Reserving a Lamb (Revised 11/27/17)

Anticipated lambs:

For the 2018 season, 18 or more purebred Babydoll lambs are expected and I anticipate they will be approximately half off-white and half black.  For you fiber farmers, I am expecting quite a selection of cross bred lambs, too: (2) black 3/4 Babydoll 1/4 Finn; (2-3) 3/4 Finn 1/4 Babydoll at least one brown – the others white; (3) 1/2 Babydoll 1/2 Finn black; plus – time will tell – as many as (4) white 1/2 Babydoll 1/2 Finn. I will be retaining up to 3 of these “Finn x Dolls” for my own fiber flock .  If you are interested in lambs, submit your request, including your deposit of 50% of the purchase price, so you can be put on the list. Indicate gender and color desired – specific ewe/ram pairing if you have a preference.  I’ll notify you when there is a possible match or matches – most likely by April 15th.  Photos can be emailed for your inspection.

For expected lamb parentage see this link: http://prairieplumfarm.com/babydoll-sheep/2018-lamb-season-plans/

Learning opportunity!!:

I will again be inviting repeat and potential lamb buyers to my Shearing Open House – tentatively March 17th.  Yes, there will likely be a few lambs “on the ground”!  You can see the animals with and without their fleeces, my facilities, and how we handle the animals and the fleeces for this major event in the year of shepherding.

Recommended starting flock composition: 

Like many Babydoll breeders I know, I don’t recommend breeding the ewes their first season.  (By contrast, Finn x Dolls are EXPECTED to lamb – even bear twins – their first season.) However, buying a ram right away means you will have another mower and won’t have to make another trip to pick up one animal. Just be ready to run separate flocklets from September through ~March. First year breeding results more frequently in difficult births and, reportedly, a dwarfing of the mother as she is still growing. (This did not happen with my LaNina, however, who got herself bred her first year.)

There are many combinations possible for non-related rams if you have or plan a mixed color flock – just a few if you are going all white or all colored.  The wether keeps the ram company during the time (Sep 1 through Oct ?) when the breeding stock is kept separate to prevent winter lambing dates.  The other benefits of wethers are: 1) they are the ultimate fiber animal without the variations in fiber thickness that can happen with the seasonal swings in hormones and activity seen in the rams and ewes, and 2) they tend to be the friendliest of the sheep and can be instrumental in leading the other flock members to locations of your choice. 

Pricing:

New pricing for the 2018 season is listed below.  I will discount the whole sale by 5% if 3 or more sheep are purchased by one buyer. This is because my efforts to get them segregated for inspection by the vet (if needed) and pick up are more efficient with multiple animals. Example: 2 ewe lambs, 1 ram and 1 wether = (500 + 500 + 350 + 200) x 95% = 1550 – 77.70 or 1472.50 for the perfect starter flock! 

Ewe Lambs         $ 500 

Ram Lambs        $ 350

Wethers              $ 200

Deposits and Final Payments:

I will accept personal/farm checks for the initial deposit and these will be cashed when received.  For the final balance, cash or cashier’s check is expected.

** Deposits can be submitted anytime and are what hold your place in line (= first come – first served policy).  Indicate your choice of breed, gender, color, and, if you are particular, momma ewe for each animal desired. I apologize for the redundancy, but it is sometimes necessary.

Timing of availability:

The  first lambs are expected around March 15th and those lambs will be ready to go to their new farms at around 8 weeks of age (~Mothers’ Day). I have extended the time I prefer to keep the lambs so the milk supply of the moms has reduced a bit, making drying them up at weaning less hard on them. I will make exceptions for 4Hers who need to have their lambs in their possession by an earlier date.  Note however, that the weekend of Mothers’ day is the Shepherds Harvest fiber festival in Lake Elmo, MN, so I will be off farm those 2 days. 

Condition of lambs at transfer:

At that time sheep will be current on their vaccinations, have their Scrapies ear tag, their hooves trimmed, their tails docked, and, if wethers are desired, be castrated.  If the sheep will be taken across state lines, I will have a veterinarian-signed health certificate ready.  The sheep will be registered with NABSSAR or FBA except for special cases – particularly wethers.  Buyer will be responsible for contacting the breed associations to record the transfer of ownership and paying the transfer fee unless otherwise arranged and transfer fee paid – ($8/animal).  The registration papers will be signed over at the time of animal pick up.

