Very sad day on the farm

Ridgetop

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Ugh. That is bad. However, now is the time to plan for your new flock reestablishment. You need to get your fences properly done, and then set up a smaller inner corral to use when you need to keep them confined for lambing, breeding, vetting, etc.

Did you report it to the sheriff? Also I think the newspapers in Texas list weekly or monthly reports of "estray" animals that have been found and impounded by the county. Be sure to check that list. Hopefully you will have the ear tag numbers on your bill of sale for proof that the sheep are yours, if found.

You can breed that 2 month old ram lamb to the old ewe in another couple of months. He will be old enough by 5 months. If she takes and delivers any ewe lambs, you will be starting on your flock again. Or you can take the opportunity now to look over this experience and decide how you want to proceed. You can buy from another breeder, or at a purebred Dorper auction. I wouldn't buy at the neighborhood auction or from the person from whom you got the other sheep. If you want some tips on buying new stock, there are several good articles on this site.

Luckily Texas is full of Dorper breeders so you can replace your Dorpers easily. Just don't buy the first ones you find. There are lots of on line Dorper auctions too, where you can bid online and then pick up from the breeder or seller at a place you can agree on. I prefer White Dorpers. Several Dorper breeders with both Dorper and White Dorpers have mentioned that the White Dorpers seem calmer. MikeCHS and Baymule have Katahdins. You might think about that breed depending on where you are in Texas, west or east. Now is the time to consider changing breeds if you want to do so.

This was a serious setback, but you can overcome anything. First on the list should be repairing those fences, and setting up a smaller inner corral to feed in so the animals will get used to going into that area for feed. It will make it so much easier to work with them in the long run.
 

Fluffy_Flock

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Ugh. That is bad. However, now is the time to plan for your new flock reestablishment. You need to get your fences properly done, and then set up a smaller inner corral to use when you need to keep them confined for lambing, breeding, vetting, etc.

Did you report it to the sheriff? Also I think the newspapers in Texas list weekly or monthly reports of "estray" animals that have been found and impounded by the county. Be sure to check that list. Hopefully you will have the ear tag numbers on your bill of sale for proof that the sheep are yours, if found.

You can breed that 2 month old ram lamb to the old ewe in another couple of months. He will be old enough by 5 months. If she takes and delivers any ewe lambs, you will be starting on your flock again. Or you can take the opportunity now to look over this experience and decide how you want to proceed. You can buy from another breeder, or at a purebred Dorper auction. I wouldn't buy at the neighborhood auction or from the person from whom you got the other sheep. If you want some tips on buying new stock, there are several good articles on this site.

Luckily Texas is full of Dorper breeders so you can replace your Dorpers easily. Just don't buy the first ones you find. There are lots of on line Dorper auctions too, where you can bid online and then pick up from the breeder or seller at a place you can agree on. I prefer White Dorpers. Several Dorper breeders with both Dorper and White Dorpers have mentioned that the White Dorpers seem calmer. MikeCHS and Baymule have Katahdins. You might think about that breed depending on where you are in Texas, west or east. Now is the time to consider changing breeds if you want to do so.

This was a serious setback, but you can overcome anything. First on the list should be repairing those fences, and setting up a smaller inner corral to feed in so the animals will get used to going into that area for feed. It will make it so much easier to work with them in the long run.
Yeah we have been working on the fence and corral. We have the outside fence fixed and wire is ready to go up this weekend for the corral actually. We had the same advice from a breeder we met with this week. She showed us her flock and they were so friendly! We literally just walked among them able to pet them. We aren't sure if they are going to be our replacements though because they are mixed with Barbados which I'm not big on. They are 75% white dorpers though so I am considering it. When they have lambs with our dorpers they should be high enough percentage dorper the Barbados horns most likely won't be in many of the rams. I grew up with Barbados sheep and the horns are just not something I want to deal with. The first thing I told the lady when we went looking is we need EASY to work with sheep. And they truly seem to be very calm. She also has a few LGDs she has been training for sale that we are looking at.
 

Ridgetop

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That is excellent news! LGDs are great! Getting sheep that already bond to the dogs is even better since you won't have to train them to accept the dogs.

Also, here is another idea as far as the Dorpers. Get the mixed breed Dorper x Barbados with as much Dorper as possible. Then when you buy a ram, get a good registered purebred Dorper ram lamb. I recommend getting a registered ram since you are guaranteed he is purebred. Using the more expensive purebred Dorper ram on the ewes will be the cheapest way to upgrade your flock quickly. Don't keep any of the Barbados cross rams, sell them all for meat. Then continue breeding in purebred Dorper rams and eventually your flock will be almost pure Dorper.

Ulf Kintzel of White Clover Farms has written a number of excellent articles about farming Dorpers. Most of them can be read on-line. He discusses how to use grade ewes and purebred rams to convert your flock to all purebred in just a few years.

