Friday, January 27, 2012


Snickers is a very big, black and white Dorper ewe of ours. She does not have the perfect Dorper markings, but that is just fine with me. She does not have the best conformation or build, but she still has a very nice, big and muscular built body. I believe she is about 5 to 6 years old. She was bred to Rocky, a Katahdin ram and had triplets back in January of 2011 . . . 1 girl and 2 boys. They were/are very nice and big sheep . . . she throws beautiful offspring. She was bred again to Rocky, the Katahdin ram and is due sometime soon.

Here are some pictures ~

The first 3 pictures are of her back in 2009 or 2010 I believe.

The rest of the pictures below are of her near the end of 2011.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The COPPER Question

Official Newsletter

RBJ-June 2003

The COPPER Question

By Anita Hollon-Garza from the Painted Desert Sheep Society

Sheep have a love/hate relationship with copper. It is a much needed element to help insure health, but too little causes defects, and too much can cause death. Some flock owners might be aware that there is a potential problem with copper intake, but might not be totally informed of what is involved. Therefore, some breeders are almost fanatic about the copper issue without realizing that trying to totally avoid feeds with copper can cause just as severe a problem as feeding too much.
Hair sheep seem to take a back seat in a lot of sheep studies, so the exact data concerning hair sheep and their tolerance/intolerance to copper is not really known at this time. Some of the breeds (mostly European) that are prone to copper toxicity are Suffolks, Oxfords, Shropshires, and Texels. Merino sheep are lesser prone, and even more so with Finnsheep. Mature ewes of the down or medium wool breeds are more susceptible.
Copper is needed for the production of melanin, iron metabolism, elastin and collagen synthesis, as well as the health of the nervous system and immune system. Ewes that are deficient in copper give birth to lambs that have partial paralysis of the limbs, and may be sway-back and unable to stand and nurse. Adult sheep may have poor, brittle wool as well as fertility and lactation problems due to copper deficiency.
Copper is found in grains, plants, hay (coastal, alfalfa, etc), mineral blocks, vitamins, feed-through wormers, and soil. A lot of people tend to concentrate only on grains and mineral blocks but overlook the fact that sheep get copper from other sources as well. Most sheep can easily tolerate 8-10 parts per million of copper. Please make note of this though: Most feed manufacturers do not include copper on the ingredient tag if it is a “trace” mineral - that is, “traces” of copper found normally in an ingredient. They usually only include the amount of ADDED copper. You can look at an ingredient tag and tell if the manufacturer is aware of the copper problem in sheep, because not only will they list the ppm of copper, but also the ppm of molybdenum, zinc, sulfur, all of which bond with copper and form insoluble complexes, limiting copper absorption. The molybdenum and zinc are especially important as copper antagonists. A sheep should not have a diet (everything it consumes) of more than 15-20 ppm of copper unless they are also getting molybdenum, but again, it depends on the breeds of sheep as mentioned above. Most sheep feeds have 25-35 ppm of copper but also add molybdenum. The ratio of copper to molybdenum should be 10:1. High rates of molybdenum binds up too much copper and then you are dealing with a copper deficiency. Molybdenum should be shown on the tag at a rate of 3 ppm.
Copper deficient soils produce poor crops. In some areas, copper is routinely applied to soil where alfalfa is grown.
Some of the higher protein horse feeds have too much copper for sheep - 35 ppm. A lower protein horse feed may have the desired amount - 8-10 ppm. Poultry, cattle, and especially swine feeds have copper levels too high to feed to sheep. Some swine feeds have 300 ppm of copper, or better. An entire flock of sheep was lost due to chronic copper poisoning (CCP). When the flock owner fertilized his sheep fields with a pig manure slurry, he didn’t realize that the manure had copper at dangerously high levels, and when the soil and forage were tested where the manure had been added, it had copper levels at 85 ppm!!
Copper toxicity has two forms: acute and chronic. The acute form takes place after a sheep ingests an extremely high amount of copper at one time. The chronic form (CCP) results after a steady ingestion of a marginally high level of copper after several weeks or months. Even a level of 25-28 ppm of copper (found in feeds for sheep) after a length of time with no copper antagonists may cause CCF.
