Currently there are Cotswolds, Blue Faced Leicesters, Icelandics, Karakuls, Jacobs, E'st a Laine Merino, Suffolk, Dorset and crosses of these breeds. The Cotswold ram is a very nice ram with an easy going personality, but it seems impossible to put any weight on him. Only one ewe of the three ewes kept her weight and has lovely fleece as strictly being grass fed . The ram and the other ewes and their lambs were heavily grain fed and did not develop the genes to revert to being grass fed, so they will go too. The Icelandics must be coated if their fleece is to be free of vegetative matter and I do not want to go through the expense and trouble to catch them five or six times to change the size of coats. The lambs are also slow growing and are hard to sell, especially the ram lambs. Everyone wants meaty chunky lambs. So I bought a Dorset and yes, her lamb is meaty and chunky for sure, but she was never handled and has kept her lamb away from human contact. They will have to go too. A Karakul ram was never found and one of the Karakul ewes strangled herself this winter. I love the sheep, but with one barren, she will have to be culled too. And the list will go on until there are only the Southdown Babydolls, Blue Face Leicesters and the Jacobs left. I do love the fleece of the Merino and Merino crosses and the one Cotswold ewe so will have to make a decision on those. Do I need to have so many sheepies?
The last 12 bales of hay cost me one hundred dollars a bale delivered. Another aspect of the Babydolls and Jacobs is that they are small and eat so much less. With hay through the roof and hard to find, that is a huge factor in the decision making. And so, it is decided. Now will it happen? It is not easy to cull, sell or get rid of my sheep. Hmmm.