Lamb progress. This will be listed as: tag number- birth weight- 30 day weight (ADG)- 70 day weight (ADG). ADG is average daily gain. All in pounds. The * before it means was a bottle lamb.
70- 8.6- 23.8 (.434)- 41.4 (.462)
71- 7.5- 25.7 (.52)- 38.5 (.437)
72- 8.2- 20.1 (.34)- 30.6 (.315)
73- 7- 23.7 (.491)- 39.8 (.469)
74- 8- 20.9 (.39)- 35.8 (.403)
*75- 6.5- 16.6 (.306)- 25.5 (.275)
*76- 6.7- 9.... This is the idiot that would not take the bottle. Neighbor took her for free as a pet for the kids along the other sheep. Haven't heard if she's still going or not. I was mad because she was a color I would have wanted and from a ewe I wanted lambs from but just totally stupid lamb.
*77- 5.7- 13.8 (.245)- 21 (.222)
*78- 4.7- 13.2 (.257)- 19.2 (.21)
79- 6.5- 20 (.409)- 34.7 (.409)
80- 7.2- 18.8 (.351)- 28.7 (.312)
*81- 4.5- 13.7 (.278)- traded with neighbor, didnt get weight before left.
*82- 5.5- 14.2 (.263)- 21.7 (.235)
83- 9.3- 22.2 (.403)- 35.7 (.388)
84- 8.2- 24.9 (.521)- 40.6 (.476)
85- 7.4- 23.2 (.493)- lost to worm load. Things had got busy and the day before I could get the worms and ewes wormed I lost this lamb. He was destined for the freezer anyway but its always hard when I'm trying so hard and still lose them. More on internal parasites later.
86- 8- 24 (.41)- traded with neighbor, didnt get second weight before left.
87- x- x- 38.6 This is the ram lamb I traded with the neighbor for so don't have other weights. Will have to wait and see what the ADG is at the next weight.
The average of the lambs ADG is .355 (second weight) so you can see I have a bunch that are above that. Commercially the goal for lambs gain is .5 ADG and happily I have a few at and near that mark. The important thing though is to balance ADG with what the animal looks like. Looking at the top five ram lambs you would think it gives me room to be choosey. But it doesnt actually because of their other traits. One looks good but taking a close look and hands on you can see that he is big boned and moderately muscled. If I breed from him I'm going to get big lambs but less dress out. They are going to have more weight in bone, not muscle. Also that rams mom was culled because she always prolapsed the week before she lambed, not a trait I want to proliferate.
One of the rams is full shetland (not what I want going forward) and he is not actually as good as he seems at face value. His mom had twins last year that each weighed nearly as much as he does at this age. So he had access to her full production of milk to grow on his own. Then if you put hands on him you can tell he is not that well muscled. His loins are not very thick, his legs are not that well muscled.
Really it came down to two ram lambs that could have been kept. Both are sired by Bingley, my home bred ram. 70s mom is also of my home bred crosses, 41.4 (.462). 73s mom is half shetland/half border cheviot, 39.8 (.469). Looking at the numbers they are a close race. 70s mom at last weight was 55#, meaning she raised a lamb to 75.3% of her own body weight. Kudos to Lydia the ewe, this is the highest ratio of ewe to lamb raised weight. 73s mom at last weight was 62#, meaning she raised a lamb to 64.2% of her own body weight. Both good. So what do they look like? 70 has long legs and is not as well muscled. 73 has stout shape and well muscled.
Here is one of my instagram posts with video clips from weight day. 73 is white, 70 is brown, 87 is white with a mottled face. https://www.instagram.com/p/CAQzwgsJmYw/
73 is the one staying. He also has the added benefit of being less related to the other sheep, for long term genetics of the flock. And of course 87 is the ram from the neighbors ewe. Both have promising fleece as well.