Baymule’s 2021 Lambing

Mike CHS

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Ringo didn't show a whole lot of sympathy here for the weaned lambs either. :)

We don't keep any more bottle lambs and I don't know if it's typical but Princess's lamb (the one you saw here) is as tame as her dam is without any effort on our part. When I'm feeding the dogs in the shop, her lamb will ignore the dogs and come right up for some crackers.
 

Baymule

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Just beautiful!!
Thank you!

I weaned the bottle babies 2 days ago. They climbed all over me, looking for bottles. Panda is especially attached to me and baas piteously. We left yesterday morning, he ran down the fenceline when he saw me get out of the truck to open the front gate. Of course I went to the fence and petted him. Same thing when we got back.

Ringo yells at me to come brush him. He stares at me until I feel his eyes on me LOL. I either brush him or give him a good scratching, plucking off wads of loose wool. If he sees a brush in my hand, he runs to me. Haha. Got him a new bag of animal crackers yesterday. I need to start my "keeper" ewe lambs on those things. Nothing says "I love you" to a sheep like animal crackers! Thanks for that, @Mike CHS !!!
 

Baymule

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Today we took 5 ram lambs and 1 ewe lamb to auction. It was interesting how they paired them up with same color lambs. One of ours was tri colored, he was in the ring with a brown ram lamb. One was black and white, paired up with another black and white lamb. We had a solid black lamb, they ran him through by himself. The ewe lamb was also ran through by herself. A white ram lamb was paired up with a not so great white lamb and I truly believe it brought the price down on mine. Not to brag, but our boys looked better than the rest of them. Maybe they split them up like that to price out the other lambs better. They were all 10 or 11 weeks old. I knew MY lambs when they went through, even the white ewe lamb, and there were a lot of white lambs.

I’m keeping 2 ram lambs back for now, Star and Snip. They are nice looking boys and are my insurance until I get little registered hooves on the ground. I’m afraid of something happening to my beloved Ringo and losing his genetics. I’m shopping for ewes but it is likely to be awhile before I get lambs.

Star and Snip seemed lonely this evening so I brushed them and gave them lots of attention. They are just like their Daddy, attention hogs. LOL I plan on keeping them for awhile and selling them as commercial sires. I may be biased, but I think they would be an improvement on what I see around here.
Star
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Snip

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farmerjan

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@Baymule when you said they paired them up..... were they sold by the lb? If so, then what they did was pair them up or put in whatever groups, because of the similarities in weights. Not saying that was right for you.... but .... here if they are graded to say red O's which is often a little under optimal weight and having a little less back fat or finish... they won't even run them in the ring... just tell the weight... same with blue O's... which is slaughter size of around 110 lbs, with a little more finish or fat cover.... red O's are often choice, blue O's are often Prime or high choice... but at several of the markets they are not run through the ring... However, with so many smaller farms of less than 10-20 ewes, there are many that vary in condition, that the markets will put together animals that look or weigh the same. I have seen it with cattle... especially feeders, and you will get say 4 good calves and 1 mediocre in the same group.
You can request that they be sold as singles.... but that can backfire. If you have them penned as "one seller" , they will sell them as individual animals but all brought in by the same person.... especially if they are not going to kill but to be fed out... to push that they have had "xx" vaccinations, or are on creep feed or whatever.....
But in the interest of the yard selling them, they will try to group them so that the sellers get the best price and the buyers don't have to sit through so many singles.... again, as you saw and thought, a slightly better one might get matched with a lesser one.
And pairing colors is common.... even in feeder cattle... if they grade as feeders, they will match up blacks, and blacks and black white faces sometimes together, reds, red white face, straight herefords, straight charolais, and smokies will usually be separated too. The yard will match up to cater to the buyers many times.
 

