Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Ram

Our Wiltshire Ram got sick moments before breeding season started so we had to quickly buy a replacement or risk having no lambs this season.  Our local agent did a good job and picked this guy up for me at the local sale.

He is a Dorper ram, which I hope will be a good cross over the Wiltshire Ewes we have here. 

The following was taken from this site which does have some good info:

In my opinion the best cross is the Wiltshire Horn / Dorper or Wiltshire Horn / White Dorper. This is the cross which we have been doing for several years now , and one which never fails to impress us. There are numerous advantages of this cross over others.

Most Wiltshire Horn ewes are excellent shedding sheep; that is they shed their wool cleanly (all over as if they have been shorn).
Using a Wiltshire Horn ewe upon which to base a breeding up (upgrading) program or a crossbred Dorper flock therefore makes a lot of sense, as the ewes and all of the progeny will be easy care. If you use woolly breeds of ewes as a basis for your crossbred flock (or upgrading flock) you are still going to have to shear,crutch and maybe watch for flystrike the progeny of at least the first few crosses.

Wiltshire Horn ewes like Dorper sheep have multiple births, so your flock size increases fairly rapidly.

The secret is out about how good the Wiltshire X Dorper ewes are , so they are in demand and which makes it easy to sell excess stock for good money to people interested in breeding these sheep.

The Wiltshire Horn and indeed the Wiltshire X Dorper ewes are excellent milkers and very good mothers, hence all lambs grow quickly. While it is difficult to turn a purebred Wiltshire Horn lamb off at weaning into the meat market, this is not the case with the crossbred lambs. Even in these difficult times of drought, we have weaned crossbred wether lambs with live weights of 31- 40+ kg at ages of 11-16 weeks of age.

Like the Dorpers, the Wiltshire Horn Ewes are long lived and will keep on producing and rearing lambs in old age.


1 comment:

Ellie-Mae said...

What a handsome guy.