Group of 50% Gotland Lambs

EverRanch 2007 Gotland AI Group

More Gotland Lamb Photos - note: large page with lots of photos!

New in 2007 is the EverRanch Gotland Sheep AI program. The Gotland is a breed that is being introduced to North America through a breeding up program that is in its second year. Last year at the Black Sheep Gathering in Salem, Oregon, there were some very nice looking gray sheep that kind of looked like Shetlands, but not entirely. I knew I was in trouble when Martin invited Franna into the pens to get her hands in the wool. The next day we attended the first meeting of the Gotland Sheep Breeder's Association of North America (GSBANA) and the rest, as they say, is history.

To start our program we purchased 5 Colored Finns, 2 adult ewes and 3 ewe lambs for this project. We also chose 3 of our Shetland ewes and our Blue Face Leicester / Border Leicester (BFL/BL) cross. We bought back a second BFL/BL cross ewe that we had sold a few years ago. We intended to go forward with our ten foundation ewes, but during the AI procedure, one of our Finn ewes wasn't sufficiently mature to warrant taking the risk of AI. The other nine AI'd were successfullly inseminated. Two -one Shetland ewe and one of the BFL/BL cross ewes - did not take, and they were bred by backup rams (Eino for the BFL/BL and Willie for the Shetland).

The first ewes to give birth were the Finns. The first lambs were born on the 2nd of April and was a set of twins to yearling, Niblet. We were very surprised as they were both WHITE !!! One little ewe and a little ram that our friend Julie named Kibbles (the ram) and Bits (the ewe).

 

 
Side view of Bits - a little over one month old !!!
Kibbles (left) and Bits. Notice difference in pigment !!!

Next on the 3rd of April, the lamb storm started. Finn ewe Freckles had a very nice set of ewe lambs, Finn ewe Tucker had a set of quads (!!!) with three rams and one ewe and Finn Bibb also had a set of quads (!!!), all rams, but we lost one of them... We thought that she was done at two and went off to do some chores and came back to find a dead ram lamb and number four breech. Luckily, Franna pulled the breech lamb and everything turned out okay with him. One other thing that needs to be mentioned is that ALL of these lambs were black and many of them had some amount of white on their heads, faces and sometimes feet.

 

 

 

Charcoal, one of Freckle's girls. Is she cute, or what ???
Tucker and her fearsome foursome :-)

 

The next activity on the Gotland front was on the 6th of April. On that day, our BFL/BL cross, Hortense, gave birth to the largest lamb born on our farm. We were pretty sure that she was carrying twins, but instead she popped out a 14.5 pound bouncing baby boy that we named Bubba :-). Interesting to note that he is also white.

Here is Bubba at one week old !!!
Bubba at one month !!! What a tank he is....

 

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