February 6, 2007

Breeding Season

The new Merino x Rambouillet ram “Shaemus", with the large, older ewes .

The 2007 rams were introduced to the curly girls on December 20, just in time for the winter solstice. The ewe’s gestation period is 147 – 153 days or 21-22 weeks. The rams are put in with them for at least 6 weeks. I suppose they could stay longer, but that would depend on the temperament of the ram. My 2006 ram was a sweet guy but he got to be a real bully around the feeder and I think his bunting may have caused a premature lamb.

Corriedale, in general, is a medium wool (varying from medium fine to medium strong). Shetland is a fine (almost downy) texture and Rambouillet and Merino are also fine. The proof will be in the pudding as they say, but I’m hoping for some finer wool (a greater variety for spinning and knitting). When it comes to cross breeding just about anything may occur!

Besides the wools’ texture, crimp and length, there is also the possibility of colored fleeces.
These Corriedale-x ewes have a recessive black gene and in 30 lambs there may be 3 or 4 black ones in this flock. The Shetland-x ram is white with a few freckled marks (his father has colors) so there may be colored lambs. Now I’m speculating, so enough said. I find wool and sheep fascinating topics but have to remember that not everyone feels that way!

“Finnegan”, a rambunctious little Shetland-x with the smaller, yearling ewes and their new guard puppy "Bella".


Yarn Devil said...

Hey! Some of us find those beautiful little lambs fascinating too! I love your pic in this post! Very cool!

Anonymous said...

hi grandma,i know that dog C.D P.S that guy with the rabbit hat is my grandpa!!!!