Our current flock of 250 ewes was derived from a purchase of
120 ewe lambs from two different breeders in central New York. Richard had sheared professionally in New York for 15 years
which gave him the chance to shear for and therefore observe several successful accelerated lambing flocks for a long period
of time. After this lengthy evaluation, we chose the original source flocks based on flock prolificacy and ability to lamb
throughout the year. These original sheep were mostly Finn x Dorset cross with a small amount of Romanov breeding also included.
To insure superior health status when we started, we selected lambs from ewes that tested negative for Ovine progressive
pneumonia (OPP)and were isolated from any animals testing positive for OPP. We then tested all the purchased lambs at 12
months of age. All tested negative, indicating that our selection system against OPP worked extremely well. For those not
familiar, OPP is a disease caused by the maedi visna virus that greatly reduces ewe productively and eventually becomes a
terminal illness. In order to prevent introduction of this and other health problems, we introduce very few new animals to
our flock and quarantine and test the few we do introduce before exposing them to the rest of the flock.
rams selected for our flock came from the nearby Cornell University Sheep Program. These rams were all Finn x Dorset rams
and were selected based on their maternal production records. After reviewing many records, our final selections had mothers
who lambed 5 consecutive times at 7.2 month intervals and who averaged over a 220% lambing percentage over that period. We
have since also selected several sons within our own flock for use, whose mothers have had better records than this.