USD 19094 “Boone”

Reference Ram 

“Boone” is borrowed from the USDA Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center in Booneville, Arkansas. Dr. Joan Burke heads up a research flock of Katahdins there, and was kind to loan him to us on the West coast; so we could benefit from his stellar EBVs as well as gain more “connectedness” to the Midwest NSIP flock cluster. Boone bred ewes at Caleb Pirc’s farm in Idaho, then Karen Kenagy’s farm in Oregon, before making a stop here in WA. He’ll head back to Caleb’s in summer 2021.

Boone is a white ram with some light tan freckling. He has a very good hair coat and nice conformation. He is typical of many high-scoring  maternal EBV rams in that he doesn’t have a tremendously masculine appearance. But his EBVs are spectacular, very strong in growth, prolificacy, survival and milk; and has reasonably good EBVs for Fecal Egg Count (FEC) as well (not shown below). His temperament is calm and he is somewhat curious and friendly, yet gentle and easy to handle. You can review his current EBVs on NSIP’s searchable database here. Photo taken November 2020. EBVs cited below from fall 2020 snapshot that includes data from Caleb’s lamb crop, so far.

BWT WWT PWWT NLB NLW MBWT MWWT MAT$ HAIR
0.588 3.152 6.239 15% 18% 1.301 110.34
USD 19094 “Boone”
Twin birth
DOB: 2/3/19
RR at codon 171
BC E 836-33  FAH 12-118 WSK 4298
FAH 11-013
BC Z 087-32 BC X 301
BC T 77-22
USD 17008 WRI 6028 BC D 749-33
WRI 2037
USD 14344 USD 3154
USD 3207

 

BC H 974 “Chong”

Reference Ram 

I purchased “Cheech” and “Chong” from David Coplen (Birch Cove Farm in Missouri) in spring of 2019. I had the rams shipped via air cargo, which was an expensive, but fast and low-stress process. I really like using David’s genetics because he has been in NSIP a long time; and runs a grass-fed operation with very low inputs, so his animals pass on a lot of vigor, hardiness and good maternal instincts. Plus, he is well-connected to the Midwest Katahdin genetics, which helps us with “connectedness” in NSIP (we have been a bit of an island out in the PNW and are trying to improve that).

David has been bringing in some Texel genetics, then upgrading back to purebred Katahdin. These rams are a product of that venture. The positives are that we can benefit from some heterosis (hybrid vigor) and also the myostatin or “double muscling” gene that’s common in Texels (that’s what gives Texels that “pig ham” back end). The drawbacks are some setbacks in hair coats; but this is minor considering the bigger strides we’ll make in meat production. Chong is a B coat thus far, as he retained some unshed wool on his backline as a yearling. He otherwise has a really coarse hair coat, and I expect he may shed fully in his second year. His sire was an upgrade, so Chong is fully registered, as can be all of his offspring.

Chong has good EBVs across the board, including Fecal Egg count (FEC) EBVs, which are not shown below. He is a substantial ram, both muscled and tall. He is a solid dark chocolate coloration. His temperament is calm and reserved. You can review his current EBVs on NSIP’s searchable database here. Photo taken November 2020. EBVs from 2020 lamb crop PWWT data.

BWT WWT PWWT NLB NLW MBWT MWWT MAT$ HAIR
0.161 1.466 3.343 10% 14% -.104 0.058 120.85 105.98
BC H 974 “Chong” 
Single birth
DOB: 1/27/19
RR at codon 171
BC E 856-32  FAH 15-007 NWT 489
FAH 13-044
BC W 74-22 (75%) CK 02-208
TCF 97012 (50%)
BC Z 095-13 BC Z X301 CMG 7029
BC S 163
CMG 10005 TMD 8-106
CMG 182

 

BC H 973 “Cheech”

Reference Ram 

I purchased “Cheech” and “Chong” from David Coplen (Birch Cove Farm in Missouri) in spring of 2019. I had the rams shipped via air cargo, which was an expensive, but fast and low-stress process. I really like using David’s genetics because he has been in NSIP a long time; and runs a grass-fed operation with very low inputs, so his animals pass on a lot of vigor, hardiness and good maternal instincts. Plus, he is well-connected to the Midwest Katahdin genetics, which helps us with “connectedness” in NSIP (we have been a bit of an island out in the PNW and are trying to improve that).

David has been bringing in some Texel genetics, then upgrading back to purebred Katahdin. These rams are a product of that venture. The positives are that we can benefit from some heterosis (hybrid vigor) and also the myostatin or “double muscling” gene that’s common in Texels (that’s what gives Texels that “pig ham” back end). The drawbacks are some setbacks in hair coats; but this is minor considering the bigger strides we’ll make in meat production. Cheech is a 87.5% and could be upgraded upon hair coat inspection. But in 2020 at least, he didn’t shed adequately to be classified as a B or A coat. He had a very thick lamb coat, but also has a good hair structure underneath; so I’m hopeful that he’ll shed in 2021. In the meantime, his lambs will still be recorded, and require a hair coat inspection confirming B or A coats, (which I can do if you live in the area) before they can be fully registered.

Cheech has really strong EBVs across the board, including Fecal Egg count (FEC) EBVs, which are not shown below. He is a substantial ram, both muscled and tall. Mostly white, but has some brown freckling and one large mahogany spot on his hip, ala Wiltshire Horn genetics. His temperament is calm and reserved. You can review his current EBVs on NSIP’s searchable database here. Photo taken November 2020. EBVs from 2020 lamb crop PWWT data.

