The act of culling particular specimens from a flock to improve flock genetics and characteristics is a really common practice. I often think about that word as a violent term, but it does’t have to be.
For example, Margaret, who gave birth to Aurora and Apollo nearly two weeks ago, never produced any milk. I have been raising her lambs as bottle babies. We plan on culling Margaret this year.
But my version of culling involves finding a home, not sending her to slaughter. She’s probably ten years old, and not worth a nickel in terms of meat. However, there are many hobby farms or families who want backyard pets who are willing to take sheep off people’s hands. Especially sheep like Margaret who are very gentle and relaxed.
So, we will be culling Margaret. It’s about time, she’s very old, and it makes sense. It’s a bit depressing because she’s sweet as pie and beautiful to photograph, but so it goes. I would prefer to not have pre-planned bottle babies, it’s exhausting.