MRL 329

Offered for sale as a purebred, registered Katahdin ewe $275

This is a large-framed, gentle, white ewe. When Mary Bakko (Misty River Farm, Moses Lake) retired from sheep in 2016, I bought twelve of her highest-EBV ewes. They were in a very different feeding environment in Eastern WA (small acreage, irrigated pasture, super high quality hay) and most of them struggled to transition to my farm at middle age, with more walking required, grazing more marginal forage, and a different parasite load. I have found in Mary’s feeding system, she consistently got these very large frames (circa 180 lbs) whereas these same genetics don’t get as big on pasture at my farm, hovering more around a standard 150 lbs. This is one of the last ewes here from that purchase, I’ve mostly kept daughters out of those ewes to capture the genetics, but moved the original ewes on or culled them for being unthrifty. You can see in the photo how she draws down her weight quite a bit from nursing on pasture.

She’s had some maternal problems as she’s gotten older. In 2019, she aborted triplets a month early. In 2020, she was open or otherwise lost her pregnancy (sometimes I find an aborted fetus in the field, but I don’t know which ewe it belonged to). I might have sold her earlier, except that she’s a very calm ewe around guardian dogs, and she was helpful to pen with my newly purchased pup for training purposes. So she stayed here one more year! Despite her large frame, she is a very bomb-proof, calm and gentle ewe and is very easy to handle. This year, she had twins, both born very weak, and I had to do a lot of work to strengthen them. One also had a severe heart murmur, so I orphan-reared him. Her lambing record starting as a two-year-old: 2/2, 3/2 (one stillborn), 2/2, 3/0, 0/0 (?), 2/1.

I think she could do well on a small farm that has good feed, and does more hay or grain feeding, vs relying on graze most of the year. She carries pregnancy risk, but with good feeding and monitoring, she may be able to produce twins and triplets for quite a few more years. She has good EBVs (besides her NLW, which has taken a hit from the losses), so she could produce some strong replacement daughters. I’m selling her at a cull/pet price, knowing she carries risk and needs more care. I usually get $2/lb live weight for mutton ewes, so I’ve discounted her quite a bit from that because I think she’s a nice girl who would enjoy being a pet on a small acreage again. Mary loved her ewes, and I believe this one’s name was “Nancy” back then. 🙂

Photo taken July 2021.  EBVs from 2021 lamb crop WWT data.

BWT WWT PWWT NLB NLW MBWT MWWT MAT$ HAIR
0.025 0.836 1.783 26% -9% 0.264 0.735 95.96 97.23
MRL329
Twin birth
DOB: 4/12/14
RR at codon 171 (by parentage)
KRK2123RR KRK0845 VJ7039
KRK726
VJ8086 BTS105R
VJ6046
MRL271 KRK2123RR KRK0845
VJ8086
MRL205 KRK921
JPS0046