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Bred Ewes

Posted 12/4/2011 6:40pm by Eugene Wyatt.

We pulled the 4 Corriedale, 3 Shropshire, 2 Oxford, 1 Tunis and 1 Ile de France rams from this group of purebred Saxon Merino ewes on Friday, 40 days, or about 2 estrus cycles, after they had joined the ewes. There was much sexual activity for the first 2 weeks they were together; that tapered off to almost nothing now meaning that most of the ewes got bred sooner rather than later.  This is syndicate mating: many rams on many ewes.

In 5 months less 40 days we'll know who's who by looking at the lambs at lambing: tall lambs that have a black nose will have been sired by the Corriedale rams, black faced lambs will have been sired by either the Shropshire or the Oxford rams, red headed lambs will have been sired by the Tunis ram and stocky lambs will have been sired by the Ile de France ram. This is terminal sire breeding; the lambs will be crossbred and very healthy; they will exhibit heterosis, or hybrid vigor, and get to market weight quickly.

We had a second breeding group that was comprised of the best-of-the-best purebred Saxon Merino ewes but older than the elite purebred Saxon Merino rams we joined them to; the staggering of ages maximised heterosis as it prevented line breeding, where related siblings breed, in the purebred Saxon Merino line.

Saxon Merino Rams 062 & 074

These Saxon Merino rams were chosen as sires for their superior wool quality, their conformation and their size. They were born in the spring of 2009; the elite Saxon Merino ewes they were bred to were born in 2008 or earlier. Of these ewes we have an eartag list to determine, when it comes to the lambs, who's who as everybody lambs in the same paddock.  

The lambs they sire will have wool with an average fiber diameter (AFD) of 15-16 microns at one year of age when they are first shorn; this exquisite wool will be spun serarately to produce an ultrafine Saxon Merino line, finer than the line we now offer.  Look for our first ultrafine line in late Spring of 2012; it will be comprised of the clip of purebred Saxon Merino lambs born 2 years ago (shorn last year and now in storage) and the lambs we shear in March that were born last year.