"Charolais" NMI-877E, homozygous white, triplet. Born March 26, 2017. 48% AI, 30 AI sires in his bloodline, including Raftur, Visir, Mjaldur, Grani, Lodi, Sekkur, Bramli, Aboti, Gari, Laekur, Hunn, Keli, Pristur, Foli, Galsi, Garpur, and many others. (Note that he carries the genetics of what the Icelanders consider as four of the best rams in Iceland's history: Garpur, Laekur, Raftur, and Visir.) Born a triplet, but has a very fast growth rate, weighing a hefty 117 lbs. @ 5 1/2 months of age which is 20% heavier than the average twin AI sire as a lamb. His conformation is of medium height, but is very thick and exceptionally muscled. As a lamb at 7 weeks of age, his back was bulging with muscle...one could call it (if this score actually existed) a "5 1/2 out of 5 score" in muscle shape and thickness. With ultrasound testing at 5 1/2 months, it appears his eyemuscling (which is what the Icelanders call the oval/round muscle in the loinchop) was an astounding 39mm, which is likely to even outdo the superb muscling of his sire Angus, whose eye muscle thickness of 40mm at 8 months was better than almost all of the very best of the best sires in the 3 AI semen collection facilities in Iceland when measured at 18 months!! (The average loin eye muscle thickness of 18 month old rams in the semen collection facilities of Iceland when I did the study was 36 mm. See Angus's eyemuscling here. The Icelandic agricultural department purchases the best of the breed in order to farm their semen for distribution to farms throughout Iceland in order to improve the national flock. So for Charolais' sire Angus to outclass THEM is truly an accomplishment, and for Charolais to outclass his own sire is even more amazing!) Unfortunately I have to report that due to a rather bizarre set of circumstances, Charolais caught his horns in the thick wall of his pen, and the angle at which his head ended up shut off his air supply and he suffocated. When I found him, he was still warm. If I had come out to the barn just a half hour earlier I probably would have been able to save him. I administered CPR, but to no avail. I sent him to the butcher and had him processed, and when I got him back I opened up the vacuum pack that contained his eyemuscling (loin chops) in order to measure them. I had suspected that his muscling was even thicker than the ultrasound testing indicated, as we were using a different veterinarian with a different machine than the previous time and it's focus and measuring capabilities were not at the same level as the previous ultra high tech unit that had been used on my flock in the past. Sure enough, his (loin) eyemuscling was substantially thicker than the ultrasound had indicated. Rather than 39mm, his loin at 5 1/2 months probably measured more like 44 mm, and at the age of 9 1/2 months of age, his eyemuscling measured an astounding 51mm!! (+ or -). (See pictures below). For additional perspective on this, consider what Hrutaskra, the catalog of Iceland's finest rams whose semen is used to improve the national flock had to say concerning the eyemuscling of a superb ram of theirs named "Mjaldur" (#93-985) who rated an 86.5 overall quality score: Hrutaskra said Mjaldur's eyemuscle was "an amazing 41mm!" That measurement was taken at 18 months of age. The ram "Rektor," also housed in one of Iceland's three semen collection facilities was also famous for his thick (42mm) eyemuscling at 18 months of age. My ram Charolais' loin muscle was 51mm at 9 1/2 months of age!! Hopefully he succeeded in impregnating my ewe "Dierdre," whose muscling is 40/41mm at 18 months (correcting for this year's ultrasound test) which is simply astounding for a ewe!!! Charolais' leg muscling was also exceptional, having inherited his dam's incredible leg muscling...the best I have seen in the world on ANY sheep, ram or ewe, of ANY breed...even putting the Texel rams advertised in the sheep industry magazine advertisements to shame!! (See Tuligirl's leg musclinghere.) Charolais' neck was very short and very thick, his shoulders were exceptionally wide and very powerful. His wool was very dense, thick and fine. He was indeed one of the best of the very best in the world of this breed. How did I come to my conclusion concerning the excellence of Charolais' and Angus' back muscling and conformation statistics? I went through the published statistics of five years worth of measurements done by the Icelanders' of the rams selected out of their national herd who would then be quartered at the nations' three semen collection facilities for the purpose of farming their semen. The nation's very best rams are selected for this. I averaged the measurements and characteristics of the five years of statistics and came up with an average of the ram lambs in the 4.5 to 5.5 month age bracket, as well as the rams in the 1.5 year (18 month) age group, then had a veterinarian bring an ultrasound machine to my farm to measure the eyemuscling of each of my own rams and ram lambs, and a few of the ewes. (I myself was taught how to do this in Iceland.)
The "standard" I calculated out of five years worth of the Icelander's statistics of the attributes of their finest rams when evaluated at 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 months of age was the following:
Charolais' weight was 20% higher than the average, and his eyemuscle thickness was far superior, as were his chest dimensions. The broadness of his back was very very close to the average for AI sires as lambs. He seems to have inherited one undesireable attribute of his ancestor Visir though, which is the propensity to carry a fat layer thicker than Iceland's ideal of 2mm, but it is still at a level that is very acceptible. (Two AI sires that were carrying an exceptional amount of fat were "Haengur" at 13mm, and Bambi, whose fat layer was not published by the Icelanders.) For the 2018 breeding season, Charolais was bred to Dierdre. (She does indeed seem to be pregnant.) The lambs will be 52% AI and have an incredible 44 different AI sires in their background! Why is so much AI genetics a good thing? Click here!