luvmypets

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I agree with Bay, start with something not too expensive and practice with that.
 

newton the goat

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Are you going to raise them for slaughter lambs? Or are you going to raise registered stock? I would suggest "grade" lambs to start with. If you kill one or a few with ignorance or because things go all wrong, it will hurt, but it won't hurt as much as losing major $$$$ that you paid for registered stock. Way too many of us know the pain of loss, but we pick ourselves up after crying our eyes out and keep going, looking forward to the next lambs or kids or whatever we are raising.

https://www.backyardherds.com/threads/baymules-lambs-2nd-lambing.34888/

My next ram will be a registered Dorper and I plan on adding a few registered ewes too. Right now, I am happy to have my cross bred sheep to learn on. It will be hard to give up my present Dorper ram, he is a sweetheart, VERY good natured, calm and not mean at all. He butted me a few times because he wanted attention so I chased him around the pen yelling and scared the bejeebers out of him. He is being good.....so far LOL Never turn your back on a ram.
At this moment we want experience before turning and doing registered stock, since we are doing our best to get this little place up on its feet in a single income household so we likely will be keeping whatever doelings are born and selling the rams and switching out the ram every once and a while or how ever it is done so then inbreeding isn't a problem. My dad at this moment is very set on raising a pure blood line and doesn't want a mixed breed... but who knows what the future will bring.
 

newton the goat

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I agree with Bay, start with something not too expensive and practice with that.
I have tried telling him that..... my father can be stubborn at times ... which is frustrating to NO END!!!! especially when it turns out I was right in the end......it sucks being my age... my father doesn't take me seriously yet....
 

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Well, turn him on to this site as there's gonna come a time when he's gonna want/need answers, and the folks here will help him out and he might even pick up a few tidbits of info on the way.
 

norseofcourse

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Congrats on your plans!

If you're going to keep ewe lambs born, the ram will have the most influence on your future flock, so make sure he's as good as possible. You'll want good conformation, good growth, a good stocky look. Ask the breeder to show you what they look for to judge a sheep - ask for specifics, and if they can point out some differences among their own sheep (keeping in mind that some breeders - of any animal - don't see the faults in their own animals as easily as others). If possible the ram should have been born a twin. Get up close and personal and make sure he has both testicles descended.

For the ewes you want good conformation and growth, too, especially if you'll be breeding them as ewe lambs. Ewes that were twins again are preferable. Ask the breeder what their lambing complication rate is, and what's the most typical lambing difficulty they deal with. Try to avoid buying any ewes whose moms have difficult births.

I wasn't sure from your post - is the ram a year old, or a month old? It's going to be harder evaluating a very young ram. And it's ok to get an older ewe or two, if they are healthy and in good shape, and have no history of lambing problems. They'll know what they're doing come lambing time, and can be less likely to have trouble than a ewe lambing for the first time (with that said, I started out with 2 pregnant first-timers, and everything went smoothly).

Ask both breeders what they vaccinate for (CDT, which covers tetanus and some clostridial diseases, should be a minimum), and if they test for anything (some do, some don't, I didn't even ask since I didn't know). Ask what they feed - you'll want to feed the same, and make any changes slowly. Ask them if the type of fence you have is suitable for keeping them in.

Looking forward to pictures - good luck!
 

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I started with registered stock. Finnsheep. One good aspect of beginning with registered stock is that you can see the lineage. Looking at the lineage is interesting and educational. When adding a ram in the future, it is possible to see shared ancestors. This can alert you to potential good and bad influences on the ram. Generally, registered stock sells for more than non-registered so while they might be more expensive in the beginning, they are also worth more. (I only have experience with registered Finnsheep. I did have two Katahdyn crosses early on, but I sold them in favor of my little wool sheep and now have a massive herd of 10. :) )

When buying any sheep, ask for farm records for flock disease testing OPP and Johnes. Bringing these diseases to your farm can impact new animals for years. It is worth the expense to acquire tested stock from tested flocks. OPP can remain undetected in young animals until they're more than six months of age. Seeing negative flock testing is an accurate way to ensure your new animals haven't been exposed even if they themselves test negative at the moment.

It's an exciting time. Be patient and strong! Have a list with you and check off everything on that list when you look at new animals. If there is something that can't be checked, walk away! Good luck and can't wait to see photos. Photos are good!
 

newton the goat

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Well, turn him on to this site as there's gonna come a time when he's gonna want/need answers, and the folks here will help him out and he might even pick up a few tidbits of info on the way.
I'm helping him create an count tonight. It's not that he's not open to advice, he just has his own plans and ideas at the moment
 

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Nothing wrong with that at all. But I can say with some experience that plans & ideas rarely go exactly as anticipated. It all tends to fall by the wayside when something starts going south and you need answers. There are a lot of experienced and knowledgeable folks here and they are all ready to help when that emergency comes up. A nice benefit is we don't charge by the hour and if the answer isn't known the advice provided will be to get to a vet! Having said that, you want to be sure that the vet you choose is a large animal/farm animal vet with some experience with sheep. A "pet vet" won't have a clue and can often do more harm than good.
 

newton the goat

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Nothing wrong with that at all. But I can say with some experience that plans & ideas rarely go exactly as anticipated. It all tends to fall by the wayside when something starts going south and you need answers. There are a lot of experienced and knowledgeable folks here and they are all ready to help when that emergency comes up. A nice benefit is we don't charge by the hour and if the answer isn't known the advice provided will be to get to a vet! Having said that, you want to be sure that the vet you choose is a large animal/farm animal vet with some experience with sheep. A "pet vet" won't have a clue and can often do more harm than good.
He says he thinks it might help to be able to fall back and have people who know what they are doing. Might be?hell in only a few posts I know more about farming than I learned reading books this website is a garden of knowledge and people with different perspectives on farming. And the people are fun too
 
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