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Author Topic: Raddle harnesses for small sheep  (Read 14085 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« on: November 15, 2023, 09:25:04 am »
Looking for recommendations (or horror stories....)

I'm not a huge fan of slapping raddle paste straight onto the tup's keel, I find it can give rise to irritated skin and sometimes infection.  Plus it needs re-doing every few days, and that isn't always easy to manage.

So we are pondering trying a raddle harness.

But our tups are a mature pedigree Shetland and a pedigree Balwen lamb.  So they're pretty small.

Can anyone recommend a harness which either fits or is sufficiently adjustable for the smaller framed tup? 
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Bywaters

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2023, 11:04:23 am »
Sorry , can't help.
Ours are big buggers and we find it easier to rub straight on their chest. It doesn't seem to harm them or the ewes
and generally lasts half a cycle

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2023, 11:29:35 am »
I really like the mating mark harnesses so they may be worth a look, but for the lamb I’d use raddle paint, mixed with veg or sunflower oil shouldn’t be too irritating?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2023, 03:44:23 pm »
I really like the mating mark harnesses so they may be worth a look, but for the lamb I’d use raddle paint, mixed with veg or sunflower oil shouldn’t be too irritating?

I have actually put exactly that on him, but he's pretty much wild and there's no way we can top it up without keep bringing them in. 

I've always use veg or sunflower oil when I did used to raddle, and did find it less irritating than engine oil (!), but nonetheless did find sores on the keels of some tups come shearing time. 
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Tim W

  • Joined Aug 2013
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2023, 06:45:55 am »
You can reduce the need for a raddle if you do without for the 1st cycle, simply apply paint on day 17 and get the few that come round in the 2nd cycle marked?
Those with no mark you know will lamb in the first 17 days?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2023, 08:29:40 pm »
You can reduce the need for a raddle if you do without for the 1st cycle, simply apply paint on day 17 and get the few that come round in the 2nd cycle marked?
Those with no mark you know will lamb in the first 17 days?

I only have the tup out for 18 days!

When we only tup 3, 4 or 5, even 18 days of watching 3-5 ewes mostly do nothing gets boring and yet I am still tied to the spot for 3 weeks...
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2023, 08:46:53 pm »
You can reduce the need for a raddle if you do without for the 1st cycle, simply apply paint on day 17 and get the few that come round in the 2nd cycle marked?
Those with no mark you know will lamb in the first 17 days?

I only have the tup out for 18 days!

When we only tup 3, 4 or 5, even 18 days of watching 3-5 ewes mostly do nothing gets boring and yet I am still tied to the spot for 3 weeks...


Sponge them? Might be a bit more expensive but should save plenty of time.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2023, 09:46:04 pm »
Yeah, might have to think about it.   :thinking:
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Tim W

  • Joined Aug 2013
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2023, 08:18:15 am »
Why do people use a raddle/marker?

Because they have no faith in the fertility of their stock?
They just want confirmation that ''something is happening''?
Because ''it's the thing to do?''

I'm not sure it's at all necessary in most situations


twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2023, 09:44:41 am »
I think I’d rather know a ram isn’t working and have time to do something about it, than get to scanning and find a group of empty ewes. Likewise this year I swapped out a few ewes from the maternal ram group that weren’t tupped after the first cycle, and put them with the terminal ram. They ran with a teaser for 2 weeks prior to rams going in.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2023, 03:13:26 pm »
Why do people use a raddle/marker?

Because they have no faith in the fertility of their stock?
They just want confirmation that ''something is happening''?
Because ''it's the thing to do?''

I'm not sure it's at all necessary in most situations

If you have a decent-sized flock, I agree, raddling not essential (and I've not done it for the last 10+ years).

But if your numbers are tiny, as mine now are, it's helpful to have a good idea when anyone might lamb.  Otherwise one feels obliged to stay close at home all day every day for the whole 3 weeks or whatever, when most days, nothing happens all day long....  ::)

We're tupping 7 this year, and we're using raddle for the first time.  I'm hoping I'll feel able to go out and about a bit more at lambing time next year. 
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), 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
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2023, 03:15:32 pm »

But our tups are a mature pedigree Shetland and a pedigree Balwen lamb.  So they're pretty small.

Can anyone recommend a harness which either fits or is sufficiently adjustable for the smaller framed tup?

I bought the Nettex "Pedigree Ram Harness", which claims to be fully adjustable to fit all tups.

Well, we've got it on our Balwen tup lamb, but the crayon takes up all the width between his front legs.  We're going to have to keep a close eye on him to check that it doesn't chafe the tops of his legs.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Brewster

  • Joined Sep 2020
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2024, 07:11:46 am »
Hi Sally
Sorry for the late reply. How did you get on with the raddle? I have Balwens and I'm thinking of getting one for the autumn.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2024, 12:45:14 am »
Useless, couldn't keep it correctly positioned on him.  He wore the crayon over-the-shoulder most of the time.  Kept telling him it wasn't a fashion accessory but he thought he knew best.  lol. 

Might try it again when he's full grown, but I can definitively state that the "fully adjustable" one I bought does not adjust down to fit a Balwen lamb,
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Brewster

  • Joined Sep 2020
Re: Raddle harnesses for small sheep
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2024, 12:16:58 pm »
Thanks for that Sally. I wont waste my money even though the saddle pointing upwards did make me smile!

 

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