Travis Johnson wrote:If I read your situation right, you will be alright breeding them...
Sheep are different than humans and so what you are proposing is called Line-Breeding and is okay, and something I often practice...and something small farms often practice. There is a few things to keep in mind though; not really "rules", just points to keep in mind...like Permiculture in general...when pushing the boundaries you must be prepared for unexpected contingencies.
First, I practice some line breeding because I am not a REGISTERED Sheep farm. While I know a lot of registered sheep farms lie on the paper work, ethically and morally a farm should not line breed if they sell registered sheep.
The other thing is, a farm has to be prepared to cull. This is where a lot of small farms get into trouble. They fall in love with the resulting lambs and then keep them, line breed back to the same dad (what would be a ram breeding his daughter, his granddaughters, and great-granddaughters)...again, and again, and again...you just cannot do that. Line breeding for a year or two...yes that is okay, but then you have to introduce new blood lines. So I might use a ram to breed his daughter, and possibly his grand-daughter if the two were really good sheep, but NEVER to his great-Granddaughter). I hope all that makes sense.
Now here is the good/bad thing about line breeding; it is a roll of the dice. I line breed because I might get a super lamb exhibiting all the best attributes of the dame and sire sheep...but I also might get genetic garbage. It is a 50/50 chance. Here is where non-culling farms just plain cannot line-breed. If any farm...no matter the size...gets lambs that are genetic garbage...no matter the gender; they have to be culled. You cannot keep them. It would ultimately ruin the genetics of your flock. But the opposite holds true too; if I get a super-lamb from line-breeding, I have improved the genetics of my flock. So it may/may not be worth it.