Very sad day on the farm

Fluffy_Flock

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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.
All her 75% dorper ewes are young, like between 6-10 months old. She has some older bred ewes but they are all 25 or 50% dorper so I definitely want the highest percentage she has. I already have my application in with the city and they said I just need 7 on the property and didn't say anything about age so hopefully I just need 4. Hopefully she can pick me out some that are at the higher end of that age range so I don't have as long to wait to breed.
 

Ridgetop

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Perfect! :yesss: You are right not to bother with the lower percentage Dorper crosses. Do not bother with a ram either since if you cannot buy a purebred one you have 2. Better to buy a good one though. All this sounds very pushy after rereading it so if you absolutely don't want to read anymore, no problem. I am not trying to tell anyone what to do. I just like to put out the information in advance rather than when some one writes in after a problem.

Starting out is always expensive. However, buying the wrong stock can be the costliest mistake to make. Your biggest investment should be a good ram. I bought my first 2 rams at an on-line auction. Some rams did not even sell. The 3rd ram I bought as the first and only bidder on him at another show and auction. I paid very little for them considering the bloodlines and breeders. Mine were the only bids. There are always more good rams for sale than there are ewes, since one ram can cover 30 ewes. You should be able to get a very good young ram lamb fairly cheap. I don't know what price you are looking at but you might be surprised to find that the prices for purebred stock are not as much as you think. I have seen groups of registered ewes bred to registered rams with excellent bloodlines go for $200 a head because they were 3-4 years old. Each ewe should have a minimum of 1 lamb so the final price for the ewes and lambs drops to half that. Of course, hopefully, they all twin with ewe lams but the ram lambs become wethers for meat sales. Your lost/dead sheep will be a deducted loss on your farm taxes. That deducted loss will also include the ewe that died leaving the young lamb. If you are claiming your farm on your taxes, all your expenses can be claimed in certain ways. Either as a straight write off for certain items - feed, meds, usable equipment and goods, and as a yearly depreciation deduction over a period of years for breeding stock and long term investments like fencing and equipment. Check with the tax guidelines on this.

Since these cross bred ewes are youngsters, get the highest percentages Dorper she has. Get 4 large fall born ewelings. They will be breedable by summer. Try to get larger ones since the bigger they are when bred for the first time the better and healthier for them.

Also, buy a younger purebred ram lamb - probably a spring lamb born anytime after January 1. The older the ram the sooner he is in production so the older yearlings and stud rams will have a higher price on them, Young ram lambs will be priced much lower. What you are buying in a young ram lamb is the bloodline and breeding. Contact the various breeders that are within driving distance of your ranch and ask what they have in either a late fall ram or a spring ram. The spring rams will be cheaper which is ok since you are buying a future breeding ram for your 4 fall born ewelings.

Since you only need 7 sheep on your property, you will have 4 young ewes, 1 older ewe, 2 young ram lambs which you can castrate for meat, and your new spring ram lamb for breeding this summer. Depending on the age of the ram you are able to get, if you get a fall born ram lamb he will be able to breed the older ewe.

Next, go on line and contact Powel Holman about their cancelled sale. They have stated that they will have animals available for sale at the ranch. All the other consignors will also have the animals they were going to put in the sale for sale at their ranches too. These breeders NEED to sell this breeding stock since they depend on these sales for their livelihood. This is an opportunity for you to take advantage of the sale cancellations to get good stock cheaper. I will post the list of advertised consignors below for you to look up on line and contact. One of them might be closer to your area for you to pick up the buckling.

The reason I am pushing you to get the registered purebred buck now is that with the travel bans in place, most sales and breed auctions are being cancelled. The sheep breeders rely on these sales and auctions to get their good breeding stock out for higher prices. The price of those animals is the cream on the top of their skim milk basic meat sales. Breeders select groups of their better rams, ewes, and lambs for these sales hoping for higher prices at the auction. Since all the shows and auctions are cancelled, they can't sell them so they will have to sell privately for the minimum price or less. Buying privately from the ranches, you can get a better quality breeding ram at a lower price than you could at the auction.

You might be able to swing a package deal with one of these breeders who will be facing an overload of animals they can't sell at the breeding stock auctions and sales. The fall ewe lambs they were hoping to sell will be breedable this summer and f they can't sell them they will end up with a glut of lambs next year and older ewes they couldn't sell. While this Corona virus is not fvorable to commerce, it can work to your advantage in getting better breeding stock at a low price now. Most breeders will do a price break if doing a group sale or package deal of 2 or more sheep. This is the time for you to take advantage of the market. See what you can get in good purebred sheep then make up your numbers with the cheaper crossbreds. Since the price being paid in Texas for pure Dorper lambs is higher than crossbreds (and Barbados are a lightweight carcass animal) your sales on the market lambs will eventually pay back the original expense if you are able to buy cheap now.

Here are the listed consignors that were bringing breeding stock to the Powell-Holman sale. These are some respected names in Dorper bloodlines, and most are in Texas.

Powell Ranch Dorpers Johnny & Claire Powell
Hamilton Sheep Station Alan & Jolene McAnelly
Oak Hill Ranch Chacho & Dawn Cahill
Monroe Schultz Glen Stegemoller

They all have websites talking about their stock, bloodlines, and most have pictures up. They also will state if they are on NSIP or Lambplan, as well as what they are doing about parasite control in their flocks. Do not worry about the championship wins they brag about - sheep are judged on structure, length of loin, and the amount of meat carried on legs& loin. Those are the money cuts. Animals that win usually have that structure which is what you want in a good breeding sheep for meat sales. Oh, and if you buy from someone out of state remember that any ram over 6 months has to have a clean test for Brucellosis to travel over state lines. Here in California all sheep must have a vet exam for hoof rot too. Check on state requirements for livestock transport. And you can ask for records if they are on Lambplan or Nsip or a state parasite program. Make sure anyone you buy from has a scrapie free flock - they should have a scrapie flock number in their ears.

Let me know how it goes.
 

Isaac

Exploring the pasture
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Have you tried grain? I don't usually use grain to get my sheep to come to me and they still all come running when shake grain in a bucket.
 
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