Lambing is my favorite time of year, but planning the breeding groups runs a close second. It’s an exciting blend of science, art, and good ole horse sense, with a big pinch of luck. Each ewe must be matched to just the right ram and traits need to be evaluated and balanced. Sasquatch, with his super leg flash, will spend the fall with some of the girls that are lacking in leg markings. Artemis, with his great set back top horns, will go with some of the ewes with a bit of a forward tip to their top horns. But, wait! Why not Sasquatch with Viva? Even though Viva has plenty of leg flash (and throws it), can you envision the horns on lambs with those two as parents? OK, maybe Viva with Sasquatch. Two horned lilac Finalist with the lilac ewes. But, maybe Hagan with two horned Heather? Hagan’s a lilac carrier and four horned. So there’d be a chance of lilac and a chance of four horned. With Finalist, lambs would almost certainly be lilac and two horned. HMM… guess I haven’t got my breeding lineup quite ready. Checked sheep today and wormed those that needed it with Valbezan, so won’t be putting the groups together until the middle of October. I imagine the breeding line up will be shuffled a few times before then.
Because of the drought in the southeast, I’m paring down my flock of Jacob Sheep ewes a little bit. The goal is to stay at 17 ewes, including ewe lambs. I had 21 ewes and sold 3 yesterday. Today, I have 19 ewes. Huh? I probably should have actually gone out and counted the ewes before I told Dave we had 21. Oh well, what’s one (or two or three) more ewes 🙂
So I’m down to 19 ewes and plan to be down to 17 before breeding season. I’m being so good with my limit on ewes this year. It was really difficult to turn down some of the beautiful ewes that Carl Fosbrink and Royal Unzicker had at AGM, but I held firm. I didn’t put a limit on rams, though! and will be using five rams on my 17 ewes.
is the “closer” lamb of the year! Coming from behind as the smallest lamb of the year, he’s rallying to catch up! He sure isn’t going to end up as the biggest lamb, but he’ll place well. Belvedere is the son of my flock matriarch, Craft’s Ruby’s Belle. I’m so excited to have a lilac son from RubyBelle to carry on her line.