Sunday, September 24, 2006

rain rain

We were lucky, the tornados seemed to go North....the heaviest rains seemed to go South.
We got two and a half inches....not enough to fill any creeks, but enough to keep the dust down and let any grass that is still growing have a drink.
I noticed a few rams out in the meadow, who had their faces washed....and commented on their white appearance. That was when we were checking the fences for any downed trees, and happened to notice the girls were all missing. We finally found them happily eating in the hay field. They stood around and pouted when I took them out.
I have been working on breeding lists....kind of like everyone else....except with more paper.
I have noticed that even with my efforts to move some sheep to other farms.....I still have a lot of sheep.
I also noticed that even with a few girls taking the year off from breeding, I still am looking at too many lambs.
I am still planning to breed ten of the nineteen ewe lambs who appeare to be staying here forever. Did I say 19? Ouch!
I have two reasons for that. One, some of the girls will be bigger than I prefer if they are not bred this fall. and Secondly, I have found breeding two year olds can be worse than breeding ewe lambs. I tried, honest, to not breed lambs, but have found over the years....that the yearlings take automatically to birthing and feeding lambs....and the two year olds having their first lambs do not. Kind of like they don't grow up properly. The two year olds have a longer birthing period, they don't seem to stretch as easily. They resent the pain associated with child birth....and can flee from the lamb causing their pain. Yes, I have had two year old reject their lambs too. And they seem to be much more scared, not letting the new lamb feed without holding them still the first few times.
I did have two yearlings with their own first lambs take foster lambs....without hardly asking them. Polka had her lamb without assistance, dried her off and came into the jug....and hardly noticed the little orphan who attached herself to the other side. Those two little girls are both still following mom. They are not the same, one being black and white...and the other just black.
Older shetland ewes will usually question any lambs straying near them, and must be fooled into taking an orphan.
So aside from having lots of girls to fit into breeding groups. I am trying to move some around to different rams if I wasn't totally happy with their lambs.
So, starting with my olders ram, minwawe pan, I just cannot question pairing him with Prancer. They are identical in black and white markings. both good sized....pan being oldest also weighs more than the others. Prancer....not bred til two.....has had twins and a single, all ram lambs look really like their sire,...oh and dam...they have had good horns, good tails, and seem pleasant enough for rams.
I question the pairing with Riding hood....she is small, is either dark brown...or just carries a modifier. Her micron was 22....She did have a lovely, maybe dark brown yuglet, bielset sokket ewe a year ago from pan. Ridinghood also likely wasn't bred until two....I'm pretty sure Pan is higher, like a micron of 28. Last season ridinghood had triplets with pan. Two ewes and a ram. One of the ewes is a smirslet with wonderful yellow mioget coloring. Now I can't argue with those two lambs, so I'll try ridinghood again with Pan this year. But I'll keep an open mind about what she produces.
I'm going to try glory with Pan this year. Glory is a nice rich moorit, but pan is recessive for moorit. Glory had two smirslets with spots last season, So I know she is carrying good spotting genes. She is slightly smaller than I would prefer with pan....but I would like to see her lambs with him and pan isn't getting any younger. I should keep a reserve ram lamb from him one of these years.
Magnolia is a good match to pan. She is a yuglet sokket in moorit, she had a yuflet flecket with spots last year, I would like to see if she can reproduce her own markings with pan.
Berry is a natural. She has been jumping the fence this summer to eat in the backyard, so is big and heavy and will be a good mate for pan. Berry had a lovely yuglet sokket ram lamb her first lamb at age two. I missed the birth just long enough to have the fellow dead when I got there. So I'll bet she and pan can have a nice well marked lamb together.
I also have Plum on this list. Plum is likely a shaela or emsket....she is small, but carries spotting from her sire. I bred her to my katmoget this past year, and feel she should have a chance at having a well spotted lamb. Since I want to expand pan's breeding group, I thought she would have a good chance at a marked lamb with him. I still may pull her because of size at the last minute....but ridinghood is smaller, and I can usually put her in with pan....she has always had well marked lambs with we'll see.
That's one breeding pen....I imagine that is as many ewes as some people breed in a year....I have 10 more. Pens that is....


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