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Club Lambs and Breeding

We will only touch on this subject because much of what was covered in the breeding sheep section also pertains to choosing Club Lambs. Following the Structure Rules is key to club lambs chosen to be raised as terminal projects or as breeding individuals.

One thing we will mention again is CHOOSING YOUR CLUB LAMB AND MAKING IT YOUR BREEDING PROJECT after the shows are over. We completely disagree with the practice and will explain why here.

Is She A Club Lamb Or Breeding Ewe?

Breeders that raise and sell club lambs are selling terminal projects. Simply, lambs that grow to potential, show and go into the freezer after the shows are over. This is what "Terminal Project" means. Lambs fed in this manner for an optimum show career as a club lamb can be held back somewhat from becoming as large as necessary for a breeding ewe, with few exceptions. Therefore, a ewe lamb brought back from its last show of the season, fed and bred may not necessarily be your best breeding sheep. Many ewes are too small or can develop prolapse problems from this practice.Liquid diets that some club lambs are being fed are inhumane to sheep. After all, they are ruminants and require roughage for their stomachs to function properly. (I expect to catch some heat over that remark from the club lamb folks that feel that this is proper nutrition for their sheep. Mother nature did not design the sheep to receive liquid drenches from their owners, and this practice is taking the sheep industry down the wrong road). I for one would not enjoy eating a lamb that was fed in this manner. They are what they eat.

We have heard the horror stories from young 4-Hr's that have purchased ewe lambs at club lamb sales. These lambs fed on liquid most all of their lives and given their first hay or grain feeding when it arrives at its new home. I'm sure you can conjure up the vision of what would happen to this lamb. Stomachs that have been bypassed for so long are put into a tizzy and commonly prolapse of the rectum is the sad result. This is just one more reason why the club lamb ewe should not be kept as a breeding ewe.

PLEASE, unless you know what you are doing - refrain from making your club ewe lamb (terminal project) your breeding ewe! Not all will agree here, but the beginner is usually the loser with this kind of practice. If you think your son or daughter will become attached to the lamb and wish to keep it, then purchase a wether (castrated male) to show as a club lamb, or go into the Breeding Stock shows with a breeding ewe from a reputable breeder.

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