Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rams to Wethers

This is Twin Brook Nugget's bersugget boy-- that's a color pattern I learned this summer on the shetland markings list, where they say bersugget always goes completely gray in time, but starts out so distinctive.

He's on the EeeeekK!, list of boys about to be wethered next week. It's so hard to think about ending the reproductive career of handsome rams at the outset, but hey, I got 14 ramlings this year! I decided that half will get banded next Thursday when Kelly, the state Scrapie vet tech, comes out to ear tag the lambies. If we've got our hands on 'em for one procedure, I figure, do it all. Hooves, shots, and in this case, testicles. EEEKK.

These little boys were all born in mid April to early May, so they are 10 weeks old or so. Some of the oldest boys are getting "ideas", if you know what I mean.

I intend to band 'em-- I called my vet, who really thought we'd need a bigger bander than he has-- but he called a shepherd friend for advice, and now thinks it's big enough.

Have any of you done this on older lambs, like this? I'm a little worried that a) we'll be all set up and his little bander won't work, and b) if it does, there's a danger of flystrike in wounds the bands make.

So much to learn, so little time.
Well, I have to go out to take more pictures and make more decisions. I did come up with some names for lambs today! Birds and wildflowers prevail in the naming scheme.


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I was very interested to read your comment about bersugget. I just bought two lambs from a flock that has some mature sheep with "variagated" wool; the breeder uses the term marlit for this marking. The brown ewe lamb I got from her looks to also have some variation, but it's more irregular than mottled in appearance, so I was thinking of going with bersugget on her registration. In looking at the definitions, neither bersugget or marlit is specifically said to "go grey." An Ag flecket sheep, however (which is what I would call the ram lamb pictured in your post and two of my lambs last year) DOES go completely grey, and is quite common. I would be interested to read the opinions on the Shetland markings list; can you give me the addy?

Garrett808 said...


I banded all my pygmy bucks at 8-10 weeks old with no ill effects. Our bull calves are done within 10 days of birth or they are too big and you have to knife cut them at weaning when they are 700 pounds :)

Cynthia had a bersugget ewe, of which I have her daughter who is Ag and katmoget (her father was katmoget). I think her bersugget was very striking as a youngster as well, and then 'went Ag' on her and was still gorgeous, just not so defined in the marking. She came out of a white ewe i know.

Gail V said...

Hey there Garrett, interesting facts and really helpful to hear about your pygmy goat banding. Should I go to fleet farm to look at different size banders?
Also, I went out to photo my lambies yesterday, and bersugget boy was so beautiful I don't know if I can. I'll post a newer picture later tonight.

Michelle, the group I saw the bersugget biz on is the Yahoo group shetland_markings. It was a message posted about 3 weeks ago-- and there aren't many messages there to go through. I tried to get that for you last nite but my computer was in a slow phase-- let me know if you don't find it.
Happy Friday, everyone!

Becky Utecht said...

In judging from the photo, agree with Michelle that yourlamb wouldn't be bersugget, but a grey flecket -- unless that would actually be sponget now that the great minds of the shetlands marking group have been discussing such things. I'm not on that list either, maybe I should join.
I had a ram lamb that I think was bersugget last year. He had moorit areas and varied shades of musket - we was out of a fawn katmoget ewe. His horns weren't the greatest and he made a gorgeous pelt.
The latest that we've banded a ram lamb is at 7 1/2 weeks. He was laying low for a couple days afterward, unlike the younger ones who are good as new the next day. Best wishes, say hi to Kelly!