Loving the herd life
- Jan 10, 2022
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That’s cool, do you have any pictures of them? Shows are a very high level of competition here. It kinda crazy how these people get so competitive! I’m getting really close to Dutch, he ate my earbuds . I got the metal out but he still broke themWell you want to start with a really CUTE lamb…..and you seem to have got that covered! We started our boy on mom and grass with no grain and got him to 60lb in 7 weeks. We’ve pulled our market lamb off mom because they were overwhelming the ewe’s milk production…a couple days of hootin and hollering from the respective pastures and then it quieted down. We are currently at the eight week mark on nothing but grass averaging 85-90lb and they’ve dressed out with almost 3” of wool…which has to come off for show…which is a real shame because the Leicester Longwool is KNOWN for their beautiful wool! All I can recommend is spend time with him, get the training harness on him for 15 min to half hour at a time so he is calm and compliant. Work on stance. I use alfalfa cubes to generate interest in standing stock still for the judges. We have a bit of a different judging for the breed because they are so rare there are not enough to choose a 1st-3rd with others not winning. Instead we may have the only lamb of the breed so the judging is on a 5 star system with a certificate for each lamb at the end. 5 stars is a breeding lamb of exceptional quality that can bring the very best price….but, understandably, judges are reluctant to pass out 5 stars because too many will dilute the honor…and eventually the breed if standards aren’t upheld.
This year I think we lucked out and cannot imagine our boy not getting at lease 4-4.8 stars. He is so close to breed standards perfection that I have to pinch myself when I check on him!
Your lamb is beautiful. Keep the back straight by not overfeeding and work on the leg stance, keeping them spread for a solid stance which gives the judge access to his hind quarters checks. When your take him make sure you have a wet warm cloth in a zip lock baggy just in case he gets a bit of nerves and starts making a mess on his back end from looseness. I don’t know why this happens but sometimes it’s a thing. Though I spend more effort on raising and selling quality breeding stock I sometimes get them judged just to have something on the wall that justifies the prices. if ‘grass fed/grain fed’ are not limited by the judges you should check about a week before the event to make sure his back is flat and wide enough to set a spirit level on…if there is any deficiency this can sometimes be worked out by grain feeding a little bit to fill out the mid back and hips if they seem a bit narrow. We have to watch out because it’s easy for our show ram to tip the scales at 360+lbs at nine months and if they are not calm, cooperative and ready….you just don’t want to take them into the ring. So temperament is a thing that you want to focus on and try to get him really comfortable around noise and people and strange sheep.
Fairs and judging are a bit loose and focused on 4H in our region so I really don’t have much advice for the fancier or high level shows…I doubt I will ever get to that point. But I will wish you good luck and hope you come away with the Blue!
Thanks. I was pulling up the nightshade and these boys got all over me. What are they? I noticed they are on every plant out hereThe first one is nightshade. I wear gloves to pull it up. If the juice from the stalks gets on my hands, I react to it. The second is pigweed, it looks to be blooming and going to seed. Yay. (not) It will make a big bushy thorny plant. While it is young, sheep will eat the leaves. Once it is big and tough, they aren't interested. It will reproduce and make ba-jillions of the pesky things.