Miscellaneous but important!:

Buyer is responsible for transportation.

Any Finn X Doll (cross bred) sheep that is 50% or more Finnsheep is eligible for registration with the Finnsheep Breeders Association and intact animals will be registered as appropriate.  

Individual lambs will only go to homes having other sheep for companionship.  Otherwise, sheep will be sold in groups of 2 or more.

I reserve the right to refuse the sale of any animal to any person prior to purchase (deposit will be refunded). 

I will only register animals meeting breed specifications. Non-registered (“grade”) animals will be offered at a discount or culled. In 5 years of lambing I have not had a single animal fail to meet breed specifications, but there is always a chance it can happen in the future.

All of  my flock, except Maisey, has genotype RR at the Scrapies resistance gene locus 171. I will be conducting blood tests on Maisey’s lambs to determine genetics. Any intact QR offspring will be discounted $50. Wethers will still be $200as breeding value is not a factor.  

All adult animals were tested in September 2014 and found to be free of OPP (Ovine Progressive Pneumonia.) However, 5 new animals of unknown status have been brought into the flock since then.

Happy 4Hers headed home with lambs. Dog kennels are the more usual means of containment during transport. These just had 14 miles to travel.

 

25 Comments

25 thoughts on “Reserving a Lamb (Revised 11/27/17)

  1. I am interested in purchasing two ewe lambs and one un-related ram lamb if possible. I do live in Nekoosa Wisconsin. My phone number is 715-886-1044. Thank you for your consideration. My family and I are very excited about the opportunity of adding these little seat hearts to our little hobby farm.

  2. Hi,
    I am wondering if you would have 2 ewe lambs available for purchase? We are looking to increase our flock size. We have 11 ewes at present, but some are about at the ending of their breeding capabilities due to age. We live in NW North Dakota and the interest in these adorable sheep is growing. We are so happy about this. Just let us know. Thank you.

    • Please forgive me if this is redundant with an email sent earlier. Yes, I have 5 ewes to choose from – see response to Debbie above for details on individual animals. Thanks for your interest.

  3. Pingback: Shearing Time at Prairie Plum Farm - Rochester Fiber

  4. Hi, we are looking. Add sheep to our family farm as well. I am looking for 2 ewes, 1 white or of-white and 1 black. Thanks for the response

    • Hello, Carrie –
      Thanks for your interest. I can help you realize that dream! The two off-white ewe lambs are from Claire’s clan – Betsy is her daughter and Bonita is her granddaughter. Both will probably have clear faces and are twins. For black ewe lambs there are Hattie’s twins, Babette and Bashful. Hattie’s lambs tend to have clear faces and slick ears. The latter trait is less desireable according to the breed standard, but shearers prefer them. Bea is Penny’s daughter, a single, who is already showing signs of graying – if you are interested in the fiber color. Penny is Fergie’s daughter and her line tends to have wooly faces. Perhaps this info will help you make selections on which lambs you prefer. I take it these will be your first sheep? Where is your farm located? (By the way – at the fiber event to day in Decorah, Penny’s wool was very popular.) Let me know if there is any more information you would like to help make your decision.

      • Hi, just read your e-mail, here is my contact info either cosborne@mvhc.org or theosbornefarms@outlook.com … Yes! our first…We are located in St Peter Mn. We grow Organic row crops. We currently have mules, poultry and a couple pigs. Really would like to add a few sheep and possibly cattle at some point.
        I would be interested in Bea, Betsy. Do you think a males would keep the girls happy as well..:)

      • Hi, Carrie –
        You will enjoy the sheep. I’ve never had mules, but found pigs hilarious with their antics. Unfortunately Beau is a half-brother and not suited as a mate for the girls. I’d also recommend not breeding them the first year – give them a chance to reach full size before becoming mothers. I’ll look for your deposit and then reserve Bea and Betsy for you. You are in for a treat!

