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Pre-Breeding Routines

Breeding Season
Our Gotland rams on pasture.

 

There is a nip in the night air and the color on the distant mountains is turning from green to shades of red, orange, and gold. The change of season perpetuates the rhythms of farm life. One leads into the next. Time is marked by these rhythms and routines. Fall becomes “breeding season”, winter becomes “our slow time”, spring is “lambing season”, and summer is “pasture time”. With each change of season, our bodies automatically begin the routines of preparing for the season that lies ahead. Here before us now, lies fall-a time of many farmstay guests to the farm, fiber festivals, and pre-breeding routines.  The next 6 to 8 weeks will pass with a blur and in the end, will usher in our time of long nights by the woodstove.

In just a month, our ewes will be in with the rams and breeding season will be underway.  I began preparing them for that several weeks ago following some of our annual pre-breeding routines.

sheep conditioning
We use this chart in determining the body condition of each sheep. We like to see them close to a #3 pre-breeding.

 

Pre-Breeding Routines

  • check each ewe and ram’s body condition
  • do fecal samples on all sheep to be sure they are handling parasite loads well
  • treat anyone needing assistance fighting off parasites
  • give extra feed to anyone scoring poorly on body condition
  • plan breeding groups

This year, we want to lamb a little later than we did last year. To better utilize our barn space, we also want to spread the lambings over two separate groups, having them spaced about 2 weeks apart. We are hoping that all snow storms will have passed by the time lambs hit the ground. Lambing during our 2016 blizzard was a bit challenging and stressful as we were fighting -40 degree wind chills.

Please contact us if you would like to be put on our 2018 Lamb Waiting List!

 

 

 

Pre-breeding routines
Lars waits to go to his new home in Ohio where he will be used for breeding.

 

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