Monday, March 26, 2012

Ramblin' Prose

We attended a couple of lectures hosted by Ontario Sheep's District 9 last Saturday.  One session was on nutrition and the other on ram assessment and care. The lecture on ram assessment gave us not only things that we need to consider when we purchase our next rams but also what we offer in breeding stock.

 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.
 We will need to consider what we offer for purebred, non-registered or crossbred ram lambs.  While only superior animals will be kept, we will not be genotype testing nor bringing in a vet to assess them for breeding soundness.  Assessment will be the responsibility of the purchaser for these ram lambs.

Still lots to think about.



Saturday, March 3, 2012

Don't forget to have fun

It is WAY too easy to get overwhelmed with everyday life and responsibilities to forget why we are doing this in the first place.  We work to live not the other way around.  And living means spending time with friends and family and HAVING FUN!! 
Having fun is exactly what we did last weekend.  The Glengarry Pioneer Museum celebrated its 50th anniversary by holding a Pioneer Ball.  All were encouraged to dress in period costumes or Scottish attire.  I would say that 30% dressed in heritage dress and another 30% dressed in Scottish attire. In this community most residents have a kilt tucked into their closet. Close to 230 people danced, ate and drank their way through a wonderful evening.

Hmm it has been so long since I have been in a dress I felt like I was in drag.