I wanted to write a bit about culling decisions, it’s been on my mind due to a lot of discussions on sheep discussion groups I read. For this discussion, I won’t differentiate between sending an animal to slaughter versus selling it to someone else. The former is typically done when it wouldn’t be ethical to pass on a compromised animal to someone else. Selling, however, can be fine if the animal doesn’t meet our own goals, but may be a good fit in someone else’s system; as long as the perceived detractors are disclosed, and the animal is discounted appropriately. Either way, there are times when we may decide that an animal will not be retained in the herd because she’s not passing muster.
May 19, 2013
May 3, 2013
I like to write a lot about strange cases, anomalies, and sick animals. Though they are the biggest headache, I also find them the most intriguing. Today I will write about one of the rest: all of the perfectly normal, perfectly boring sheep which are noteworthy for capturing none of my attention at all.
March 3, 2013
Leave a Comment
I made a recent discovery about National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) numbers which I felt was worth some thought and graphing. I’d been wondering for a long time about these little “acc” numbers that come back with each score you get. It stands for accuracy, of course, and is expressed as a percentage. I asked around, so what’s considered a good accuracy value? I could never really get a concrete answer. People would just say, well, higher is better, and your accuracies will get higher the longer you’re in the program. Well, that part is easy enough to deduce. What I wanted to know was, what’s the threshold of tolerable accuracy, below which, I might as well just use a roll of the dice to pick my breeding stock? Or just go back to eyeballing them and picking the nice looking ones?
November 4, 2012
It’s ram time. The boys got all harnessed up with their marking crayons Friday night, in preparation for breeding. I am keeping five rams this year. Which is absolutely ridiculous for 39 ewes- one ram could handle all of them by himself. But of course, I’m weaving slightly related genetics, so can’t use just one. And, I just ended up with five really stellar rams that I couldn’t part with, for one reason or another. I may put one or two one up for sale after I use them- we’ll see!
July 1, 2012