[Jacob-list] To keep or not to keep - my little Jacob sheep
ROY NEAL GROSE
nlgrose at yadtel.net
Fri Jul 9 06:22:36 EDT 2010
One consideration that you might want to look at is the fineness of the
wool. In our experience, in our flock, the finer wools are the ones that
became brown when exposed to sunlight. This makes some sense...the sun
would discolor the fiber a few mirons deep, and those thicker fibers
would not show evidence of this as readily.
> I have three ewe lambs this year (no ram lambs), and I'm trying to keep
> things small right now so I am only allowing myself to retain one lamb
> for future breeding. Each of my three lambs has something about it that
> I like and something that I don't like. My favorite of the three has two
> of the biggest, most solid, and widely spaced horns out of the group, the
> best looking wool, beautiful eyes that are brownish with a blueish
> center, markings in all the places I want them to be, and the black
> patches of wool have not faded one bit in the sun. The problem is that
> her tail is longer than the others reaching a little below the hock. I
> had designated her for the freezer due to her tail, but I like her so
> much better than the others.
> My other two choices are as follows:
> Lamb number two has large solid good looking eye patches and muzzle
> marking, and a tail of appropriate length. Her two horns are sturdy, but
> not as large or widely spaced as those of her sister (the first lamb).
> Also, her black patches fade to a chocolate color in the sun even thought
> they were as black as her sister's at birth.
> Lamb number three is about two and a half weeks younger than the others
> and it is a four horn ewe lamb. Her horns are still to small to know for
> sure if they will grow to be strong and solid or not. She has pure blue
> eyes, and all the desirable facial markings. However the markings on her
> face are not symmetrical and they don't look anywhere near as nice as the
> older ewe lambs who both have symmetrical facial markings. Her tail is
> also of appropriate length, but she lacks markings on her legs other than
> having black socks. Her black wool has also faded in the sun, but even
> more so than lamb number two.
> I know that black wool that fades to chocolate in the sun is normal for
> many Jacob sheep and perfectly acceptable, but I find the black wool that
> doesn't fade to be particularly striking. I don't mind having sheep in
> my flock whose wool fades in the sun, but it would be nice to have at
> least part of my flock be non-faders. If I keep the first lamb I will
> ensure that I keep genes in my flock for wool that doesn't fade, but I
> may also be promoting a longer tail length than is desirable.
> What does everyone out there think about this? Should I keep my favorite
> ewe lamb who has so many desirable traits and just cull any offspring of
> hers that exhibit longer tails, or should I put her in the freezer and
> keep one of the other ewe lambs? Her tail stays clean, but I think she
> sat on it the wrong way when she was only a few days old cause it has
> crooks in it like it got broken (she never seemed to be in any pain from
> it). She probably carries genes for both the hock length tail and the
> slightly longer tail since both her twin and her half sister have hock
> length tails.
> I look forward to everyone's responses.
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