Sunday, July 15, 2012

Trying something new...a ram of a different kind!

Today we bought home a new ram. Brennan our first Ram ever was sold to a new home in May. He sired one of our current lambs and hopefully covered all of the ewes. I don't want a lot of inbreeding and also moving him to CO would have required Brucellosis testing which isn't a huge deal but would have meant more of investment. I had already pretty much decided it was time to change rams.

Potter looking lonely in stall "Where am I ?"

What I didn't know was that I was going to change breeds too! While I love my Painted Desert girls and Brennan was a gentle as could be, I just don't want horned rams. They can do too much harm to a dog in a split second, working them is out of the question. So I've been rethinking my stock plans...

I do like the variety of color in the Painted Deserts as well as their thriftiness. They do tend to be a little flighter than their hair sheep counterparts- Katahdins and Dorpers, showing their Barbados heritage. I would like bigger lambs so my daughter can at least show in the breeding lamb class without looking like she's leading a runt (they lump all the sheep together at our County Fair- they are not broken out by breed so she'll be up against the Suffolks and Hampshires.)

With a bit of trepidation, I opted to try a Katahdin ram to cross over my Painted Deserts. Any color Katahdins are allowed so I can still have color. Their lambs are a lot bigger than the Painted Deserts and they are more placid and they don't have horns. The one thing I don't like with the Katahdin's is how many of the rams are very course looking with big roman noses. I want a pretty head!

A registered Katahdin crossed over my Painted Deserts can give me recordable offspring. When I get to 87.5% Registered Katahdin blood -I can have individuals inspected and as long as they meet hair coat requirements, they will be admitted to the Katahdin registry. This is my new long term goal.

I've found there are not many Katahdin breeders in Colorado. Today I was within a couple of hours of one of the larger breeders and took the opportunity to go see if I could find something there. I immediately found one I liked, but of course he was one of two in the flock that weren't registerable! Figures! I hummed and hawed and then found another I quite liked and darn-it-all-to-tarnation, he was one that had lost his eartag and couldn't be registered either! I finally settled for a ram lamb that though not one of the largest, seemed to be nicely balanced, with a nice head. He's a late January lamb and a triplet.

He's still carrying some lamb fuzz but is shedding out nicely.

I'm hoping he'll add the traits I'm desiring to next Spring's lamb crop (and I'm hoping it will be Spring not Winter-he's going with the girls as I'm not set-up to separate him yet).


  1. What a handsome fella! Good luck on your change of direction, sounds like you have a good plan!

    I'm with you on no horns... I disbud all my goats so we won't have horns... Wish there was a goat breed that was naturally horn free...

  2. Thanks Crystal-it'll be interesting to see what I get next Spring!