After a night of fog, daylight brought strong sunlight, resulting in a glorious display of winter whites. I headed out with the camera planning for some snowy tree photos only to be completely distracted by the rams when I arrived there to say hello and check in on the group.
I put heavy emphasis on my ewe flock being the animals I desire to see me through this style of management. The dams are important but the other half of a flock is the sire of the offspring. For my purposes I’m seeking some of the same things in my rams that I do in my ewes. Nice conformation, nice feet, nice size and they can’t be crazy wild. I like an animal that looks like it will do just fine walking miles on the pasture and eating the good grass there. I don’t just shop for a carcass when I look for rams and I don’t produce them with that in mind either.
This is one of my two pure-blood Clun Forest rams. I love his head, his face and his tidy, tidy, black feet. The body between the head and feet measures up pretty nicely too.
This is one of my crossbred commercial rams, born and raised here, on grass and with no grain. I love that I’m getting some nice bone in the legs and keeping those tidy feet.
These animals do well on pasture because they have good feet and strong legs to carry them. This fellow has a nice head, not to wide across the brow which means lambs with proportionate heads instead of large ones that are tough for ewes to birth.
Up close - the tidy ears and dark face of a commercial Clun Forest cross ram.
Then there is this fellow. Jethro has come through his first summer and fall with us and enters winter in good shape. He stands taller and is thicker than my stockier Cluns and Clun crosses.
He has a sweet expression and although he is a quiet and very unassuming fellow it has nothing to do with that sweet smile he permanently wears. Jethro has one drawback, he has long toes. They’re not overgrown like those I’ve noticed on a few of our ewes with Targhee influence (I'm noticing more and more there is a correlation between fine wool breeds and iffy feet) but I’ll be watching them closely and will see what results I get in my replacement ewe lambs next year.