As of Saturday afternoon of 9/28, we separated our flock and put out our two new young rams with their respective breeding groups. They first went through somewhat of a quarantine period while I did fecal egg counts on them before and after worming. Jason, the Icelandic ram, still had a few lingering eggs so I wormed him again before putting him out in the front pasture with our 12 registered Icelandic ewes , including two 2013 ewe lambs.
The Icelandic ewes were probably not cycling that early, but I needed to get the crossbred ewes going because some were cycling already and I am hoping for some late February/early March lambs from them. The ram we are using for our cross/meat flock is a purebred Texel ram lamb, born late March of this year. My son wanted to name him “Butters” despite my thoughts that’s it’s not really an appropriate ram name, but Alex says it’s because of his butter colored wool when you part it. So his name is “Butters”. He is a very nice ram, both appearance wise, with the solid and meaty build that his breed is known for as well as a calm and friendly demeanor. We still keep an eye on him when we are in the pasture with him though. He has been busy with the cooling weather. His ewes are a rowdy bunch and I have at least one definite breeding date for Lavender, the Jacob ewe, and they seem to be constantly running around and playing with each other, although some have minor limps due to too much silliness so I’ve been trying to catch the limpy ewes to see if it’s anything I can treat. Other than a hoof that needs trimming they seem to be minor things. His ewes consist of two 75% Texel ewes and three of their half Icelandic daughters, two are 2013 lambs. There is also one black 75% Icelandic lamb with Texel/Finn in her. We also have a Lincoln/BFL ewe and her half Icelandic daughter, two purebred Jacob ewes, leftover from when I bred Jacob sheep and a large black Tunis/Jacob ewe and her twin half Icelandic daughters. My husband also is planning to bring home a Suffolk ewe soon from a neighbors, but she’ll have to spend some time in quarantine before going on pasture with the group. We have two Tunis ewes who are being bred to a big Tunis ram belonging to another neighbor, but the Tunis “flock” are Jade’s FFA/4H show sheep.
Jason has been carefully watching his Icelandic ewes too although they haven’t seemed very interested in him yet and mostly are just begging for food when they see me – they have a much smaller pasture so I have to feed them hay. I noticed what might have been some muddy hoof marks on the backs of a couple of my older ewes yesterday afternoon and think I saw Jason chasing Brigetta today. Brigetta had late March lambs last year so maybe things are finally starting in that pen as well!