Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall breeding, dogs

This year I bought a new ram.  He is a purebred North Country Cheviot.  He is a twin, and was born in February.  He's registered and of great bloodlines that go back to Scottish breeding.  I have decided to move from Border Cheviots to North Country Cheviots, mainly due to 1) Calmer temperaments and 2) Larger carcass for meat purposes.  I like the Cheviot breed characteristics in both; hardy sheep, good mothers, and good feet.  Next year will be the time to get some NCC ewes for breeding.

I put the raddle marker on his brisket late last week.  There were some marks on some girls, but not true breeding marks (as you do this, over time, you will get to know what is an attempt, vs what is the real deal).  There were two girls that had clearly been covered this week so far.  One is my oldest Border Cheviot, and one is a blackface cross, a yearling.  I note all this in my book, so I have an idea of due dates.  Of course he was with the girls before I put the marker on him and I did see him jump another Border Cheviot last week and she stood, but I don't know if that was accurate or not!  He is a ram lamb after all!

It is cooling down a bit, finally.  Still warm days, but nice cool nights.  I really appreciate this a lot.  I am not a fan of heat.  I can work the dogs more and have been.  Johnny is coming along.  He is a much different dog than Joe, and he reminds me that I cannot push him- he is still so young.  If I keep making him drive in hard places, without giving him time to absorb it.. he will fly in.  Joe never did that.  But, Johnny is better at some things than Joe was, so it really is a toss up who is the better dog.

Jenny who is 5.5 months is very keen to work, but still just too young.  I think I may not bring her to the farm each time for a bit.  She cries to work.  Just because they are keen, does not mean they are ready, unlike what Jon Katz will tell you. 

Other than those two things, and working full time, that's pretty much it around my place.  I love fall so much....

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