Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Who is here to stay?

All lambing and kidding is over and I've almost finished weaning the last lambs. Symphony (a bottle baby) is still happy on the bottle. I won't worry about weaning her until the beginning of June or so.

We currently have a whole pen and pasture devoted to the lambs! They are so cute running around together. I would get some good pictures, but there are just a few to many bottle babies (including a very bothersome Boer doeling who doesn't feel at home with that goats). I can't hod a camera steady with all those jumping critters! Hopefully they are learning some manners. :-P

So, the big question was who's here to stay? I had so many ewe lambs this year it was a hard choice.

I'm just going to write a quick squib on the lambs that are staying.
I picked out some pictures from the past, so all the lambs are at varying ages...Not very good for comparing, but at least you can see what they look like. :-)

~DWB 12P~ Florence
1/30/10 - Triplet - Brown and White
Sire: KRK 977 (Johann)
Dam: DWB 11A (Rue)
This was a no brainer because Florence will replace mom. She's not quit as big as some of the younger lambs, but she's long, deep, and sturdy. She's also the only lamb that was born in January that I was considering and I want a "Fall Lamb" for the state fair. :-)

~DWB 14A~ Paris
2/2/10 - Twin - Honey brown and white tummy and tail markings
Sire: KRK 977 (Johann)
Dam: CKN 321 (Aravis)
Just another proof that Aravis is an awesome ewe! Both Paris and her twin Sicily were probably some of my nicest lambs this year. The hard choice was between the sisters. I didn't feel like I should keep both since I already have a bigillion Aravis related sheep (but there is a reason for that).
Sicily seemed bigger to start with, but I just kept observing. In the end I came to the conclusion that part of Sicily's bigness was leg, while Paris seemed to pack it all in the important parts. Yes, she was shorter, but her "pig shape" spoke to me. LOL
So, yeah, Paris is here to stay.

~DWB 11M~ Vienna
2/4/10 - Single - Honey brown with a little bit of white
Sire: KRK 977 (Johann)
Dam: CKN 1104 (Amelia)
So this is my more questionable choice. :-) I haven't got any singles before, and I'm keeping two this year. Parsley I can forgive, but Amelia is a big caliber ewe. She should be able to put out a lot more then this. Last year was her first lambing and she gave me triplets, so I'm hoping this was just due to my epic flushing failure.
Vienna isn't huge for a single, but she's nicely built. If she turns out looking like mom (but no singles please) she will be well worth keeping.
I was going back and forth on her so much I decided I would either keep her or Tamar. Tamar is a yearling who was also on the smaller side. I already had her twin, so I didn't exactly need her. I had a customer come out who was interested in Tamar and not Vienna, so I thought...okay, that was decided for me. :-) Thanks Sue!

~DWB 14P~ Texas
2/8/10 - Single - Dark brown with white markings
Sire: KRK 977 (Johann)
Dam: DWB 10A (Parsley)
Another single...But if I was going to pick a favorite lamb this year it would be Texas. She's big (huge, really) and stocky. She grew out of baby fat cuteness quickly and really looks like a market animal. She'd be perfect at this point if she had a few siblings. :-)
Besides all that, Texas is a sweetie pie and has the prettiest eyes and face! I never try to pick my keepers on their looks or personalities (unless they are nervous or aggressive), but there's no harm in admiring those qualities on a ewe I've already decided to keep. ;-)

~DWB 15P~ Venice
2/12/10 - Triplet - Brown
Sire: KRK 977 (Johann)
Dam: KRK 42 (Rosalind)
A lovely triplet, Venice was an easy choice over her siblings as far as size. (She had a better head start with her own placenta while the other gals shared.)
The most striking quality about Venice is her length. She should have plenty of room to produce triplets herself!

~DWB 13M~ Verona
3/12/10 - Triplet - White
Sire: KRK 977 (Johann)
Dam: Maggie (A woolie dairy ewe)
Verona beats her sister in size, but not on color. Genoa has the most adorable black markings on her nose! Anyways, Verona is the gal that's staying for her overall size and build. I hope for great things from these dairy/Katahdin crosses. I haven't been disappointed yet!

~DWB 18P~ Lisbon
3/18/10 - Triplet - White with black face markings and gray spot
Sire: KRK 977 (Johann)
Dam: Dolly (A woolie dairy ewe)
Lisbon beat her siblings on Katahdininess. Lisbon is my only dairy cross that looks like a Katahdin. She has a much different coat and I'm hoping it will shed. She's also long, deep, and big! She'll be replacing mom.

~DWB ?~ Symphony
4/3/10 - Triplet - Red
Sire: KRK 977 (Johann)
Dam: AV 0155 (Celia)
Symphony is replacing mom. She's to little to say a lot about yet, but she's growing well and quickly. I would have liked to see a higher birth weight to start, but as a triplet from an 8 year old, I'm not to worried about it. Bigness is easier to breed in then the correctness that Symphony exhibits. :-)

And then their is Leipzig, the only ram I'll be keeping.

~DWB 14M~ Leipzig
3/12/10 - Triplet - White
Sire: KRK 977 (Johann)
Dam: Maggie (A woolie dairy ewe)
Leipzig beats all my other lambs in BIGNESS! He is such a chunk. Really built for meat and muscle. I had decided on keeping him for breeding on select ewes in the fall and then using him as are lamb meat in the winter. I still think he could add a lot to a couple of my ewes (more crossing with that extra milk in there too) but I'm still considering. He looks like he might be developing some scurs, and I don't know if it's worth it to breed those in. No matter what though, he's certainly something handsome to look at. :-)

That's nine lambs to stay, eight ewes and one market.

That leaves me with 10 lambs to sell. 5 have already found their new homes, so I have 5, all ewe lambs, left to advertise!

I currently have 5 mature ewes and 5 yearlings (one of which lambed this year). I had 9 ewes lamb this year with 21 lambs. Right now next year I will have 10 ewes, 4 being newbies.
I would like to be expanding more then one more ewe, but we'll see. I might look for a couple more mature ewes. Lord willing, the following year I will have at least 18 ewes lamb! My goal at this point is to stay around 20 ewes and 3-4 rams. I would like to be able to offer starting breeding flocks and have plenty of unrelated stock.

I currently have 2 mature rams. KRK 977 Johann (fully registered) and Louis (no paperwork, but worth it). I will be keeping 1 recorded ram lamb, Leipzig, but we will be using him for meat after breeding season.
However, we are bringing and addition to our flock! We are planning on introducing another KRK ram lamb to our flock this summer!

So..there is just some sheep rambles. :-) It might not have been that interesting for you, but it sure helps me think through things. I'm hoping to update our website soon!

Miss Pickwickian

Drowsy Waters Farm


Johanna said...

I thought it was interesting. :-)
Pretty nice lamb crop!

Marianne at Black Walnut Woolens said...

Hi Bethany, great pictures and info about your flock. I can barely keep track of mine - you do a much better job with twice as many animals. I use my blog to keep track of stuff for myself too. Not even sure I have any followers...except me.
Talk to you soon.

Sunny Brook Rabbitry said...

I find your blogs interesting and enjoyable!

You should write one on the rabbits one day though ;)