Monthly Archives: September 2012

2012 Breeding Groups at Mud Ranch Jacobs

I was able to put my breeding groups together this past Monday, September 24th.  I had originally planned on trying to get them together on the 15th for early February lambs but breeding on the 24th has put the first lambs on the ground around the 15th of February.  The boys were very happy (once they figured out what was going on!), and seemed to be cooperative.  Raider had been breaking out of his pasture a couple days before breeding group moving – I took that as an indicator to get my act together!  Raider was done waiting for me. 🙂

Raider and his Girls

Raider’s girls are: Mud Ranch’s Rose, Castle Rock Sprinkles, Newberry Aspen, Newberry Ponderosa, and Windy Acres Claire.

I’d say Raider is quite satisfied with his current living arrangements, don’t you think?  Raider is our “Good Ol’ Boy” – the ram that has lasted the longest here at Mud Ranch.  He has a very calm personality (My husband can hold one top horn and walk him like a dog, without a halter or collar.  He goes anywhere.) and throws lovely length and crimp on his lamb’s fleeces.  I have also been able to get some lovely horn sweeps, especially in two horned.

Lancelot’s Breeding Group

Lancelot’s breeding group consists of: Mud Ranch’s Edna, Kenleigh’s Bliss, Mud Ranch’s Sarah Jane, Blue Ewe Meg, Mud Ranch’s Loretta, Kenleigh’s Arabella, Mud Ranch’s Joy, Castle Rock Aphrodite, Kenleigh’s Demure, Sagebrush Lura, and Mud Ranch’s Sierra.

All but one of Lancelot’s group are known lilacs or lilac carriers – only one is a “unknown” and is an expirament.  Bliss’ sire threw a lot of lilac for me when I had his first crop of lambs back in 2007, even though he was a black and white himself.  Overall I think these girls paired with Lancelot have great potential.

Tristan’s Breeding Group consists of: Kenleigh’s Serenity, Mud Ranch’s Layne, Mud Ranch’s Joanne, Castle Rock Princess, Mud Ranch’s Forsythia, Meridian Lavender, Mud Ranch’s Lou Ellen, Mud Ranch’s Selene, and Mud Ranch’s Ruby.

I am a two horned lover.  Tristan is definitely a favorite ram for me.  His build, his blue eyes, his nice symmetrical horn sweep, and his personality, and his ability to throw lilac are all top notch in my eyes.  I’ve paired him with some girls who have color background or horn background and am doing some expiramenting in the fleece department, as well as structure.  With how well Tristan performed for me last year, I’ve no doubt he’ll do well again this next spring.

Last, but certainly not least is Mud Ranch’s Fennel and his girls.  Fennel is a ram lamb that I have finally retained for myself.  It has taken me years to get to the point of keeping my own ram – mainly because of genetic diversity.  I had planned to keep a couple previously but something always went wrong, such as a freckled fleece or horns growing too close (the latter taking up residence on my Grandmother’s old trunk as a bedroom decoration and protector to the furniature – as a pelt).

Fennel’s Breeding Group: Puddleduck Wanda, Kenleigh’s Paisley, Mud Ranch’s Violet, Mud Ranch’s Emma, Meridian Olive, Mud Ranch’s Fanny, Mud Ranch’s Crocus, Mud Ranch’s Stardust, and Mud Ranch’s Kiri.

Fennel certainly seems to enjoy his new lot in life.  I think he’s grateful to be out of the ram lamb pasture and in with these lovely ladies.  As you can see, his left side horn was broken as a lamb back in May and it has grown back in very nicely.  I’m glad to see it is still taking the wide sweep.  I’m looking forward to seeing what he produces this next spring.

Looking forward to a bouncing spring starting in February!

JSBA AGM Part II–A sheep called Wanda

Saturday, the following day after we had arrived in Brighton, Colorado was the Junior and Open Jacob Sheep Show.  It is always interesting to me to see the differences within the Jacob breed throughout the regions – and we had many represented there.

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We had a good turn out of Junior members showing their sheep.  Each one was an excellent showman and could have given the adults a run for their money if they were competing on showmanship rather than on the animal itself.

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Here’s my littlest travelling buddy showing his big ram.  I cannot believe that ram is from this year.  He could easily be mistaken for a yearling.  They placed very well together.

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The adult class was fun to watch and the judges comments are always interesting to hear.  This is how the class placed, from right to left.

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Wandering around and checking out all the sheep in the pens was fun.  I found a lot of diversity, but to me, diversity is good amongst a heritage breed.  This gal was very curious as to what was going on in the show ring.  She had a bale of hay in the pen which leant a good view.

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This was the other ewe in “the room with a view” – her name is Wanda, and she had me at hello.  I was instantly smitten.  The funny thing about this photo is that it was taken shortly after I was visiting with Wanda and is by my friend Shannon at Kenleigh Acres.  She came over and showed me this photograph and I quickly looked away and said, “Don’t show that to me!”  I didn’t need any more encouragement to bring this ewe home with me – the temptation was already there but I had thought I wasn’t going to bring any new sheep home.

As the day went on, I kept going back to visit Wanda, even from afar off to just glance over and admire her.  Each type I went by she was smiling at me… Finally, I gave in and bought her from Ingrid at Puddleduck Farm in Oregon.  Even more funny was that Shannon had pre-bought a ewe named Perfect Spot Ailsa from Byeburn Farm in New Jersey.  We checked out Wanda and then noticed that she and Ailsa were very much alike.

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Here we are with our girls, same horn sweep, pink noses, white legs and Huntsberger (Butter Island) lines in their pedigrees.  Shannon and I both agree that we have great taste in sheep. Winking smile

The rest of the day we had some great workshops on the Nutrition of Handspinning Fleece and were able to watch a very cool machine measure the microns of wool (great information as a breeder!) and were then treated by an absolutely marvelous dinner of Jacob lamb!  A perfect ending to a very fun day – thanks to Jennifer and Brian of Moose Mtn. Ranch for putting it all on!

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Here’s Wanda at home – and…

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…that famous smile.