Monday, January 31, 2011

What I Look For in Our Leicesters

As a developed breed, Bluefaced Leicesters are bred to perform in a specific (though more diverse than often given credit for) niche in the industrial production of the world's most efficiently-produced, prime quality lamb.

As a breeder of these sheep, I have set criteria for my replacement females and especially sires who will go into my breeding program. It is up to me to focus on the future health and productivity of my flock, and most importantly, the sires or occasional brood ewes that I sell. There is always the proverbial balance of science and art to consider that goes with breeding livestock and crops.

So I'm developing this written guideline to showcase the emphasis of my breeding program. I want ewes in production in my own flock who will cover all bases, and rams who will produce daughters to work in your flock, who will also cover all bases. My ewes have to work for and with me. This is not a welfare outfit, and is certainly not government subsidized, nor will it ever be! God provides for our needs according to His will. (Adonai-roi!)

This is what I strive to produce and what I work hard to ensure that you get when you purchase Jehovah-jireh rams and brood ewes:

I. Production- (All Traits Given Equal Priority.)

    A. Maternal Ability
          1. Longevity
          2. Prolificacy
          3. Maternal Instinct
          4. Lambing Ease
          5. Milking Ability
          6. Forage Conversion Efficiency and Rapid Growth
          7. Maintenance of Body Condition on Forage
     B. Hardiness
          1. Rugged Constitution
          2. Parasite Resistance
          3. Disease Resistance
     C. Disposition
          1. Gentle, Quiet and Easy-Going

II. Type-
     A. Breed Character
          1. Bold and Alert Carriage
          2. Deep Blue Skin
          3. Correct Structure and Fluid Locomotion
          4. Foursquare Stance with Good Width
          5. Improved but not Excessive Muscling and Bone
          6. Tremendous, Long Loins with Good Width
          7. Capacious Depth with Good Spring of Rib
     B. Fleece
          1. Fine, Soft and Lustrous Character
          2. Improved Density and Fleece Weight
          3. Style that Gives the Impression of Strung Pearls

Are any of my sheep perfect? Hardly. But I'm working hard to breed the best Bluefaced Leicesters in the world. There is a addage about how the only perfect sheep ever born was sacrificed when Noah and his family disembarked from the ark. According to the story, we've been trying to reproduce him ever since.

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