Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Who is YOUR ram?



What kind of ram do you have? How many years have you used him....Why?
Is he giving you an improvement in the lambs your girls have? When you look at your ewe and her lambs walking by, are you thinking...Boy...that lamb has a better tail, a better fleece, a better build ...a better something....than it's dam?
If not...why are you still using that ram?
I got a call from a friend who has used one ram for a number of years....because she liked the kind of lambs he produced. She called because...he is older, and she decided to look for a new ram.
Now, this friend has it together....she wants good fleece...so she is looking for rams from a certain flock, because they have nice fleece.

So why did you choose your ram? Are you specializing in fleece?....size?....colors? Anything definite at all? Are you using a ram because he came with your other sheep?, he was free...a reduced price...the least expensive one you could find?...better yet...the most expensive one you could find, and now you spent so much money you can't complain about what kind of horns or back legs...or bad fleece he throws?????...
Are you using a ram you produced...because you didn't sell him...and he was too nice to get rid of? What has he done to improve your flock....or is he actually confusing your genetics because he is related to most of your ewes?
It's summer....you don't have to breed your flock next week. Take a little time to evaluate your head ram this week.....start with the shape of his head, then his horns...then his build...his tail...his fleece. Go out in the field and look at his lambs....start with the ram lambs....do you like all of them...if there is a dud...was it the ram or the ewe who might have had more influence....the same question could be used on the best lamb....more genetics from the ewe or the ram?....By the time you get through the lambs your head ram produced...you may have some questions about his get. If it looks like he has more going for him than against him...decide how you could breed certain ewes to him this fall, and improve some of his lamby product. Then balance what he does this fall against any bad points....if he fails to improve enough this fall...look for another ram next spring.
If you have a really big flock...and more than one ram...stop here because you are likely too confused to make a good judgement on the next ram.

1 Comments:

At 7:22 PM, Blogger Karen B. said...

I wish I had beautiful rams like yours, too bad Doyle had to pass on....oh wait! I will have a beautiful spotted ram...all is not lost. Thanks to you! Can hardly wait to have Two in the Bush join me here at Twin Brook Farms. And thank you for your interesting ram comments. I always learn something when I read your blog.

 

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