Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Daft questions about adding new sheep  (Read 1364 times)

roddycm

  • Joined Jul 2013
Re: Daft questions about adding new sheep
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2020, 04:45:24 pm »
I would go for a low input ewe and cross to an appropriate terminal sire if you want bigger lambs... so you get the best of both worlds! Shetlands would be good. I bred pure black welsh and they finished on the ewe and went to be processed at weaning on limited acreage. A friend of mine puts her handful of black welsh to a texel and gets great results. She has a big commercial flock but keeps a few black welsh because they are so lovely. I am no longer in the UK and now have texels, but I digress! 

Zwartbles are lovely sheep but personally I would not get them in your situation, as they may just be too big. With a smaller breed you can always get away with keeping a lamb or two longer or even keeping back a ewe lamb you particularly love.

Ultimately you have to get a breed you really like, as they always say you have to see it every day so it helps if you like the look of it haha. From your list of three options, I would go for Shetlands and if you want a bigger lamb cross with a good terminal ram. The breed society recommend Texel, Charollais, Suffolk, and Beltex!

**EDIT** Adding a link with more info for you - https://www.shetland-sheep.org.uk/shetland-sheep-breed/commercial-shetlands

Good luck!
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 04:51:38 pm by roddycm »

silkwoodzwartbles

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Daft questions about adding new sheep
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2020, 11:12:18 am »
I would suggest that you buy your Zwartbles from silkwoodzwartbles (or someone like her) since she has got rid of all the undesirable traits from her flock.

Aww thank you, I'm pleased with my girls and would be very happy for the OP to meet them, but I have nothing to sell as pedigree this year as I'm keeping the best lambs for myself. I have 3 shearlings and 4 lambs to sell but they're for commercial, hobby or ET use only as they don't conform to breed standard.

I sourced my best bought in ewes from the Redgate flock in Shropshire though so would recommend them if pedigree animals were wanted (ideally Cynefin Ceiron daughters as these are the ones I've found to be the best).

vegpatch

  • Joined Oct 2016
Re: Daft questions about adding new sheep
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2020, 12:07:36 pm »
Many thanks everyone for your really helpful and thoughtful comments and suggestions.  I shall ponder this some more and no doubt will be back with more questions.

Thank you @Womble and @silkwoodzwartbles for your offers to let me meet your sheep - sadly I no longer live in Scotland Womble - though I spent most of my teens in Falkirk and Braco.  I'm now in north Oxfordshire but if lockdown conditions change dramatically and I can get up to Edinburgh to see my parents, I might take you up on that offer of a visit.

@SallyintNorth - you're making Shetlands sound more and more feasible :excited: - particularly if by using a ram from a more commercial/fast growing breed I might be able to get most lambs away earlier.  Do they still taste like Shetland meat though?  I will say our dorset tastes great - though the breed itself doesn't really thrill me (except for our crazy Cotswold/dorset cross - and it's the Cotswold in her that was my downfall I think).

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Daft questions about adding new sheep
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2020, 10:08:09 pm »
I would think Shetland x Texel will have considerably more flavour than pure Texel, for sure.  Probably not quite the depth of flavour of pure Shetland.  Shetland x Charollais would be interesting... Charollais grow like stink, the meat is sweet and succulent.   But I assume you will be using whatever tup is around nearby you can borrow or take your ewes over to?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Daft questions about adding new sheep
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2020, 11:56:27 am »

The other thing nobody has mentioned about Shetlands is that they come in all sorts of utterly unpronounceable colour combinations, which is really cool for a hobby flock.


Can I throw another one into the mix though? Balwen Welsh Mountains. They look like Zs, but will have characteristics more like Shetlands? Maybe? Or am I talking out of my......  :thinking:


I have no direct experience of Balwens except having some fleece as part of the first Tour of British Fleece.  It was the harshest, roughest, least pleasant of all the fleeces I span that Tour - and I think I span something like 27 different ones!!

