Friday, November 6, 2015

Breeding Time!!!!

Well it took pretty much all day but the ewes are in with the rams now. The actual separation went pretty easy actually but then I had to move all the feeders around and water tubs etc.

The entire time the breeding ewes now in with the rams were looking at me very unhappily. Poor number 61 had the misfortune to be the first ewe caught and placed with Cocomo the new ram. To make matters worse the next six ewes went to Frazier which meant she was in there with him by herself for about 30 minutes or so and this is her first year being bred. Luckily Cocomo is a pretty laid back ram. It seems to be a Blue Faced Leicester trait I think because the last one we had was pretty laid back too.

We are attempting to breed Sandwich once again this time to Cocomo. We tried breeding her to Frazier last year because the old Ram was her daddy but she wasn't having anything to do with Frazier. At this point we are not even sure she can breed successfully anyway because she was a sickly lamb. I suspect she maybe sterile. However she did show some interest in Cocomo through the fence and seems to like him so maybe she is just picky. We will see I guess.

Seven is my girl and this is her third year being bred to Frazier. To be honest she has always kinda liked the rams anyway and never seems too upset about being out with them. I don't think she is in heat right now but I did notice Frazier and her curled up together pretty quick after putting her in the paddock. Seven is Frazier's favorite I think because they lay around and nuzzle each other often in between him bothering the other ewes. Seven also doesn't put up with any of Frazier's crap either I have seen her push him back when he has gotten aggressive more than a few times.

It didn't take the babies long to figure out which pens their mommies were in and they quickly went to the fence and lined up. A bit of grain and new hay in the West pasture though got em running to eat. Nothing makes a sheep forget a stressful day like FOOD!!!!

So this season we are only breeding 13 ewes. We lost 3 breeding ewes this Summer. Two to the barber pole worms and one due to age. The old ewe named Lilly is actually still alive and well but she is no longer being bred. Counting Lilly and Boris Mrs. PP's pet whether we now have 16 in the invalid flock, 8 in Frazier's pen and 7 in Cocomo's pen (counting the rams) so a total of 31 sheep left. Six of these will be gone by February to slaughter.

What's important about this count is that it means I did NOT lose a lamb this Summer like I feared I had. I am still coming up one ear tag short but the count is perfect by head. I am suspecting I kept an extra ewe lamb instead of a whether for slaughter at this point which is why my tag count is coming out wrong. I should know for sure were the problem is when I take the boys in for slaughter in February.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!!


  1. So do you milk your sheep as well or not?


    1. Exile - No. Well OK I HAVE milked a couple of the ewes when they refused to nurse a lamb and I needed the colostrum for the newborn. It's never very fun to say the least. There is actually a much better breed for milk production than the ones I have. I also have read sheep milk sells for a lot of money too. I have thought about it but truth is until I get some more projects finished up I don't have the time or resources to add another thing to the sheep production right now.

    2. The reason I asked is cheese making is one of my hobbies and there are some traditional cheeses that are made with sheep milk, plus sheep milk is supposed to be better for those with lactose intolerance.

      I've though about a goat for milk but then I was wondering if a sheep for wool and milk would be better.


    3. Exile1982 - Well I cannot imagine a sheep being any harder to milk than a goat in my opinion. The ewes I have just are not used to it but I know there is a breed of sheep that are raised for milking I just don't know the name.

      I hear it is excellent milk and sells for some astronomical amount too. Might be a good thing to get into.

  2. Breeding time? I was expecting some good videos out of that title but it was about sheep again. I never thought about milking sheep, they are a little low to the ground but I guess the professionals would have some kind of raised milking shoot that they would go in.
    I guess the rams will wear themselves out over the breeding period, hard work it is!

    1. Sf - Well I did have a picture of Cocomo and Hazel that was unfit for PG viewing but decided against such a thing. Last I checked Frazier had about wore himself out and was panting heavily. I think two of the ewes in his paddock were ready but Cocomo only had one.

      I usually end up getting the ewe into a corner and trapping her there with a six foot gate and milking her through the bars. Takes me a few minutes to get about half a pint out of one ewe to feed a newborn. After about three milkings I usually go to replacer after that. It's a lot of work and the ewes are never happy about it.

  3. Actually, sheep's milk is a rare commodity in cheesemaking. There are a few types that are made only with sheep's milk - and thus, the rareness of the cheese...

    1. TB - I have read of some outlandish prices on sheep's milk. That must be why.


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