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"Progress through Pedigree and Performance"

The 2013 Hampshire lamb crop will be exciting with a number of Hancock 9115 ("Storm Cat" x "31") daughters bred to a son of the great RRNN Hancock ram "100 Proof". 

Southdown Headliners

Hampshire and blackface wether sheep have headlined All-American Lambs for years. Those who have paid close attention to "all the news" and sale reports could have noticed that Southdowns were populating some of the pastures for us the past few years. While we are maintaining our wether-sire lines, we are building the Southdown flock with some solid Forsee genetics. Brian Forsee and Nick Miller have a good image of our ideal Southdown. A true Southdown that is muscular and carries that thickness on a sound frame - with positive Southdown characteristics.

We do not want or need "southdowns" that are Rambouillets or Dorsets. We need functional sheep that excel in the traits that Southdowns are supposed to excel with. If you want 40-inch sheep at the shoulders, may we suggest other breeds for your needs. If you are looking for solid Southdown wethers for your market shows or breeding sheep to populate a Southdown flock of your own that are low maintenance (easy-keeping) and that produce outstanding carcass traits, we have sheep for your needs.

The two Southdown yearlings in the picture above are some of the foundation genetics we have purchased from Forsee Southdowns to launch forward. The "187" ram standing behind the ewe is pictured in the photo at right as a ram lamb. Read on to see how we chose our path forward.

The original Southdowns we purchased from Brian were two 2008 model ewes. Our children showed them a few years and were competitive at their county shows - even against the powerful Hampshires we entered. We used a few rams while we "searched" for the Southdown types we desired. Going to Brian's and studying more of the pedigrees and how they lined up with the phenotypes we appreciated most, we discovered the Forsee "90" lines were our preference.

Southdowns that looked like Southdowns and that had the top and hip shapes to go along with the overall muscling and appropriate dimension we appreciate in our Southdowns - that is "90". We are not raising the largest framed Southdowns, but we have ones that are performing and that meet our needs. In 2011, Brian and Nick agreed that the "187" ram we saw listed on the Forsee Southdown website was a great fit for our type and the genetics we desired. ("187" is the square hipped ram standing behind the ewe in the photo above and pictured as a ram lamb in the photo on the right.)

"187" is sired by "90" and his dam is sired by "90 Proof" (a "90" son) and dammed by a "90" daughter. Three shots of "90" in the pedigree within three generations. This long-sided, square-made ram is thick and still attractive through his front. The dam of "187" was the $2,051 2nd high-selling ewe from Forsee's 2011 Online Bred Ewe Sale. We look forward to another crop of Southdowns by "187" in 2013!

The ewe standing in the front of the picture is a "Revelation" granddaughter we purchased from Forsee when we purchased "187". "Revelation" is a "90 Proof" son that Brian used successfully and this ewe has that wonderful hip and easy-keeping type we enjoy. She was shown locally and was giving our Hampshires a run for their money in the Supreme Champion drive at our county fair. She was Reserve Supreme for our children behind the Supreme Hamp at the fair as a yearling in 2012. We look forward to her lambing bred to "187" in 2013 along with the entire group of Southdown ewes in our flock.

Sam Funk
3675 Highway D
Defiance, MO 63341
sam@greatlambs.com

(314) 471-
2601

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