daughters have produced really nice lambs, the fifth is scheduled to have her first lamb in January.
We did not pay a huge price for Big Bertha, and it was extra work in the care of her lambs. The reward is some very good producing ewes. We are grateful I had purchased Big Bertha and for the ewes she produced for our breeding program.
We are grateful I was able to purchase the rams we currently have for breeding. I did not pay much for Max, as he was really thin and at a regular sheep auction. The people were selling all their sheep. I was able to look at what Max produced and the ewes he produced from. His bloodlines were great, hard to find, and very expensive if purchased from a breeder. Due to his poor condition, I did not pay very much for him. I could see from Max’s bone structure, once some feed and nutrition was given to this ram, he would be a good one. My husband’s first impression of Max, was I had made a mistake. Today, my husband told me he was grateful I could see an animal through the bones. The lambs Max has sired are really high quality lambs, good for breeding stock.
Up until two months ago, I did the daily chores and made all the decisions with the sheep. We have had some life changes. Now, my husband has the time to help with the daily chores and to be more involved with the sheep and decisions regarding the sheep. He is also stopping and evaluating the progress I have made in the breeding program with the sheep.
I am grateful to have a partner working with me. It is good to have a second pair of eyes when evaluating the sheep. It is also good to have someone I can talk about ideas in building, management and breeding of the sheep.
As we come to the end of a year. We are starting to look at what we want to accomplish in 2023 with our sheep. I am grateful it is not my sheep, but our sheep we are making plans about.