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MacLennan Club Lambs

We caught up with the breeder of the Grand Champion Market Lamb at the 2024 San Antonio Stock Show. We invite you to read our candid interview with MacLennan Club Lambs and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Breeder Spotlight.”

What’s the pedigree of your champion?
Hostile Takeover x White Chocolate

What ram or female has been most influential to your herd?
American Outlaw is my favorite buck we’ve ever owned!  He has been timeless!

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about raising animals?
It’s interesting to me that no matter how much emphasis you put on selecting certain traits or trying to remove other traits from your flock for years and years, that sometimes, those traits still just show up.  Sometimes 7-8 generations later!

Have you ever had to deal with an unexpected challenge while caring for your flock? How did you handle it?
A handful of years ago we had an explosion of lambs dying at 30 days old to what seemed like enterotoxemia.  But standard treatments were not working at all.  We cut the small intestine from multiple lambs and sent for evaluation.  It was determined that we had Type A clostridium rather than the C&D that everyone vaccinates for.  Through the help of local Vets, CSU, and a couple other specialized labs throughout the country, we were able to make a vaccine specific to our strain and slowly have taken our number of incidents from nearly 40 the first year, 30+ the second year and down to just a couple cases this year.   Overall, we have lost over 150+ babies over the last 5-6 years.  
Interestingly, a large cattle ranch to our south also had significant losses and through testing, was found to have very similar strain of the bacteria.  So we have shared vaccines through the years.  It is presumed that because we both border a huge buffalo ranch, we likely caught the bacteria from there through the movements of deer and other wildlife.

How many years have you been raising sheep?
My parents started raising sheep in the very early 1980s.  We always had sheep around and through my 4-H years we raised our own show sheep but put very little effort into progressing them to a marketable enterprise.  When I was in 7th grade, we decided to either get rid of them all or get serious about them.  So my dad and I made a trip to Alan McCune and Joe Harrell and bought a Jigsaw Son and a Bodacious son.  That was the beginning of what we are today, 27 years ago

Do you prefer online sales or live sales?
Both have their place.  I feel that online sales give buyers the opportunity to talk themselves into bidding just one more time and that usually ends up being 3-4 more bids. And then have the opportunity to move to another one if they would like.  Which just keeps the sale active on a lot more sheep.   During a live sale, the sale order can significantly limit some buyers and forces them to make a decision and in my experience, they generally get tighter with their bids.  If my favorite sheep sells 10th and my second favorite sells 5th, I’m likely not going to bid on my second favorite like I would have if I had known I wasn’t going to get my first choice.  I will be more conservative trying to save for the best one.  And more often than not, I end up leaving with neither one of them and keep the money I had to spend which just takes money out of the consignors pockets.  If those two sheep were online, I could max them both out however I see fit.  

What’s been your best marketing tactic?
Facebook, Champion Drive and winning wether shows.