Amy took on the managing of the flock in 2009, implementing biosecurity testing for Caseous lymphadenitis (CL) and Ovine Progressive Pneumonia (OPP). We went through some heartbreaking culling but eventually came through with 3 negative tests in a row and had a clean flock! Now we test 10% each year (typically the ones that are being sold to others) to maintain our clean status. Getting rid of the disease from the flock also caused us to get rid of opportunistic problems such as Hoof Rot and Thrush.
We now cull for other problems such as needing worming too often (hair breeds are supposed to be parasite resistant), bad conformation, bad udders, bad mothering, etc. We feed pastures only from late March through the end of October. Local grass hay and alfalfa is fed throughout the winter and lambing season while the pastures are given a break. We typically don’t feed grain, but have off and on in the past.
The lambs get vaccinated with CD/T (Clostridium perfingens with Tetanus toxoid) and are given BoSe (Selenium mineral because we are in a Selenium deficient area). Adults get booster shots of both annually as well. We do worm as needed, but not on a schedule, and not the whole flock. We allow their natural resistance to be tested so we know who needs to go or stay.
Culls go to the meat buyers as do the market lambs. We do sell breeding stock but only keep 1 ram lamb from each group intact IF he is good enough. If not, he goes to market. Ewe lambs are a little more forgiving, but plenty of them have also gone to market.