No, this post is not about the challenges of farm life right now. Yes, feed costs are high, but I have spent too much time personally worrying about it and am moving on 🙂 This is the life we love and I have faith that everything will be ok. Now onto my post about the challenges of raising Jacob Sheep.
Raising Jacobs can be both frustrating and rewarding. There are so many things to get right – fleece, horns, conformation, color ratio, spotting pattern, hardiness, mothering ability, and temperament. This is part of what I love about the breed. The part I have a hard time understanding is how a certain breeding can be so right one year and so wrong the next – same ram and ewe. For example – we bred Darby to Junior last year and Darby had a beautiful set of triplets…
Kenleigh’s Debonair “Dub” – owned by Mud Ranch
Kenleigh’s Chevelle – one of my buddies.
Kenleigh’s Liberty – another pretty girl that lives in our flock.
Since the breeding produced such lovely lambs, we repeated the breeding. Unfortunately the results weren’t so nice…
This poor little girl doesn’t have any horns – she has scurs which are not attached to the skull and when you move her head, her little scurs flop around. Of course she is lovely in every other way! Her twin sister had very little color. They have to have at least 15% coloring to be registerable – I think she had around 10%. My sister fell in love with her and now owns her.
I went ahead and did this same breeding again this year. I am really looking forward to these lambs – I’m hoping they are like the 1st time 🙂
I agree with you Shannon. You never know what you will get with this breed and for me that’s half the fun of raising them. My first lamb this year was all white (not exactly what a Jacob breeder wants) and her twin sister, bred to the same ram, produced beautifully marked lambs. Go figure! I have learned that there is no such thing as a perfect Jacob Sheep. I will cross my fingers for another year like you had with the triplets.
Boy, ditto on the above comments. Sometimes I am so excited by the lambs, then the horns start showing their true nature,
….or the temperament of a sheep might be a bit too wild, but the markings and horns are great, or…..
Speaking of temperament, I have found the moms pass on their temperament, and after some wild adventures with a certain line of my sheep I did some culling. The sheep had markings and horns I loved, but the uncontrollable nature affected the whole flock and caused stress.( stress for me especially ) I finally have enough sheep I am happy with and decided I can afford to be very particular about which sheep and lines I keep. Does anyone else have an opinion about this?
What a disappointment! She is so pretty is she just had a little(lot) more in the horn department.