When it comes to sheep, some like to eat the tastiest and highest-nutrition delights, rich green leaves full of protein and chlorophyll. Other sheep like to stand in a few specific places and eat down everything within easy reach, no matter what its quality is. The foodie sheep in our flock are the yearling ewes Dottie and Lisa. They are fearless in tearing through bramble and vines to get to the most delicious browse.
Our chubby-wubb mature ewe Grey and our petite prize Goldie are junk fooders. They just stand around eating whatever is handy and try to avoid moving around too much. And genetics really shows up here. Grey is usually overconditioned while Goldie is usually just about right on the five point scale for body condition. But Grey is our biggest ewe and she grows the lambs that grow superfast. Little Dingus, her runt lamb, is now a yearling that will be quite worth the wait in slaughter because he’s caught up surprisingly well. And her ewelamb Ripley is almost two weeks younger than Goldie’s lambs, but already as big.
Goldie, meanwhile, is small and produces small lambs, but is very well formed and efficient as a breeding ewe. She doesn’t eat much, her ewelamb Azula never had any trouble making weight alongside the other ewelambs and right now her boy/girl twins Zuko II and Katara are giant and mighty.
And yet they eat the same ways, but have very different results in terms of their condition. Both worth breeding though.