Copper is stored in the liver and is released through the kidneys at a slower rate than it is stored. A sheep’s liver will not store only the needed amounts, but ALL the copper it ingests, so herein lies the problem. Copper in the liver builds up over a long period of time, and then when the animal is stressed due to handling, lambing, weather changes, illness, hauling, etc., the liver cells rupture, releasing the copper into the bloodstream. Copper stores in the liver may be 1000-3000 ppm before reaching a threshold and is released. This results in a hemolytic state that is massive. Hemolysis is a normal function where old red blood cells deteriorate but are replaced by healthy red blood cells. In the hemolysis that takes place after the rapid release of copper in the bloodstream, the red blood cells breakdown at such a rate that up to 60% of the red blood cells circulating in the bloodstream may be damaged and cannot be replaced quickly enough. This is how sheep are lost to copper toxicosis.
Most often, the first sign of a problem with copper toxicity is finding a dead sheep. There are many other things that can cause a sudden death with no symptoms, such as enterotoxemia (pulpy kidney). If you are lucky, you might detect some early warning symptoms. The sheep may look anemic with pale membranes and be very depressed. The membranes then turn yellow as jaundice takes effect. Seventy-five percent of sheep with CCF will die. If CCF is suspected, a long term treatment of daily ammonium molybdate and sodium sulfate drenches is required. Sometimes a solution can be prepared to spray on the feed for sheep that are still eating. Remember though that sheep with a severe reaction may die before showing any symptoms.
Beware of feeds claiming to be for goats and sheep. Read the label and look for copper content. Goats can tolerate higher levels of copper, and it is surprising how many of the sheep and goat feeds are detrimental to your sheep due to high amounts of copper. Do not feed calf creep feeds or milk replacers that are offered for multiple species. The copper content will be too high. Only feed lamb milk replacer. Those manufacturers include copper because it is an essential mineral, but they also include copper antagonists, usually molybdenum.
Question your feed dealer as well as the manufacturer. Bringing awareness to this issue is badly needed. I personally questioned one manufacturer several times before they finally added the amounts of copper to their tags, and it was a minimum of 22 ppm and a maximum of 38 ppm !! When your dealer takes the hint that you are a concerned owner, then they are more conscientious about the products they offer.
I cannot stress enough the importance of having a necropsy performed on your animals. Many diseases share symptoms. For instance, an unthrifty, weak lamb that appears to have deformities could be copper deficient, or have White Muscle Disease (a result of a deficiency in selenium). Unthrifty, anemic-looking sheep could have enterotoxemia, CCF, liver flukes, or any number of ailments. Upon necropsy, a sheep with CCF is obvious. The membranes are yellowish, the kidneys are extremely dark, and the urine is bloody. Also take into consideration how you manage your flock and the copper level of everything ingested. If you are unsure, you can have your grains and hays tested for the amount of copper they contain.
As an interesting side note, there are many breeds of dogs that are prone to copper toxicosis. Bedlington terriers have the worst problem with it, but Dobermans are prone to it as well. As a breeder of Dobermans, this is of great concern to me. Testing has proved that copper toxicosis in dogs is due to a malfunctioning gene that impairs the biliary excretion of copper. The gene has been located in the Bedlington terrier, and now DNA testing of potential breeding stock will show whether a dog is affected, clear or carrier. Breeding only clear x clear or clear x carrier will avoid producing affected dogs (ie, avoid breeding carrier x carrier or affected x carrier or affected x affected). Hopefully, genetic markers will be found in the future for other dog breeds with this problem. It is equally surprising to see some of the copper contents on various dog foods - some are 75 ppm or higher.
Unfortunately, searching for a genetic marker or undergoing related testing to look for a remedy, and then expecting flock owners to test each sheep, would be cost prohibitive. The best we can do as flock managers is to take into consideration all sources of copper, and manage accordingly.