Baymule

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They sold by the head. That’s what all the auctions do around here. There is a huge sheep and goat auction in Hamilton, a 4 hour drive from here. They sell by the pound. Talked to a buyer today who said if we had 15 lambs, it would be worth the drive. He said it would be worth going just for the experience. Local auctions don’t grade them either. I’ve seen mixed groups go through and sell as a group or singles. That’s why I think they separated my lambs and paired them up with others. There were a few groups of fairly matched sheep that looked real nice.

They offer very little information other than boy or girl. If boer goats come through, the auctioneer calls them “red tops” like it’s something special. Today’s red tops mostly looked like a lot of mixed mutts. There were some nice ones and several big moon spotted boer bucks that went for $500.

It’s all very interesting. In all fairness, they are mutts too. Nice mutts, but they are mutts. LOL Ringo has stamped them with quality but they are still half breeds. People don’t seem to care if the goats and sheep are mutts or pure bred.
The little white ewe sold for $130
Two of the ram lambs sold for $150 each,
Two sold for $140 each
The white one paired with a lesser white lamb sold for $100
Not bad for weaned lambs. I was happy with it and they are off the feed bill. Last year I sold 6-8 month old lambs for $200, taken to slaughter, buyers picked them up and paid for the slaughter. For the difference in time, feed and price, I think I did ok.

BJ was sad when I told him we have no more sheep to sell now and we won’t have any more until next year. LOL He is really enjoying this.
 
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farmerjan

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I think that the prices were fair.... it was after the ideal "before Easter" optimum sale time .... they were what 3 months? When you figure in the difference in time, and feed compared to your 6-8 month old ones I think you did pretty good. If they were 3 months, maybe 4 months, they weighed what? 50-60 lbs? So you are looking at 2.50-3.00 lb. That is a decent price around here. Plus like you said, they are off the feed bill. and that many LESS mouths on the grass too.
I would go check out the other auction one day. Take a day road trip.... if the one buyer said that if you had 15 it would be worth the trip, then he must have liked the way the lambs looked. Plus, at a bigger sale like that, if the buyers have contracts to fill, there is more competition for the lambs and prices will be higher. They will pay more for quality at those kind of sales.
Hey, going to the stock yard sales is my "social life" .... don't have to have anything to sell, sometimes I just go for the conversation, interaction with other farmers... check out what is there... Stay in the loop because sometimes it is where there are flock dispersals.... Remember when @Devonviolet was trying to sell Joe's goats, and the sale there helped with some advertisement and all.... I know that you and DH helped with all that too.... but sometimes when something like that happens, there is not a big notice of a dispersal....the sale needs to happen for various reasons like with :flypig:flypig goats; fairly fast and quick.... you might find a bunch of purebreds....
Remember also.... purebred and papers are nice.... they give you some ability to have some quality animals.... and you will know better of what you should be getting in the quality of the lambs.... BUT .... you cannot eat registration papers. They are not a guarantee that the off spring will be outstanding.... they will not make you any more money than a GOOD crossbred ewe putting some real good lambs on the ground; if they are a purebred putting mediocre lambs on the ground. Unless you are looking to get into some showing and providing "seedstock" for other breeders... and that is a great goal.... I am not saying this to discourage or undermine you wanting to better your flock.

Example..... it used to be that a registered holstein ... with papers..... that was a good producing cow, would nearly always bring a couple hundred more than a non-registered one...... nowadays, the papers are not worth 20 dollars more except to someone wanting that particular bloodline for show reasons.... With the milk markets the way they are, and holsteins being bred for production for so long, a good producing cow is a good producing cow.....period.