But yes, they do have colouring and markings like Zwartbles and are a smaller, more primitive type.  Folks on here who have them talk about them having many of the same characteristics as Shetlands from a management point of view - but of course, absolutely no variation in fleece colour or pattern.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Gornoeth

  • Joined May 2019
Re: Daft questions about adding new sheep
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2020, 01:24:52 pm »
We have 3 Zwartbles and our neighbour has Balwens. She asked us what we were feeding as our sheep much bigger than hers  :roflanim: very similar looking but I'd say you need to make sure you have good fences with the Balwens, they're quite wild, bit like goats.

vegpatch

  • Joined Oct 2016
Re: Daft questions about adding new sheep
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2020, 07:09:21 pm »
Thought I'd post an update - our new sheep arrived today and, having said I didn't want horns, we've gone for 3 Jacobs  ::).  They're very pretty and so far, don't appear too flighty - curious and a bit wary but certainly not huddling at the far end of the field as I'd been warned they might do because they haven't been handled much. 

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Daft questions about adding new sheep
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2020, 07:43:48 pm »
Jacobs are good at unzipping coat pockets  :D  Beautiful sheep.  Send us a pic?
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

vegpatch

  • Joined Oct 2016
Re: Daft questions about adding new sheep
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2020, 10:35:55 am »
@Fleecewife - not sure they'll find much of interest in my pockets unless they like rubber gloves and secateurs :o   

Here they are - looking very spotty!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 10:39:46 am by vegpatch »

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Daft questions about adding new sheep
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2020, 11:54:29 am »
They're beautifully marked  :thumbsup: .  We started with three Jacobs too, but being in Scotland they were all multihorned (we also didn't dock their tails but that's a matter of taste and probably best to dock if all lambs are for the pot) 
Speaking of taste, Jacob meat is very good.  The gigots are longer and slimmer than commercial breeds, but carry as much meat overall.  When ours were butchered, we had the end of the bone folded back (I expect it has a butchering name but I don't know it) otherwise it doesn't fit into a standard roaster. You have some tasty dinners ahead when you breed lambs.  We sent ours off in Nov from an April lambing, but the growing season may be different down south. Eventually our beautiful Jacobs got too big for us to handle, the tups especially, but I do miss having a field full of spotty gambolling lambs being cheeky.
They will tame up quickly, especially if you keep bits of Digestives in your pocket instead of rubber gloves  :yum:
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 11:58:30 am by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

vegpatch

  • Joined Oct 2016
Re: Daft questions about adding new sheep
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2020, 12:55:33 pm »
Not sure whether we'll dock lambs tails or not.  I'd prefer not to but I may be out voted.  Good to know they're tasty - we've been told this by several other people so  :thumbsup:  I think 4 horned ones look amazing but as a horn 'feartie' I thought I'd stick to 2, for now  :innocent:

Thanks for the digestive tip - have just added them to the online shop!  Now I just have to hide them from the rest of my household otherwise the sheep won't get a lookin.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Daft questions about adding new sheep
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2020, 06:49:16 pm »
You might have to push a small bit of Digestive into the side of their mouth the first time, but they soon get a taste for them and they are a great attractant and good if one is ever ill, for tempting the appetite.  Just small pieces though.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

 

Insurance for sheep - possibly a daft question !

Started by countrygirlatheart

Replies: 1
Views: 4733
Last post July 09, 2008, 12:16:14 am
by hexhammeasure
Daft Question time - Are some sheep mute?

Started by Mickey

Replies: 8
Views: 2554
Last post August 25, 2015, 03:23:01 pm
by SophieLeeds
Sheep questions

Started by vfr400boy

Replies: 23
Views: 794
Last post June 17, 2020, 07:29:27 pm
by vfr400boy
Some basic sheep questions!

Started by loosey

Replies: 7
Views: 3306
Last post December 20, 2010, 06:34:42 pm
by loosey
hebridean sheep questions

Started by happy larry

Replies: 16
Views: 8586
Last post June 06, 2012, 12:20:59 am
by SallyintNorth

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2020. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS