"The sheep have been probably the best profit makers in the last five years because of the declining numbers. And they have Raymond has done very well in breeding the genetics in them so we have good numbers. But it does take dedication. I mean, you just can't say, 'Okay, sheep, have your lambs. We'll see them later.' Sheep don't like that. They want your devotion
"Well the genetics with sheep are you want a good body confirmation so that there's a good carcass that they make the packer some good cuts. He doesn't want something that's all 'scroungey' and small. And when he gets a carcass that doesn't have any value. So, you go for the leg structure, the wide backs, the length of carcass, and so forth. And then you with sheep we've pushed a little bit of the genetics on plural [or] multiple births. And we've gone probably from a lambing rate of 130 percent to at least 190 percent."
Question: "So most of the ewes that you have are producing two lambs."
"Two lambs, yeah. And those that have singles (outside of the yearlings) then usually if one has a single probably the next day somebody will have three and you'll balance out. That's the drop [the number of lambs that are born]. Now, you're not going to raise every one of them to market. But it still takes it still goes back to management."
Question: "What is the market? For your sheep, it's the meat market."
"Yeah, the slaughter market. Raymond is connected with a broker out of Kansas that sells sheep to different packing houses. And with the Muslim population and the Jewish population, that's their favorite meat. So, he [the packer] buys our lambs. We'll usually put them right on the semi, and they go to these areas. And they keep saying, 'Bring us more.'"
Question: "It sounds like the business is very heavily driven by the needs of the consumers."
"Yeah. You would be smart if you'd look at that. You've got to produce a product that somebody wants, otherwise you're not going to be in business for very long."