Like I said Steve, everyone's entitled to their own opinion. But I don't think it really gives a true impression to a beginner for you to say FOUR TIMES, as if it's gospel, that someone with a small flock will only produce shite rams and get a bad reputation if they sell them for breeding. This is patently untrue from my knowledge and experience (unless you are suggesting I'm lying.) And I don't understand where you have got this strong opinion from, if it's not from your own stock.
Obviously from other posts, you have considerable knowledge and experience of sheep, so please don't think I'm trying to discredit your views. However, if I, as a small farmer, am selecting a new ram - as I am at present about to buy a fresh Suffolk tup - the main thing I am looking for is conformation and size.
The other 6 of the 7 points you mentioned are mainly (but not entirely) environmental or irrelevant, in my opinion, though obviously may be important to others.
Let me explain:
Point 1. Easy birth. Could be important, especially in a breed like Texel, but not of greatest relevence in Ryelands, which I believe Buffy keeps. A difficult birth is often due to overfeeding the ewe in late pregnancy. (Hence scanning to determine number of lambs and state of pregnancy.) I wouldn't turn down a fantastic ram lamb because it was born by caesarian. But I would be careful of overfeeding the ewes carrying its offspring.
2. Quickly up on its feet. Again any problems here are more due to condition of ewe, extreme weather, or other external factors. But if you have a thin skinned breed, eg Bleu du Maine, you would not expect them to lamb outside in a gale and sub zero temps, and if you did, the lambs would probably never get up. That doesn't mean they are no good - just in the wrong environment.
3. Twins are due to multiple ovulation by the ewe, and can be affected by her plane of nutrition at tupping. It has NOTHING to do with the ram, unless you believe he normally only produces one sperm.
4. Limping. Environmental due to bacteria. They aren't born with scald or foot rot.
5. Good growth with no concentrates. If you are selling a ram, you show it at its best. To get the optimum price for a ram lamb it needs to be big. That generally means born early and fed concentrates to achieve maximum size at point of sale. If you don't feed your ram lamb to achieve optimum growth, you will lose your sale to the breeder who does.
6. Fast growing and therefore big for its age. Yes - this I agree with. But the seller will ensure optimum growth, again by feeding concentrates.
7. High Worm resistance. I do not wish to insult you by saying that this is rubbish. (So I will think it but not say it
.) There is no tool available to the smallholder to test worm resistance. You can test for worms, but if you don't find many this doesn't prove the sheep have a genetic resistance. It just proves your husbandry is right and you're keeping the worms under control. Under different conditions the same sheep could be riddled with worms. To achieve optimum growth lambs must be kept as worm free as possible. Either by moving frequently onto clean pasture or worming regularly or grazing with a different species, or any combination of the 3. It has nothing to do with breeding so can not be cited as a selling point.
Finally, Steve, you say that you never intended to become a ram breeder,. . . and if you ever decide to sell a ram. . . This suggests that you never have, so with all due respect, I don't think you have the experience or knowledge to advise people who may be thinking of selling breeding stock. You say that you do your rams harder than your flock ewes, and again - this is NOT how you produce good rams for sale. If I buy a ram I want to see it at its best. I'm not going to pay a premium for one that has had to struggle to achieve a mediocre size.And if this is how the people you know treat their rams that they aim to sell, then it's no wonder that you have such a poor opinion of small scale ram breeders.
But please - I'm not trying to insult you or rubbish your views - I have read many of your posts which are helpful and knowledgeable.
But on the subject of producing ram lambs for breeding I can assure you there are better ways than those that you have been advised of.