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If you keep your poorer quality ewes and invest in a really good thick registered ram with correct body structure you can upgrade your flock in just a couple years. His lambs can be bred back to him to double upon his genetics with no problems. Register his daughters and granddaughters as percentages. After 2 years replace him with an even better registered ram and do the same for another 2 years. By now you should have improved your flock, most of your ewes will be registered percentages and within another generation of being enough percentage to be registered as purebred. Now sell off the original ewes after the 4 years. Do not be tempted to save money by keeping a ram for breeding or you will be taking your flock backwards. Eat or sell all rams, keeping only the ewes out of the good rams. With your new nucleus of percentage ewes, continue investing in good registered rams. Now you can start culling for the specific body type you want based on the standard. In about 5-10 years you will have the flock you want at a much lower cost than replacing everything at once.Your cull girl looks a lot like my Rose, which would also have been a cull in a herd of mine if I didn't need her so bad right now....eventually I want to weed out all of those body types. Hate to breed her knowing she may pass that body along, but for now I just need mouths and hooves on the ground and I'll worry about conformation later on.
Those lambs would definitely be keepers in my book! LOVE those wavy coats and the balanced bodies they have.
Tell us more about this....how does that work? I bought my current ram lamb sort of online from an individual, not actually getting to see him for myself except through pictures. I'll not be doing that again, as the pictures just didn't give perspective as to the actual size and depth of the animal.But I used on line auctions of registered stock and was lucky enough to get some real bargains.
Breed standard says they are a medium sized sheep with a hair coat and an alert appearance. Head erect and legs squarely placed. (KHSI)Personally I like the body type of A better. Regardless of weight it looks to be carrying more meat. Weight s not always an accurate determination of meat characteristics. The original Southdown breed (not the current larger show type) was a very small sheep, but lb for lb it actually dressed out a higher percentage of meat than larger breeds. The larger breeds became the industry standard because slaughterhouses found it easier to process larger carcasses.
I have White Dorpers not Katahdins, but have also had ewes produce the smaller wooly lambs that look thinner, as well as the thicker hairy lambs. 2 sets of twins, each having a smaller wooly and a larger hairy. The wooly twin was 2.2 lbs lighter at birth but is gaining correctly in comparison. He is becoming a long attractive lamb, now wethered since I only want thick meaty animals. I am not keeping the wooly ewe lamb I got either. The hairy looking ones are better shedders as I was told by a South African judge when I asked about the difference in coats at birth. Once they get their winter wool, you really can't tell that much difference in their wool. Also they can shed differently each year and also differently as they age.
However, what is the breed standard for Katahdins? Are they supposed to be a stocky thick meat machine like the Dorper or are they supposed to be taller, leggier and more angular? The Dorper standard says that that the height of the Dorper from withers to the ground should be divided into 3 parts. There should be no more than 1/3 of the height from the bottom of the belly to the ground. 2/3 of the height should be body. What are Katahdin proportions supposed to be from the standard of perfection?