It looks to me that the hair sheep in general are the same.... they are going through the stage where the holsteins were... purebred registered stock is worth more, and in 99% of the cases, a good purebred ram will improve the quality of the lambs.... BUT..... don't by pass good quality ewes even if they don't all have papers.... UPGRADE what you have... and I agree that the goal of some good purebreds is admirable... But if you have good producing ewes, that give you twins, raise them up, milk good, and really put pounds on the lambs, don't discount them. And if you can find some others that maybe are someone's "culls"... and I am thinking like @Mike CHS sheep that look to me in the pictures are all very very good sheep.... even if they are not purebred or registered.... if they are an upgrade of what you have, don't hesitate to buy.
I am also going to say this in as positive way as I know. I know that you love your horses, and the ones you have are mostly rescued, and older.... but a horse can eat the equivalent of 5-8 sheep..... you might want to consider not replacing any as they age out...... especially if they are only going to be a "lawn ornament"... I haven't gotten back into any horses for that very reason.... and I do miss my horse....had horses since I was a kid....had my one mare for over 25 years..... but without the time, energy and all to ride like I used to, it is just not practical.... And realize that we have the grazing and the hay and the land for one horse to not be noticeable.
If my longhorn did not produce a calf, I probably would not still have her..... and again, we have way more land/grazing available to not be "put off" by one "extra cow"...
My old horse stayed here and died here with me.... we have kept a few cows past their prime and buried them here.. there will be few more in the future I am sure.... they become a part of the family and I get that... but I also will not take on another horse, unless I am going to make it a point of having a purpose and to plan to ride, or even drive, one regularly. I am just thinking that it could be a more lucrative "business" for you with the sheep and it seems like they are working out well for you and you are really getting the ins and outs figured out. Better sheep, and MORE sheep lambing and being sold at the right timing.... might really help in the future because I think we are going to get into some serious times in the next few years. Plus, you can always eat the lambs/sheep. Just like we can always eat the cattle.....
Of course.... if gas and all gets too far out of reason..... riding and driving the horses may be a cheaper alternative too..... ;) :highfive:......HMMMM might want to rethink my not having a horse.....
 
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Mini Horses

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I couldn't agree more, or have stated it better! Right now I'm looking for a great Boer buck, at a good price! Been on registries for years....as said, look at goals. I'm not showing, I know what's good to have, I only want a good producing commercial herd. I have a registered nubian buck for whom I've never transferred papers. He breeds and produces well. My goal is simply a good herd of producers. Same for meat or dairy. The glory days of shows and awards are looking at me from a showcase...now, I just want monetary rewards. :lol: In fact, I'll even buy an older buck, knowing the offspring will provide sustainability.

oddly, I've had the same horse transportation thoughts!!!😁 I do like to ride but, really no time for it....and the care some need. Heck, most egg customers gone, so downsizing my flock.
 

Baymule

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I have an old senior Tennessee Walker mare with heaves. Haven’t ridden her in years. She earned her retirement. I won’t replace her. Then I’ll have 2 and that’s plenty. I’m not offended by words of wisdom. @farmerjan you are not going to hurt my feelings or make me mad, what you say is true.

I want registered ewes, good ones, to upgrade what I have. It’s not the papers, it’s what they represent. I wouldn’t register all offspring either, only the best. I have a few good commercial ewes, the 7 I am keeping will hopefully turn out well. I cleaned house, culled hard and we took them to auction. We enjoy our sheep, better sheep gain faster so why keep scrubs. Yes they are pets, but they are a business, albeit a very small one. I would like to show a profit. LOL I did last year! Next year, the number of lambs will be less, with 6 ewes gone and young ones just reaching breeding age. The following year should be good.

My meat customers are getting in the rhythm of production. They just never thought about what it takes to put meat on the table. Having to decide a year or more in advance what they want is hard to wrap their heads around. I explain the process, invite them to see the animals and experience the farm. Word of mouth got me another pig customer and half a steer. I had a half of a pig not taken, now it is. A neighbor wants a half a pig, think we’ll split ours. Then next year I can raise pigs for the two new customers. If my customer that wanted a steer, but were worried about buying the whole thing, and their friends that want a half, stay on board for half a steer apiece yearly, I’ll have to put my thinking cap on to keep one ready yearly. Since I don’t have the breeding stock, it’s a scramble to come up with the right steer(s) and pigs at the right time. Not to mention the slaughter dates. Haha, I rambled away from lambs.
 
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