I am looking into sheep and have questions.

Crealcritter

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Well....observe the 'look' in the eyes of those two rams and the lovely Minnie on the near side of the fence....they see she is oozing allure. Looks like a morbidly obese old ewe to me...hey, but who am I to judge?
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So you may not exactly see what the attraction is, but try to put yourself into the hooves of those rams.

Oh, and the girls like big, strong, sturdy rams......but they'll accept 'any port in a storm'
All three look like lamb chops to me :) guess I got a lot to learn. I'm sitting here scratching my head though. How in the world did you get grass to grow in the shade of those trees?
 
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Crealcritter

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Good for a start? The 14 Katahdin lambs ad
I have about 5 acres fenced in for pasture and 24x16 under roof. Soon expanding to another 10 acres.
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Baymule

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Only need 1 ram unless you send the rest to freezer camp.

I have a set of twin lambs a few weeks old. The ram lamb was humping his sister and standing on his tiny back legs trying to hump the ewes at less than a week old! Maybe not sexy, but sure is sex crazed! And that is why ram lambs get whisked away and weaned at 2 months old.
 

Crealcritter

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Only need 1 ram unless you send the rest to freezer camp.

I have a set of twin lambs a few weeks old. The ram lamb was humping his sister and standing on his tiny back legs trying to hump the ewes at less than a week old! Maybe not sexy, but sure is sex crazed! And that is why ram lambs get whisked away and weaned at 2 months old.
Poor like guy just doing what he's supposed to. You know his natural born instinct. I would most likely separate the ewes and rams until they grow to butchering weight then butcher all but one of the rams. I've read it's normal for Katahdin to birth twins, sometimes triplets or more. If that's the case then it would be almost to easy to make a self sustaining herd plus meat for the belly and sell some on the hoof also.
 

Ridgetop

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By self sustaining do you mean no need to import new blood?

You need to know that you can breed the same ram for 2 generations without problems but the 3rd generation will show problems and should all be terminal or slaughter lambs. Keeping sons of the original ram for breeding stock is not the answer either unless you have a lot of rams servicing a lot of ewes and can separate them into separate breeding groups. Any son of the original ram will also be a half brother to all daughters of the original ram. It gets more inbred by the second generation which is the reason you need to replace the flock ram with an unrelated ram.

If you are breeding sheep for your own freezer and have a market for freezer lambs for others, then keeping one ram for the flock is fine. If you are interested in breeding better stock and improving your flock genetics, then you need to buy stud rams that will give you what you want or need.

Baymule bought a top quality ram from MikeCHS to improve her flock's genetics, both for meat and also parasite hardiness. She has been replacing lesser quality ewes with better ewes to ugrade her flock. MikeCHS has been breeding for parasite hardiness for several years and replaces his rams with a view to better parasite control as well as better meat, temperaments, etc. Sincere sheep breeders know that their sheep are not only for brush/pasture control, but for meat or wool. When we replace stud rams (half the flock genetics) we look for the best ram we can find.

If you buy a ram for better meat production, you look for a long bodied ram with heavy muscling and thick rear legs carrying meat down into the twist.
If you buy a ram to produce better ewes for the flock you look for one that will carry genetics for heavy milk production, ease of lambing and strong maternal traits.
If you raise a lot of meat for the commercial market, then you want a ram that will produce lambs that grow fast and gain weight quickly since the faster they go to slaughter the more economical your operation is.
Sheep that gain well and produce on forage alone are more desirable for commercial operations than breeds that require higher protein diets or diets high in supplements.
If you are raising wool sheep, you need to produce lambs with strong genetics for the specific type of wool you wish to produce. Australia has a made breed that is reserved for the Australian wool market just for carpet wool. Certain wool breeds carry wool for specific spinning. Depending on your market and buyers, you would buy a ram that would produce that type of wool in your flock.

Buying a stud ram means knowing your own sheep and knowing what you want to produce for your purposes. Your ram will contribute half the genetics to the future flock. There is no faster way to better your flock than by using top quality rams. There is also no faster way to ruin your flock than to use a poor ram just because he is available or cheap.

Know your breed, know what you want to produce, and choose a stud ram carefully.
 
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