Yes, I'm gonna !
Anyway my first attempt at making up breeding groups resulted in the use of a ram lamb....but no ewe lambs. I think breeding ram lambs is interesting....but I wouldn't want to depend on them for breeding anything older than a yearling ewe. For one thing sometimes those ram lambs take a long time to figure out what is expected of them. That's OK if you have ewe lambs...because they are also clueless. But, older ewes really frown on ram lambs. Did you know ewes are interested in rams with nice big horns? Yup, I have had plenty of older ewes refuse to make use of small ram lambs. So I am really happy to find some nice fleeces out in my field.
When I posted last, I had a whole list of ewes that I bought....that I really don't need to breed again. Free to good homes....come and get 'em...well, I figure most of you have some of those ewes already....because I had no takers...even if folks were already here. Oh well, I'm not like those other breeders...."get them out of here or they will go for meat" sales. I am not threatening to butcher these girls....I am just saying I see nothing to induce me to breed them again....after a few years these ewes will not be breedable, without problems. And ewes like to have babies.
They do get a little iritated with me when I send those babies to new homes.
So back to my list of breding ewes. Yes, I wrote down the ewes that look too thin....the ones that always give me ram lambs....and the ones that have never had an exciting spotted lamb for me either. That left 35 ewes on my breeding list. Not bad for the size of my flock....I won't be breeding for auction barns....my nice usda facility just decided to fine me 15 cents a pound for any shetlands I bring them. Well that won't be happening. Since they are also fining barbados owners....I figure they had some problem handling shetlands and other intelligent breeds.
So then I was thinking of the number of lambs that could result from breeding 35 ewes.
That may be more than I want to keep for myself. So I looked again. Now I have a few girls who I think are really nice sheep. I have tried to keep their lambs, since I prefer their fleece for spinning. Like I have time for that. But I know exactly what kind of spotted lambs these girls will give me, bred again....so how many of those lambs do I really need? Well, maybe I don't need to breed those ewes again this year....I could breed them next year....and give a few more a year off. So now I am down to 29 ewes that may breed here. I have a few yearlings that I want to try. I have a couple of strange markings from this year, and I want to see what those ewes have in another breeding to the same ram.
We are lacking rain again....had several days with possible rain....but only one brief shower. The girls are still in the back meadow. I am feeding hay to a few rams who have no more grass.....and our neighbor down the road just had his well go dry. Scary thought. Redirect your flooding rains this way....we need some.