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Archive for January, 2016

Happy 2016!   I am really looking forward to our lambing season this year.   In 2015 we decided to keep only RR ewes and lambs.  We had a lot of really beautiful and productive QR ewes and we were proud to offer them for sale to other breeders.  Mike and I have always had strict selection criteria including good mothering skills, milk production, rate of gain of lambs, ability to thrive on pasture, and worm resistance.  Every year we cull animals that do not meet our criteria, and we don’t sell them to others for breeding.

In 2015 we decided that we were going to add one new criteria- RR.  In years past we had to have all lambs born to a QR ewe tested.   We have only used RR rams since 2005 so we have not had any QQ animals for a decade, but we have kept QR ewes that otherwise met our criteria.

Every year we also have a few that we need to cull because they have lost their ear tags.  That always makes me so frustrated.  We have 2 ear tags- one small brass one that we put in at birth, and the larger plastic one.  They go in opposite ears.  Frequently a sheep will only lose one, but if they lose them both, we can’t use them in our registered flock anymore.  That is the worst way to cull your flock.

Because we cut down to 22 ewes and lambs, and we really liked this flock, we decided we were going to put an end to culling due to lost ear tags.  We microchipped each of them and GUESS WHAT !!!!   Last week, when we brought them off the pastures to vaccinate and bring in the barn, one ewe had lost BOTH ear tags.  She had them in the summer when we did the microchipping.  If only one animal is missing ear tags, it is easy to figure out who they are, but more than one- and they are doomed.  Now, because I was able to scanner her and verify who she is, I can purchase a replacement tag.   I am so happy we did this.  I hope to have these ewes for a very long time.

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