Remember that the Dorper is a made breed. There are 2 types of Dorpers. The black headed variety is registered as Dorper while the white headed variety is registered as White Dorper. You can't breed a registered ram of one variety to a registered ewe of the other variety and register the lambs as purebred. There are also 2 distinctions in registration of Dorpers - Fullblood and purebred. Fullbloods are sheep bred from full South African ancestry while purebreds are all other registered Dorpers of at least 87% Dorper blood. Most of them are almost 100% but if they are registered purebred they are the minimum. Only Fullblood and purebred rams can be used to sire registerable lambs.

You can register Dorpers sired by registered Fullblood and purebred rams out of unregistered ewes of other breeds. If the ewes are unregistered Dorpers, the lambs can be registered as 50% the same as they will count 50% out of any other breed of ewe whether registered in her breed or not. It takes 3 generations, each bred from registered purebred or Fullblood rams to become 87% and thus register as purebred. You can see that in 3 years your entire flock will be effectively purebred Dorper.

I am with you, I hate horns and disbudded all my Boer goats too. When selecting your stock, remember that the Dorpers were developed from the Black Head Persian using Horned Dorset rams. Your Barbados x Dorper will produce a certain number of horned animals and you will have to cull heavily to keep horns out of your flock. By using purebred registered Dorper rams you can cut the incidence of horns even more.

It sounds like you are moving in the right direction for you. There will be a lot of on-line auctions coming up in the spring when breeders will be putting fall born lambs as well as early spring lambs up for sale. I suggest you look into those sales before buying too many Barbados x Dorper ewes.

Here are some online sales coming up in Texas. I don't vouch for the animals or breeders, but many of them are well known and you can look them up on line also. You can go on the sale website and check out the animals - most will have pix and videos so you can see the animal. The pedigrees will be posted. If the breeder uses NSIP or Lambplan, you can see what the animal is expected to produce. You can often find some good buys at the minimum bid. Lots of less well known breeders will have animals up for sale out of well known bloodlines. You can check the pedigrees for the bloodlines. You can access the pedigrees of any animal by going on the Dorper Association website and putting in the registration # of the animal. Looking is lots of fun and is free!

March 28 is the Holman Powell White Dorper Sale in Hamilton, TX Bid on line by signing up with LMAuctions.com and the catalog can be found by going to holmanranches,com

April 4 is the Red River Classic Dorper & White Dorper Sale, Bowie Sheep and Goat Auction LLC, Bowie TX

There are others, but these are in TX. There wer3 4 others in TX during January and February. I suggest you go online for the catalog for the Holman Powell sale. They are well known breeders and most of the better breeders use their bloodlines in one way or another. I am not sure about the Red River Sale, since if it is an in person sale, it might be cancelled. However it would be worth checking on in case they are doing any on line bidding. Like said, you don't have to sign up and bid but looking is fun and free. If you decide to bid, remember that you will have to arrange pick up either by yourself, or a livestock hauler. You can often find someone who is coming your way and will bring the animals to you for gas money too. I am not sure how the Corona virus will effect these sales but it could be that buyers from states with restricted travel will not bid.

Have fun and check it out. :hugs
 

Ridgetop

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OOPS!
Just checked on the Holman sale and it has been cancelled but there will be sheep available at the ranch. They are located in Sutton County, I think in Sonora. This might be a way to get some really good stuff cheaper since they will be needing to sell stuff and no one to bid against you. Remember that you get what you pay for and if you want good quality Dorpers to make money on market sales, you need to invest in some good carcass qualities. If you only have a certain sum to invest, check them out for a good quality ram for your flock. Remember the ram is half the flock so don't skimp on him and his genetics.

Good luck!
 

Fluffy_Flock

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OOPS!
Just checked on the Holman sale and it has been cancelled but there will be sheep available at the ranch. They are located in Sutton County, I think in Sonora. This might be a way to get some really good stuff cheaper since they will be needing to sell stuff and no one to bid against you. Remember that you get what you pay for and if you want good quality Dorpers to make money on market sales, you need to invest in some good carcass qualities. If you only have a certain sum to invest, check them out for a good quality ram for your flock. Remember the ram is half the flock so don't skimp on him and his genetics.

Good luck!
I'm definitely going to look to upgrade my flock in the future but for now I need to get a certain number of sheep on the property to get ag exempt property taxes. I'm putting a lot more money into this than we planned since everything went sideways real quickly. I'm going to do the best I can though.
 

Ridgetop

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Get the cross bred ewes if you can get them cheap. See if she has any older ewes (not too old) that are bred she will sell. Then put in a purebred Dorper ram to put the meat on them. I think if you can show that you are actively bringing in the sheep you will be all right. Is any of the property under crops? Depending on your county I think it equates to 1 head of cattle = 5 head of sheep and you need to have a certain amount per acre or so many acres per cow. I.e. 1 cow per 5 acres depending on the county. I'm remembering what it was near Tyler when we were shopping for our ranch last year. Anyway, try to spend on the good ram lamb. A lamb will be cheaper than a proven ram and you can keep him for quite a few years of breeding. Use him for 2 generations (on his daughters as well) and make the 3rd breeding season (on granddaughters) terminal for the meat market. No problems with that close breeding for that many generations, Then buy another good purebred ram.
 
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