Friday, September 04, 2009
Tentative 2009 breeding groups.
When I try to decide on breeding groups, I usually sit down at my desk, list all my breeding rams, and add ewes underneath that I think will produce a nice lamb. I evaluate the weaknesses of each ewe, and put her with a ram that has a strength in that area. I also take color genetics into consideration of course. I know what I like, I know what is dominant and can take over a flock.
Then, I take my paperwork into the pasture, and actually look at the sheep, and picture them paired with the ram, and let my imagination tell me what kind of lamb might come from this pairing. I end up scratching out some ewes and switching them underneath another ram.
It looks like I'm going to be breeding 14 ewes this year. I don't breed ewe lambs anymore, I have found they grow so much better if they are allowed to be babies for that extra year, to grow without being stressed from trying to pour energy into a fetus while they are still growing themselves. I have yearlings from last year that are larger than some of my two years olds who were bred as lambs. Nice, healthy weights and strong bodies ready to make babies for many many years to come.
I have two more months to change my mind, but here is what I've come up with so far...
Twin Springs Bearclaw, an aberrant horned musket loud flecket, will get:
Giselle and Carmella. Both are well conformed moorit gulmogets. Easter Day & Pineapple Queen are two black gulmogets. None of these ewes are expecially fine fleeced, but we'll inject some moorit spots into those lambs, keep the excellent conformation, and give me a well conformed spotted base. Their lambs can be crossed onto something in the future, probably a moorit to soften them up.
Sommerang Eragon, a half polled spotted grey katmoget, will get: North Wind Netty, and her Gallifrey daughter, Baby Bee. Both well conformed moorits with decent fleeces. Netty will be retired in a few years, and her lambs have been very hit-or-miss so far. I'd love another exceptional daughter from her to retain. I think Eragon is the ram to do it.
I will also be repeating the Cleopatra breeding that produced Tony. If I can get an incredible spot carrying ram by Eragon, I might move him on next year.
Tony, my little shaver. I have to try him this year, I've decided. If I can get him proven, I'll use him more heavily next fall. I've picked out three laid back ewes for him, hopefully they won't beat him up. Valiant Valora, a grey. SP Arabesque, a moorit spottie, and Josie, my mioget smirslet with the world's worst tail.(It is BAD!) But I look at the rest of her...
I haven't decided on a ram for Underhill Peeps (a musket coming soon from Garrett), Lil'Country Mudpie (grey kat), Lil'Country Meadow (homozygous fawn kat), and Lil'Country Chamois (fawn kat smirslet.) I can use Hickory, or the moorit ram I have coming from Maryland. I'm avoiding any double -pattern breedings again this year.
Pompay and Silvio will sit out again this year. I absolutely love these rams, I just don't want to use a lot of katmoget rams. It feels like a waste. Nightcap can sit for a while as well, as well as a few promising ram lambs that we be reevaluated for breeding potential next year.