Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ram weights.

Titus Pullo and Damascus are going to the locker tomorrow morning. I usually take my culls or overstock to the Lowell IN auction, but since I've been feeding these boys for a long time, and they have enough meat on their bones to justify the $60 each processing fee, I will be putting them in my freezer. Between them and the 10 cocks I just butchered, I won't have to buy any meat for a long, long time.

Both rams were caught up out of the ram flock so I can catch them easily to load them tomorrow. They look to be about the same size to me. I was chomping at the bit to try out my new scale, so after the scale was calibrated, I haltered them, and with Tom's help, walked them onto my new scale.

I was shocked to see that Pullo weighted in a 155 lbs! Egads, he's a big boy! He's a beast! That is really pushing the upper limits of this breed.

He has a lot of body mass. I don't know where all that weight came from, but I guess these extremes are to be expected on any farm from time to time. His dame is petite, and Ock was never that big. Pullo has been on grass in the summer, hay in the winter. Rarely do I give the rams any grain. He is a 2 year old, a double F3 Dillon, his maternal Holly contribution is off the charts enough to probably not count anymore.

I do remember remarking the day that he was born that he was a very large ram lamb, a big single.

Height-wise, Pullo only comes up to about mid-thigh to me, at his wither. I'm short, only 5' 2". He is not an overly tall or leggy ram. His bones are not thick or overly substantial. They look like good, typy legs for a mature Shetland ram.

You can gauge their size by the pipe gates in the photo with them.

I have a miniature horse measuring stick, left over from when we used to raise miniature donkeys. Pullo measured approximately 26 1/2" at the wither. I did scrunch down the fleece to get at his wither.

Then came Damascus' turn. He only weighed 128 lbs. Okay...that's more like it. He measured in at 24" at the shoulder. This is upper "babydoll" limits according to their breed standard. I have been trying to use that approximate height for my Shetlands, as well. This doesn't mean I will cull every sheep that is over 24", but it will be another tool in my tool box to keep my sheep from gradually creeping into "Monster Shetland" realm.
Damascus is also a two year old. He was an average sized lamb when he was born, and a twin. His dame was a thick built Dixen daughter. He is also an F3 Dillon with a distant Holly contribution on the bottom. He'd have made a real nice flock sire, and would still be for sale, if he didn't micron in the 30's.

I still can't believe there is 30 lb difference between these two rams!
So that's my driveling trivia for the week. :) Next time I catch up the flock for maintenance, I'll weigh everybody, just for fun.
Have a wonderful week, fellow Shetland addicts.


Garrett808 said...

HOLY COW!! er...sheep?

Your sheep do NOT look that big, but the scale doesn't lie! Can you imagine now what those show sheep would top the scales at? They are twice as big as your rams I bet! YOWZA! Now i think everyone needs a scale like to that to weigh...I nearly bought one just like it for 50 dollars more the same day but decided against it. Now I'm getting one from where you got your :) :)

Rayna said...

Gettin' some coats first...then maybe a scale in the future sometime...Good tool to use though! I'm sure Arturo goes top end...he's a big boy :) But yeah, those two don't look that big...crazy...

Laura said...

Wow Pullo is heavy! He does look more "beefy" to me than Damascus. You should save the pelts and get the tanned-they will be very nice. There are not many nice dark natural pelts on the market and you should be able to get $75-100 for them.

Carol B. said...

Pullo is a hefty boy. But I think you need to consider whether this was a fasting weight or a rumen full of grass weight. He is still big either way though.

Juliann said...

Laura, I should have thought to ask for the pelts. Next time.

Garrett, I hope the show lines aren't heavier than this. 150 lbs. is really pushing it. Hard to see how they really look under the fleece.
I'd like to see every sheep weighed before a show, and if they are over 150, they go into a separate commercial class. That would solve a lot of my issues with showing. In fact, I'd like to see the Classics have their own class.
If I really wanted to use a ram like Pullo for breeding, I would, but I would try to off-set it by using a much smaller ram on his get to keep the size under control.
I talked to Stephen about it yesterday during my visit, he said the Dillon F1's were really big, but they were able to bring the size back down in subsequent generations. So that is good to know, anyway.

Becky Utecht said...

I agree Juliann, I think weighing before a show would enlighten a lot of us about what we are really seeing in the showring and what we are actually breeding. I need to save up for a scale.