When I bought this ewe, I was not aware she was a food processor.
Well not any more than the rest of the sheep anyway.
I subsequently found out that they call this type of sheep a frame type, usually shown blocked or fitted. She is long and lanky (beautiful, yes) but if not fed copious amounts of food will grow out of her skin. In other words, if you don't feed them a lot of grain, they will continue to grow, but they get bony. This is a new one for us. I think we do have another ewe, a suffolk ewe, that is like this, but it just occurred to me that this might be why she has been a 'hard keeper' as well.
We sheared Angel last night, I was hoping that we could block her back up, but having never done that before, it just didn't happen. By the time I got out there to see what was happening, Jari had her half slicked, and I knew she wouldn't be showing today. She is well covered all over except for her hips. I don't think I have ever seen a sheep loose cover in her hips and not in her back. She is still beautiful, just not up to show weight, so Angel will be staying home today, and will be fed like a horse until the Humboldt Co Livestock Show and Sale in Winnemucca over Labor Day.
Speaking of the Humboldt show, as out of towners (we live in Lander Co) in order for our kids to show in the market class and sell their animals at the auction, each of our kids have to bring to the sale a pre-signed bid. Every year the committee lets us know what the minimum bid is (based on the average sale price from the year before) and the kids (read parents of the kids usually) find someone who is generous enough to sign a piece of paper saying they will pay this minimum amount per pound live weight for this child's market animal. This year, the minimum bid for a lamb is $4.53. Think about that. The lamb has to weigh in between 105 and 140 lbs. That is a chunk of change.
I went to school with a very nice guy who is now the owner of Lander Co Physical Therapy, and he has signed Jari's bid for the last four years. He has been outbid every year. He is OK with that, he doesn't even eat lamb (although he wont out and tell me that), in spite of his Basque heritage. And he knows that one day he won't get out bid, so why does he sign the bid? I have told him before when he half jokingly raised his eyebrows at what seems like a huge amount of money to pay for 50 to 60 lbs of lamb in your freezer, "You're not bidding on a lamb, your bidding on a childs future."
I guess where I am going with this, I don't know how many people Jari and I and other 4-H kids in the past few years have approached about signing a pre bid, all of them affluent people in our community, that have said something to the affect of "wow, that is a lot of money, I dont think I can do that". Now granted I dont know what their situation is, I dont know what is going on in their bank accounts, but common folks! This is tax deductable! If you pay $700 for a lamb, you can deduct anything over the current market price of lamb, which right now (and for the last few years) has been about $125!
So, if you can, if you have the means and you have never done it before, even if you don't eat lamb! Support a 4-Her or an FFAer. These kids do work hard on their projects, they put a lot of effort into getting the right animal and making it show ready.
Jumping of my box now...