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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry in advance for the long explanation...
I've got a wether lamb who was born on March 30th of this year. He's smaller than a ewe that was just born 2 weeks ago...like his head is about the size of a baseball and he weighs around 15-20 pounds. I don't know if he's so much smaller because his momma's milk dried up a bit after an attack we had or because he's just small like his momma. He's kind of always done his own thing and began grazing, eating grain/corn, and drinking from the troughs almost immediately. His momma lambed and immediately laid down 2 feet away and refused to clean him, allow him to nurse, or even look at him. It was her first time but her labor was relatively easy so I think she was just disoriented and it might not have come as easily for her as the rest of the ewes. She eventually got up and cleaned him and allowed him to nurse but she's never really been that super protective, wants to know where he is all the time, keep him close for the first few days kind of momma. We have only supplemented him once after the attack to make sure he was getting enough but didn't want him to lose his momma's scent as we didn't want to turn him into a bottle baby. He is definitely not overly skinny. He's got a nice little (not bloated) belly and you can't see his shoulders or hips at all so I know he's getting plenty to eat.
Anyway, we sold our ram (a 275lb beast of a Katahdin) at the beginning of lambing because he was getting fairly aggressive with my husband and pushing some of the ewes away from the feed bins. Since he was such an amazing animal though and knocked up 18 of our 19 ewes, we're planning on getting him back this fall (around October).
Our initial plan was to sell all of the wethers or send them to slaughter and sell the two rams we kept unbanded along with any ewes who didn't lamb well or any ewes we didn't have enough grazing space for. Since the attack, we're keeping all of the ewes to grow the herd but still plan to get rid of all the males (rams and wethers).
The only problem is this little guy...If we sell him, he won't really make a great pet because we don't handle him enough (although he's so sweet I don't think it'd be hard to turn him into a pet). If we sell him for food or take him to slaughter ourselves, he won't give much meat because he's so darn small. If I keep him as a grazer, I'm afraid of what will happen to him when we bring his very dominant papa back into the mix. We had one that was just smaller than him that was trampled in the attack and the ram has a good 75-150lb on any of our ewes.
Our setup is very low key. We handle the sheep often enough that they're tame (probably part of the ram's problem) but they are completely free-range. We don't lock them up at night (although they have shelter) and we don't have yards to rotate them through. This all to say, we have no setup for separating this wether long-term (through the winter) from the herd/ram and I really don't want to as that seems like a lonely existence.
Any suggestions would be helpful. Obviously, I've got a little time to prepare but I'd like to start sooner than later.
 

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I'd invite him to dinner as the guest of honor.

He sounds abnormally small and unless you just need a pet that will need extra attention his whole life there's no good reason to keep him.

If we sell him for food or take him to slaughter ourselves, he won't give much meat because he's so darn small.
He's bigger than a rabbit or a chicken isn't he?
Just eat him yourself or give him to someone who will eat him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd invite him to dinner as the guest of honor.

He sounds abnormally small and unless you just need a pet that will need extra attention his whole life there's no good reason to keep him.



He's bigger than a rabbit or a chicken isn't he?
Just eat him yourself or give him to someone who will eat him.
He's about the size of a chicken. The attached picture was taken on April 24th. He hasn't really grown since.
20180424_155910.jpg
 

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Amanda, every few years I get one like this. Last breeding season I had two - didn't even have the heart to take their nuts off (they were both rams) as their nuts were the biggest part of them;)

They are still running with their siblings but in another couple of weeks they will be drafted off and put in a paddock on their own - not with the ram which might seem logical but the reality is that the ram/s could possibly kill them with their behaviour - no matter how big it is, a ram is a ram and my big boys would be looking at it that way.

I have six small paddocks around my yards and this is where these two will go, complete with testicles, and be moved around them until they get to a size to be killed and then they will go into the freezer as they will never be fit for selling but will be excellent to augment the household diet. I taking this will be another 3 months or so.

I set up years ago for what I call "Hospital Paddocks" - small paddocks around the cowshed and yards where I had easy access and sight from the house, for lambs such as yours, cows that had birthing difficulties, bought in calves etc. Perhaps in your 10 year plan (should that be 100 year plan:)) you can eventually set up something similar.

I do like you're photo and the chook puts the size of the lamb into perspective. White Leghorn?
The lamb looks healthy, bright and interested. You're coming into summer so should have a bit more feed available. Put him on it with a couple of paddock mates if you can, and kill him in the autumn.

Also Amanda, put stock related things into the Livestock forum - I very nearly missed this as it was in Homesteading Questions rather than Sheep.

Keep up with the good work - sounds like you're moving forward.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Amanda, every few years I get one like this. Last breeding season I had two - didn't even have the heart to take their nuts off (they were both rams) as their nuts were the biggest part of them;)

They are still running with their siblings but in another couple of weeks they will be drafted off and put in a paddock on their own - not with the ram which might seem logical but the reality is that the ram/s could possibly kill them with their behaviour - no matter how big it is, a ram is a ram and my big boys would be looking at it that way.

I have six small paddocks around my yards and this is where these two will go, complete with testicles, and be moved around them until they get to a size to be killed and then they will go into the freezer as they will never be fit for selling but will be excellent to augment the household diet. I taking this will be another 3 months or so.

I set up years ago for what I call "Hospital Paddocks" - small paddocks around the cowshed and yards where I had easy access and sight from the house, for lambs such as yours, cows that had birthing difficulties, bought in calves etc. Perhaps in your 10 year plan (should that be 100 year plan:)) you can eventually set up something similar.

I do like you're photo and the chook puts the size of the lamb into perspective. White Leghorn?
The lamb looks healthy, bright and interested. You're coming into summer so should have a bit more feed available. Put him on it with a couple of paddock mates if you can, and kill him in the autumn.

Also Amanda, put stock related things into the Livestock forum - I very nearly missed this as it was in Homesteading Questions rather than Sheep.

Keep up with the good work - sounds like you're moving forward.

Cheers,
Ronnie
Thank you, Ronnie. I'm still learning my way around the forum.
That is a leghorn chicken. We've got 4 of that breed currently and they are ornery.
Thank you for your perspective on the lamb. I think that's probably the way to go.
Mandy
 
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