Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Saturday ram re-up

On our farm we run and breed Border Leicester sheep. They’re full bloods, i.e. their bloodlines are pure. So we carefully ensure our rams aren’t related to our ewes. Given this, and also that we don’t mate our ewes until they’re over 18 months old, each two years we need to buy a ram. We’d last bought one in March 2008. So this year we needed a re-up. A lamb’s gestation period’s five months, and we lamb in late October when it’s warm (unlike many farmers who lamb in late winter so they have lambs to sell in spring. They have heavier lamb losses which they expect/accept.) So a week ago I began phoning around. Due to the above average rain Tasmania enjoyed in Spring and Summer, many farmers decided to increase their sheep numbers. So rams were hard to come by. Eventually we decided to buy a ram lamb, i.e. a lamb under a year old. Yesterday morning we drove to Hagley where a farmer had yarded up 90 ram lambs (pictured). They weighed 45-50kg on the hoof, and looked in fine fettle. We selected one who’s long in the body (so hopefully his offspring will be too, making for thicker chops) and well hung (I don’t know if that signifies virility; but it can’t hurt). We paid A$300. He’s now resting up in our home paddock until late May when we’ll introduce him to 30+ girlfriends. (The usual mating ratio’s one ram to 100 ewes, so one to 30+ is a doddle.) I’ll keep you posted regarding developments.

1 comment:

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

Happy ram, bam, thank you mam to your knew boyo!