BWT WWT PWWT NLB NLW MBWT MWWT MAT$ HAIR
0.428 3.141 4.967 18% 11% 0.200 1.096 130.65 107.00
BC H 973 “Cheech” (87.5%)
Twin birth
DOB: 1/27/19
QR at codon 171
BC G 933-22 (75%)  BC F 895-22 (50% Texel) BC 0669 (Texel)
BC C 307-22
BC D 341-22 USD 3234
BC A 170-22
BC D 337-22 FAH 12-118 WSK 4298
FAH 11-013
BC A 146-21 (75%) MOF 1107
BC X 82-12 (50%)

 

BLM417 “Hershey”

Reference: Herd Sire (2008-2010 breeding seasons)

Hershey was the first ram we used, a non-NSIP ram whose only data was generated from his performance here. We bought him from Shirley Hasbrouck in Shelton, who had used him for several years prior. She bought him from Bert Martineau, who used to have a very large commercial flock of Katahdins in SW Washington state. Bert has since retired, so this is some of the last of his unique line of production sheep. One thing really valuable about this ram is his pedigree lacks any of the popular sires that were over-used in our region and appear in most lines (often multiple times); creating genetic bottlenecks and risk to the gene pool. This is a very diverse, “old stock” ram who made a good outcross to line-bred ewes. Several people have intentionally chosen breeding stock out of Hershey just for that reason, to try to escape some of those frequently-used-sires, and re-establish some genetic diversity in their flocks.

Hershey was a pretty red color, and was very gentle and easy to work with. He had a true “AA” coat, where no wooly fibers extended beyond the hair coat in winter. He did a great job as a sire through almost age ten, easily servicing a few dozen ewes in his “assigned group”; but was starting to show some signs of age, so we retired him at the end of 2010.  He threw healthy, pretty lambs and was a good sire. We’ve kept a few different rams out of his line that improved upon his genetics via some excellent ewes. Over time, we can see that his EBVs declined, reflecting that he was really only an average/mediocre ram for production traits. But, that’s the power of EBVs, is showing us where the true performers are; I never would have been able to guess he was less strong than his peers just based on visual appraisal of his lambs and daughters. Only the numbers tell the truth! Hershey is several generations back in the pedigrees of a lot of our ewes, and one of our current rams; but every generation gets stronger with selection on ever-increasing EBVs for growth and maternal traits. I don’t regret using Hershey for the vigorous old-stock genetics he brought; and now we bring those forward into improved generations for growth and maternal traits.

EBVs from up-to-date 2017 Feb lamb crop data. Pictured here as a ten year old.

BWT WWT PWWT NLB NLW MBWT MWWT MAT$ HAIR
0.01 -0.14 -1.02 2.8% -2.2% -2.261 92.18 93.94
BLM417
Twin birth
DOB: 3/14/02
RR at Codon 171
BRM1AA TDA003 CF4173
CF4148
CCR007 NF419
DJ802
BLM0479 TDA003 CF4173
CF4148
BSA71 BSA1
HR14

 

KMC 5071 “Yeti”

Reference Sire

Yeti is a very balanced, moderate ram across the board, no extremes here. He is a very pretty Hereford-red ram with a long body and muscular hindquarters. He has really good growth EBVs, and  has turned out to be a moderate-sized adult, which is the combo I prefer for easy management. He is very calm and easy to handle. His maternal side captures genetics from David Coplen’s Birch Cove Farm in Missouri, where heavy selection pressure is placed on easy-care pasture-raised sheep with measured parasite resistance, coming from a long line of NSIP-focused breeding programs.

This ram is more focused on growth and less on maternal traits, so will make a great sire for butcher lambs and replacement ewes out of maternal girls that need improvement on growth. He can be an imperfect shedder, in the photo you can see he retained some “pants” but it is usually very minor and not something I prioritize in production sheep. I used this ram for two years and am replacing him with a son out of a purchased ewe to bring myself some fresh genetics that still retain his desirable traits.

EBVs from 2017 lamb crop sixty day weight data. Pictured here breeding in his yearling year.

BWT WWT PWWT NLB NLW MBWT MWWT MAT$ HAIR
0.292 2.272 4.12 3% 6% -0.305 0.038 109.57 103.13
KMC5071
Single birth
DOB: 4/9/15
RR at Codon 171
KMC2022 KMC0024 BLM417
JPS60224
JJK0010 KRK640
KRK4141
BC C 291 JRB1231 GF9398
JRB0941
BC Z 067-13 BC X 301
BC T 14-33

 

KMC 5088 “Rugby”

Offered for sale as a purebred, registered, proven sire $400

Rugby has very  balanced EBVs that predict producing very standard Katahdin lambs that will grow well and be good producers themselves. His prolificacy scores are on the lower end, so his daughters will stay more in the single-twin range than the twin-triplet range.   What I love about him is that Holy Grail I’m seeking: fast growth to butcher weight, but then slowing down into maturity, so he did not turn out to be a huge adult. He is very calm and handle-able, he’s put together well and has that flashy coloration so many people value. He is out of a fantastic-scoring ewe from David Coplen’s Birch Cove farm in Missouri, a grass-fed system where heavy selection pressure is placed on easy care sheep; and from a long line of NSIP-focused breeding programs. His sire was from local genetics and he produced a lot of good-growing lambs for me.

EBVs from up-to-date from 2018 fall lamb crop data. Pictured here breeding as an eighteen month old. Photos at the bottom of this post were taken in May/June 2018.

BWT WWT PWWT NLB NLW MBWT MWWT MAT$ HAIR
0.442 1.759 3.574 0.0% -2% -0.007 0.340 106.23 100.21
KMC5088
Single birth
DOB: 4/10/15
RR at Codon 171
WRN006 KRK00168 KRK905
VJ8135
BME006 KRK857
KRK0856
BC C 298 CMG10019 TMD8-106
CMG236
BC T 14-33 FAH06137
BC9916-132