Anita Garza, Founder/Registrar
11819 Puska
Needville, Texas 77461

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Finnish Landrace ram!!

On Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 we got a new registerable Finnish Landrace ram. He is a faded brown color with one very skinny little white stripe down his face. He was born in March of 2011 and his name is Boulder Ridge Rolling Thunder. We got him from Cindy Smith at Boulder Ridge farm. Thanks a lot Cindy for the beautiful ram, I really like him!!

I will try to post some pictures of him later sometime when I can.

OT: Why Ron Paul for President

I typically don't post stuff about politics on this blog, but because it's my blog, I can use it as a platform to share about pertinent issues from time to time :).

While politics don't necessarily have anything to do with raising sheep, the laws our politicians make, and the president we have over our nation greatly affects what we can and cannot do with our daily lives.

So, I feel that this is a very important issue right now, because our country is going on a downhill slide and our freedoms to raise our own animals and do anything we want are going away.

This year, 2012, is an election year. Our country is in bad shape - in extreme debt, a very bad economy, lack of jobs, too big of a government and abortion is legal (how sick). Since Obama became president, our country has gone a downhill slide of more and more debt and big government. This country needs help.

With the 2012 Presidential Election coming up this November, it is very important that you research and make an informed vote. Get out and vote. Let your voice be heard . . . don't be one of those people that think "oh, just one less vote won't do anything" because, if everyone thought that than there would be nobody elected as president.

President Obama is running for re-election. We certainly DON'T want him as President for ANOTHER 4 years. The other Republican candidates are more of the same - big government, bad foreign policies, etc.
The only candidate running for office who is actually different than Obama and all the other GOP candidates is Texas Congressman Ron Paul. He has been saying the same thing for 30+ years. He is an OB/GYN who has delivered over 4,000 babies. He wants to Restore Freedom to America and he has a PLAN to do so. He is not more of the same.
Ron Paul wants to, restore Freedom to Americans, bring our troops home (so that they are not fighting wars which America cannot afford and that are not approved by the people [Congress]), cut $1 TRILLION dollars in the first year, repeal ObamaCare, follow the Constitution and return power to the States and the People, abolish the IRS and Federal Reserve (get rid of taxes!), repeal Roe v. Wade, cut the president's pay to just under $40,000, make a stronger military and LOTS MORE!!

In 2011 Ron Paul also received more donations from active military personnel than all other Republican candidates and Obama combined. I think that says something right there.

Here are a few videos and websites for more info on Ron Paul. I urge you to watch these videos and look at these websites, and make a decision for yourself. If you care about the future of this country, please vote.

Why Ron Paul -

Ron Paul 2012 Official Campaign Website

This video shows why so many people support Ron Paul:

The below video shows Ron Paul's stand on foreign policy and Israel:

Below is one of Ron Paul's ads:

And one more - this is a very good video on why YOU should vote for Ron Paul. Adherence to the Oath.

So you might ask, what can I do? Get out, spread the word, join Facebook pages such as Ron Paul and Ron Paul Revolution and many, many others. If you have never voted before, register to vote and when it's time to, goVOTE.

Also, some may wonder why I, as young as I am, am so passionate about political things. Why? Because I care about the future of our country. All things being equal, what happens now will affect my generation much more than any other. And if I want to have a part and change this country for the better, then ALL of us need to get out and care, not just sit back and do nothing.

Stand up for freedom and liberty. If you would like to run your own business, run a farm or do anything you want without the big goverment coming in and telling you what you can and cannot do than, PLEASE vote Ron Paul 2012!!

I will close with a great song, The Light of Revolution, put together by Jordan Page, a Ron Paul supporter. He mentions all the issues very well in this song.

~ Haleluyah

P. S. Here are some more posts done about Ron Paul:, . 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Diamond is a black and white Katahdin/Dorper ram that we used to own. He was about 3 years old when we got him. He has GREAT conformation and is built very big and muscular. We got him and another ram on October 16th, 2011. We bred him to a few ewes and then sold him, because we just did not need him anymore (it was not because we didn't like him).

Here are some pictures ~

Friday, January 6, 2012


Spot passed away in October 2012 for an unknown reason :(

Spot is a light chocolate and white colored Katahdin ewe. We got Spot on March 24th, 2011 along with 5 other ewes from New Mexico (Thanks to Rena Cook!!). Spot is a nice and big and pretty ewe, she is built fairly good, but does not have the best conformation. But she does throw nice and pretty offspring (which is why we are keeping her right now).

 If you would like to see her 2011 lamb you can go here to see ~ .

Here are some pictures ~ 

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Carmel is a beautiful dark chocolate colored Katahdin ewe of ours. She has great conformation and is built nice and big and is pretty muscular. She is a beautiful dark chocolate color and also has a very little amount of white on her. Carmel was born on Thursday, July, 28th, 2011 and is a single. She is very big and nice for her age. Her dam is Spot, a chocolate and white, %100 Katahdin ewe of ours, and her sire is Luie, a registered white Katahdin ram, who a breeder in New Mexico owns.

Here are some pictures ~

None of these pictures of Carmel are recent, they are several months old.

She has a white heart on her head:)

Monday, January 2, 2012


Well, I thought that I should just give a little update on the sheep. 

As of right now we own 38 ewes, 5 rams and 2 little ram lambs. 

We have a few sheep for sale right now . . . go check out our for sale page for more information ~ . 

25 of our ewes are bred. The first ewe due is Appalachia and she is due on February 1st! We have several other ewes due in February too and then we have a little break, because no ewes are due in March, then we will be starting up again on April 4th and then we will be having ewes lambing from then until May 4th.
There are 3 or 4  more ewes that we plan to breed as soon as they come into heat and the rest of the ewes are younger ones that we want to wait a few more months to breed.

Here are a few pictures ~