Flock goals are showing colors
I think that most people who’ve been following my flock of Jacob sheep know by now that I received the first 11 as “hand-me-downs” from a long time family friend. He had used the sheep for meat and eating down his pastures and was not interested (to say the least) in registration or really improving on his flock. They were to do their thing out in the pasture with minimal influence from humans… On that note, I think I inherited some very hardy stock! Just a couple of the ewes had ear tags from somewhere else (and I sure wish I knew where that was now!) but most were bred right there on his small farm.
Now the original ladies are getting pretty far up there in age and they’ll be retiring from lambing. Aggie (pictured above) has not had lambs in a few years and the last one was by mistake anyway. She was old when we got her and I told her she was to live out the rest of her life right here on Mud Ranch. A couple of the other ladies I’d like to retire but want to find them a nice pasture someone has that needs to be mowed (Anyone want some little old sheep ladies for company?) I have kept some of their daughters who have had lambs themselves and so on… We’ve got our generations here for sure.
A few more I’ve bought from other farms.
Some I’ve “rescued” and brought home from farms that absolutely had to get them new homes as they had no other choice.
“Stella” — Sired by Douglas
Then kept first generation ewes…
“Francine” — Sired by Debonair
And second generation ewes…
“Stardust” — Sired by Raider
And third generation ewes. All the while, learning as I went and wanting to improve upon horns, color ratios and fleece. I think I’m on the right track as this year’s lamb crop has a lot of gems.
“Susannah” — Aggie’s Granddaughter
I have both beautiful fine fleeces and open fleeces which are consistent from front to back. The coloring is beautiful, the horns are coming in nice and strong, and the hardiness lives on.
And though my ewe flock is very important to the out come of lambs, an even bigger influence are the sire’s I’ve had to contribute their genetics. I’m excited to continue using Raider, Debonair’s son Hudson, and a possible new ram lamb up and coming this fall from none other than Kenleigh Acres. Each one of my rams have descended from there and Shannon’s wise council and encouragement have put me on the right path.
Watch for us at Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR again this year! I’ve already got some yearlings and lambs picked out.