We have 4 rams here at Hawk Hill and since we have half of our flock bred purebred this year, we may be reserving the best of our ram lambs to sell as breeding stock. When we have purchased rams in the past, there have been criteria that we have been looking for such as production records, conformation etc. However after the lecture this past week I think we can do a better job in evaluating rams before purchase. While we like the rams that we have I do think there is room for improvement. However it will probably be a year or two before we purchase another ram so we do need to consider the characteristics in ram lambs we have to offer. These are draft characteristics we would like to see in animals we purchase so why not offer this in animals we sell.
Here are some of our preliminary ideas:
- purebred, registered ram lambs will not be offered until they are at least 6-8 months of age
- all purebred, registered rams to be offered will be assessed for breeding soundness by a vet (only ones that pass the examination will be offered), all others will go into our market lamb stream
- all breeding ram lambs offered will have a minimum of 30 cm scrotal circumference
- all registered ram lambs will be genotype tested for scrapie resistance and be at least QR for codon 171
- all ram lambs offered will have production records.
Still lots to think about.