Friday, November 06, 2009

For-sale Friday

Anyone need a ram? A solid, square, half-poll musket Shetland ram with bone knobs? A ram with crimpy, consistent fleece that spins into beautiful creamy-white yarn? Yep, breeding season is over at Boulderneigh.

This morning I found a mess in the sheep fold. Instead of three separate pens there was one big one with inconvenient obstacles, previously known as gates and dividers. Inky was laying down chewing her cud because those inconvenient obstacles had effectively created a quiet space for her; everyone else was up and milling about in a mass. Yes, a ram, a ram lamb, a wether, two ewes and two ewe lambs milling about, together. Arg. I was planning to break up breeding groups next week anyway, but would have preferred to keep them intact and apart until then.

As a reward for probably getting to nail three females he wasn't supposed to touch, Braveheart got thrown out in the sheep lot by himself in the sun, wind, rain, hail, lightning and thunder that is our wild weather today. Blackberry is in the corner pen happily eating hay, and the rest are sharing the larger fold. Unless Dinah's lamb(s) come out black and/or gulmoget, I won't know which ram is the daddy and they'll have to be sold as fiber pets, given the cost of genetic testing. And I may have two more ewes lambing than I planned on. Rick says we can give the little girls shots to abort them, but I'm not sure that would be any easier on them than lambing.

So yes, Braveheart is for sale. NOW. I wasn't planning to use him again anyway, as I am shopping for a finer-fleeced, hopefully full-poll ram to use on the girls related to Blackberry. There's still plenty of time to set up breeding groups this year, and I'm sure Braveheart would be more than happy to service a few more ladies. Otherwise, I have a friend interested in mutton.

That's it for now from . . .

12 comments:

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Oh my, he was a bad boy wasn't he... how long have the rams been in with the ewes? If you were planning on separating them next week anyway isn't there a great chance they had already been bred before his great escape? We put the rams in on October 23rd and I'm pretty sure they are all bred by now, I would be really surprised to find they weren't. However there is that possibility, since it hasn't been a full cycle yet.

Michelle said...

Well, I'm not sure that Blackberry got the job done, and Dinah has acted in heat this week (probably contributing to Braveheart's escapades). And the ewe lambs were not to be bred at all....

susan said...

My ram lambs have just started to show activity this week. Last year they didn't breed until November, even thought he rams were put in in Oct.

-Susan

Kathy said...

Dang those hormones anyway. heeheehee

Loki is still chasing the ladies, who want no part of him at this point. I'm sure they're settled but he still enjoys all the wondrous smells they produce.

Tammy W. said...

That's incredibly frustrating when it happens Michelle. We've had it happen in the past, and have given the girls a shot to bring them back into cycle (which affectively aborts the fetus) - I'm sure you know all this as your husband is a vet.
This time of year can be such a trial in the barnyard :-)

thecrazysheeplady said...

After similar disasters with two different rams, we've determined it's much cheaper to drive all the way to NY to buy a couple lambs every year or two. No broken fences, doors, gates, ewes bred that shouldn't be, staying up worrying and watching for babies...

We did the shots on several ewes and no one seemed to even notice.

Michelle said...

Thanks all; I think we will be giving some shots. I thought the shot was oxytocin which I've seen the unpleasant effects of on mares, but it turns out it is lutealys (sp) which is no big deal for them.

Sharon said...

As I've heard Judith MacKenzie say, some sheep just need to be eaten. Poor Mim. Every year we buy a locker lamb from her and she bemoans making those fatal selections. She feels like she's going through her flock, pointing - you stay, you stay, you die. But that's how is as a breeder. Glad I'm not a breeder.

kenleighacres said...

Rams can be such a pain!!! Hopefully Blackberry already bred Dinah and that is why she has been running away from him. Lutalyse sounds like a good option for the young girls.

Tammy said...

The joys of breeding season..not. Sounds like somebody was in heat for sure. I gave the lutalyse shot to a shetland ewe lamb who 'might have been' bred when the big merino ram broke out one night. She did fine, no apparent affects to her at all. Good luck selling Braveheart. You might advertise on the local classifieds--if someone is needing a ram they can be a little open to a different breed this time of year.
Tammy

Bill Stearman said...

Hi Michelle,

I am using Lutalyse on all of my ewes this year to synchronize them. I am doing one 3cc shot on day one, then a second shot on day ten. They then go in with the rams of choice for 5 days.

You COULD use Lutalyse on any ewes that you are unsure of the sire and 'start over'. It is still early enough. Just a thought.

Vicki Foster said...

Oh my, naughty ram!! I had to sell two beautiful lambs as fibre pets for the same reason. Those hormones really get the rams acting like, well, rams! Good luck!