Charolais...world class ram?
"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:

44.9Kg         82.5cm          19.8cm             110mm            27.6mm /   3mm  /    3.7
(98.9 lbs.)    (chest)    (back Broadness)   (Canon)       (eyemusc./ backfat/ eyemuscle shape)
(weight)                   ("spjald" in Icelandic)

Charolais' measurements (including the 2017 ultrasound) were as follows:

53.18Kg        91.0cm         19.0cm                  ?                 44mm? /   4.5mm  /    4.5+
(117 lbs.)      (chest)   (back Broadness)   (Canon)        (eyemusc./ backfat/ eyemuscle shape)
(weight)                   ("spjald" in Icelandic)

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!
Charolais at 5 1/2 months
Charolais at 3 months