    • Hello, Kathy –
      Sorry I didn’t get your message sooner, but even then all my available stock had been promised to other farmers. I’m getting in 2 new rams, one white, one black so looking forward to a great 2017 lamb crop (up to 22!). Check in then or before if you are still in the market and I’ll be happy to work with you to set up a starter flock.
      Sue

    • Hello, Debra – Thanks for your interest! I am posting images and descriptions of the breeding pairs as I get decent photos. Let me know which ones you find most appealing. Deposits/ reservations are open for the coming lambing season. Sue (715-220-1183

  5. We are hoping to find one ewe lamb (and prefer a bottle lamb). We have two ewe lambs that were born this spring right now. My grandson plans to show at our county fair so would like one that will meet breed standards. Really not concerned which color, just hope to raise a healthy, friendly, baby. Thank you

    • Hello, Tracey –

      I should definitely be able to help you out with a healthy ewe lamb that meets breed standards. With any luck on my part – it won’t be a bottle baby, but we’ll have to wait and see. Do you have any restrictions on when the lamb is born (example a February, March, or April birth)? The first of my lambs are due March 17th and some may not be born until around April 1st. I hope that age fits your needs. Where are you located? I’m sure you have enjoyed your first year of shepherding. I hope your second year is just as fun.

      I am expecting around 16 Babydoll lambs with about 50% female. Five different farms have made inquiries, but none have made reservations yet. You can make reservations at any time – the system is first come first served. As you might expect almost everyone wants ewe lambs. If you have any questions, shoot me another email either here or more directly at swiegrefe@sbcglobal.net. Thanks for your interest!
      Sue

    • Hello, Tracey –
      I’ve been thinking about your request and want you to check out Nina’s picture. She was a bottle lamb herself and has maintained that tie with me. She comes to get her ears scritched and will come when I call her name (mostly – unless she’s eatting). Her lambs have an increased exposure to me and have been friendlier than others even if they are not bottle fed, simply because their mom accepts me. She has fine form and an open face.

      The second friendliest ewe is Tammy. I took her to farmers markets when she was a lamb and she, too will allow me to scratch her ears, too. Her last year’s ewe lamb, Becka is super friendly. (But Becka’s cross bred so her lambs aren’t in the running, so to speak.) Tammy is black and fuzzy-faced.

      Let me know if you need more information. I can send scans of the registration papers on any of the parents you are interested in.

      Sue

  6. We are looking for a ram and were possibly wanting to be on the list for this year. Is it true that they can bred at 8 months old?

    • Hello, Amy – Thanks for your interest. There is a very good chance I will have a ram for you. How many sheep do you already have? Although ewes can be bred at 8 months, I would not recommend it. The vast majority of the still births and problem deliveries I’ve experienced have been with yearling ewes who were bred by accident or on purpose. You risk loosing the ewe as well as the lamb. Vet visits are expensive, but loosing your breeding stock is even more so. Rams, on the other hand can be used for breeding their first season. I’m using one myself for the black half of the flock. If you decide to go forward with reserving a ram lamb and/or others, I advise getting your reservation in specifying your desired color or even parents.
      Give me a call (715)-220-1183 (6:30 to 9:00 evenings is especially good timing) or send an email if you have more questions.
      Sue

    • Hello, Nina –
      There’s a very good chance I will be able to help you out. Did you like the looks of any particular ewe? If you like the traditional Babydoll fuzz face, Fergie, Tammy and Adrien are your potential pool. If you want a clear face, Hattie is your girl. The ram and father to all, Bucko, also has a clear face. Are you close by or out of state? Send a check for $162.50 (half the fee) and you can be first on the list for your choice of momma. Or wait until they are on the ground and take your chances. (see page on reserving a lamb).
      I look forward to sharing one of my woolly ones with you!
      Sue

  7. Hello
    I am interested in 2 off-white ewes and possibly a wether. My flock is aging and after 15 years of Icelandic would like to try another breed. I have a lead on a ram from Wisconsin and if that doesn’t go through, may be looking at a ram as well with the intent of increasing the babydoll flock.

    Best
    Lori

    • Hello, Lori –
      I can help you out with the ewes. Would it matter if the wether would be 3/4 Babydoll 1/4 Finn? Demand for rams appears to be strong this year so all the boys worthy of staying intact will be left that way. I’ve not had any runts or sub-quality yet. If I have any males that are bottle babies – that’s another story … I do band them. That said – I should have a quality off-white ram, if your other deal falls through. In order to keep you spot in the que, I will need a check for 50%. Have you spotted any ewes on the website that you are especially interested in? Would you want twins or as unrelated as possible. Remember Claire’s lamb(s) should also be white.

      I look forward to hearing how you’d like to proceed.
      Sue

  8. Looking at 2018 lambs. Ram my first choice is from Claire and squash and second choice would be Nina and squash. Also looking for a ewe from Hattie. Naomi

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