We have had a number of requests since we began our adventure with our little flock of raising, breeding, and preserving the rare miniature Babydoll sheep, to have clients purchases lambs, lodge them here at our farm until they are 18 months of age, at which time we can expose the 18-month old ewes to one of our rams, unrelated ram of course. There seems to be enough interest in this, I thought I would present the concept of an "On-Farm Breeding Program" here at our little flock.
Our farm maintains a closed flock status with sheep and goats, and when introducing any other new animals to the farm, they are quarantined away from the existing animals for at least 30 days. This helps minimize disease and infection among the whole flock. Because of this "closed flock" status, we are not able to bring any ewe into our flock, including for breeding purposes. Babydoll ewes are the most desired gender and due to this they are few and far between. Add to this the fact that as a miniature sheep they can not be bred until 18 months of age, it makes establishing a breeding program a long and tedious journey. As well, you may already have your breeding ram and his neutered ram companion, so would be expensing money for a breeding program that is at least 18 months away.
- Reserve and purchase your lambs as usual. Deposits for lambs are accepted as early as November for to the spring your lambs are expected. Balance of Payment is due for the purchase price of lambs when the lambs are 6 weeks of age.
- Lodging Cost of each our little flock lamb is $2 a day. This includes feed, coverage under our livestock insurance policy, 1 shearing annually each spring that your sheep are here, 1 set of annual vaccinations each spring that your sheep are lodging here, hoof trimming, wool trimming on the face, basic Vet care as performed by our little flock. If you were to lodge your sheep here at our farm in the On-Farm Breeding Program, here is a breakdown of how the program works;
- we do not breed our lambs until 18 months of age (the second fall following the birth of the lamb)
- the lambs you have paid for would be in our care for approximately 20 months
- you will pay for approximately 18 months of lodging at a cost of approximately $500 per lamb (as we do not release our lambs until 9 weeks of age, you would not be paying lodging on these first 8 weeks of life)
- this portion of the payment can be made in quarters, first payment due when the lambs are 6 weeks old,
- each payment then due at the beginning of each of the 5th month, for an approximate cost of $200 per lamb per quarter
- Breeding Cost of Ewe is currently $200 in addition to the cost of lodging. Once the lamb is about 18 months old we will put her in with one of our unrelated rams for 2 months to maximize the opportunity for the ewe to be bred. At the beginning of December of that breeding season, our Vet will come over and ultrasound the ewe to confirm a pregnancy. All Vet fees associated with pregnancy testing if the responsibility of you, the Purchaser. Should she not be deemed pregnant by our Vet at this time, she can be lodged for another heat cycle. Typically, a sheep's first breeding year she will produce a singleton, and then each year after, providing optimum care and health is maintained, she could throw twins.