Sure, they look innocent enough, but these yearlings (AKA "Raptors") earned this with their mischief and general horseplay. They are like rebellious teenagers. I could also call them the dirty dozen. Every day they run and frolic with the flock, and every night I have to put them in solitary to restore order.
That'll do for now. We had quite a run on ewe lambs for a while there, but it's been mostly rams since then. At least they are good ones. You never have a 100% success rate with lambs, but we always track that pretty closely to see how we are doing with our breeding program. I figure we are on track if 80% of our lambs meet our lofty expectations. The last two years, I estimated that we were around 85%. Even the "bad" 15% were pretty darn good, to be honest. But when most of our adult flock are Superfine with fleeces that we are striving for (looking at all the fleece attributes holistically), the lambs have to be really good to force me to move out some of the adults. In our program, a keeper lamb typically means an adult has to move on to make room in the barn. That's the part of this that I don't like. Success means getting rid of ewes I want to hold onto. Of course, who am I to say that any of these lambs will be better than the 12 raptors we kept from last year or the amazing crop we had two year's ago. It's a good problem to have I guess. At least that's what I keep telling myself when I am lying awake at night fretting about it. It seems like each lamb has me labelling it as a keeper as it is born, not realizing we have 17 such keepers so far and another 12 Raptors from last year that I am really high on still. The math doesn't quite work.