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Brothers breed lambs, learn

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Auburn – In Lincoln County, the Nelson brothers have been breeding sheep for the past four years.

“We have our seven ewes, and we bought a buck. We breed and we sell them to kids that need 4-H lambs,” explains 12-year-old Brant Nelson.

Brant and his 16-year-old brother Jayden came from Utah to Wyoming, where their cousins were already showing sheep. The brothers thought it sounded like fun and decided to give it a try.

“We each bought two ewes. Then our grandma bought them and gave them back to us,” Brant says. “Then we decided we wanted to breed them.”

The first year, they rented a buck and were successful in producing lambs to raise for 4-H that year. The lambs grew up into breeding ewes for Brant and Jayden.

“We did the same thing. Our grandma bought them and we built on our herd,” Brant explains.

Soon, the brothers were able to buy more sheep from the woman who had sold them lambs for their first year of showing.

“She was selling her lambs because her kids were getting older. We bought some of her ewes,and we are building up our herd,” he comments.

Currently, the Nelson brothers are raising Hampshire-Suffolk cross lambs, which they sell around the middle of April to other 4-H kids.

“To find kids who want lambs, we go around asking people, and 4-H kids come to us and ask if they can get some,” Brant notes.

This week, Brant will be showing his own sheep as well, at the Lincoln County Fair. For now, Jayden sticks to raising them.

“We learn about everything,” Brant says of his breeding and selling experience. “Every year, we learn something new because either something goes wrong or it goes really well, and we learn about it.”

The biggest challenge, he mentions, is getting up in the middle of the night to check on ewes and their newborn lambs.

The best part, Brant explains, “When they are born, we get to watch them grow and see how they are really cute and funny.”

Natasha Wheeler is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be contacted at

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