Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Scale and Chute System

Photos will be forthcoming :)

I am now able to run the sheep through the chute system myself wihout assistance. The chute is home made, but it works pretty slick! The scale is so helpful because 'eye balling' a sheep for its weight can't be done effectively and correctly all the time.

The average weight of my mature ewes (2 years and older) was 82.4 pounds. The Shetland Sheep description states ewes can be up to 99 pounds in the south of England where grain and grass is plentiful. Since my sheep are grass fed and not fed grain, having two ewes at 95 and 96.5 pounds was surprising to me. I did have some ewes around the 60-65 pounds as well, so I guess I have the whole spectrum of size in my flock. Another time I can use the term 'diversity' :)

Lambs were weighed and I was pleased to see my Mules and terminal lambs weighed 55-70 pounds. I have some orders from friends for grass fed lamb and I ate quite a bit myself this year so will hold back everything for myself and friends' orders.

I am putting my breeding groups together when I return from my Michigan trip. I guess it looks as though I"ll have 9 breeding groups again this fall. Three are for crosses:  A BFL ram to my three BFLs and 20 Shetlands. A Finn ram to 10 Shetlands and some of my Mules, and my Leicester Longwool to my LL ewe and a few of my Mules.

I'll be using 6 Shetland rams: Crosswind Apollo (spotted modified moorit) will get 10-12 ewes, OK Acres Cadillac (spotted modified moorit) will get 10-12 ewes, White Pine Barnabas (modified moorit katmoget) will get 6-8 ewes, WhitePine Chrisitan will get 4-6 ewes, WhitePine Levi will get 6-8 and WhitePine Ludacris will get 6-8.

Well as of today. We all know we change our mind at the last minute :)

74 Shetland ewes will be bred this fall, 11 Mules, 3 BFLs and a LL. I'm holding back 12 ewe lambs and not breeding 8 yearlings that I think are too small. We shall see if this holds true the day i put groups together :)

3 comments:

Jenny Holden said...

Ooo new handling system! Jealous!

Kelly Bartels said...

I can't make up my mind!!! See how far ahead of me you are this year. I'm thinking of adding a 3rd ram!!! I have totally lost my mind. lol

Potosi Sheep Farm said...

Let's see a picture of this creation! You might have a new business line.

Shetland Breeding Groups

Every year the long anticipated breeding groups always seem to catch me by surprise. Had it not been for my severely sprained ankle, I prob...