NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Advice needed please  (Read 2594 times)

Gunnermark

  • Joined Sep 2011
Advice needed please
« on: October 30, 2011, 10:02:25 pm »

I am looking for some advice around what breed of sheep to go for
Next I have previously had Suffolk x Jacob but now I am looking to go pure bred but not sure what breed would be best I have thought about Lleyns, Southdowns and Ryelands. What I liked about Jacobs was the fact they were really good mothers easy lambing and I am looking for the same again. I also found Jacobs pretty much resistant to flystrike again another plus.
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Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Advice needed please
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2011, 10:24:05 pm »
Why not a pure Jacob flock?

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Advice needed please
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 12:11:52 am »
Depends what you want em to do...

Whats your grazing like? I wouldn't shove a down breed on top of a mountain, for example. Will they be meat-only or are you planning to do something with the wool?

Gunnermark

  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: Advice needed please
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 07:23:56 am »
Looking at showing them in the future, not looking to do anything with the wool. No hills or mountains flat pasture in Sonerset. I thought about pure Jacobs but looking for change possibly.

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Advice needed please
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 08:05:02 am »
What about the 'local ' breed for Somerset? The Dorset Down? Lots of breeders around the area!
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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Advice needed please
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 08:46:55 am »
Looking at showing them in the future, not looking to do anything with the wool. No hills or mountains flat pasture in Sonerset. I thought about pure Jacobs but looking for change possibly.
What about the 'local ' breed for Somerset? The Dorset Down? Lots of breeders around the area!

Well, two-thirds of Exmoor is in Somerset and the Exmoor Horn is a lovely lovely ewe...  They are classed as 'Minority' because of the geographical situation, so if you are t'other end of Somerset that could be one to think about.

They're great mothers and I'm told they lamb easily - but that it's best if they have twins as the horn buds on the tup lambs can make a large single ram lamb difficult to lamb.  However on your sort of pasture they should all readily have twins and will have plenty of milk for them.

The meat is fab too.

The wool is hairy carpet, so just as well you weren't wanting to do anything with that. :D
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Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Advice needed please
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2011, 10:45:15 am »
I love my Ryelands but everyone loves their own breed.

Whatever you decide, pick the one you love - getting up at 2am at lambing time, in the cold and dark is easier if you love your sheep  :)

humphreymctush

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • orkney
Re: Advice needed please
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2011, 01:31:07 pm »
If you are breeding pure you need to identify your market.
Commercial breeds of ram like suffolks and texels are in demand but you would be competing with the "big boys" and would need a lot of money and contacts to get your foot in the door.

Breeding commercial ewes is a lot easier because more are needed and they are cheaper. The best pure breed of ewe for the lowlands is the Llyen but they are in my opinion a bit boring to look at.

The best option would probably be to look at a rare breed where you would sell to other breeders and smallholders who liked more interesting sheep. Look on the RBST website and see what you like. Dont bother with a really primative breed because you live in quite a kind climate their hardiness is not needed and they are a bit small. As others have mentioned a breed local to your area may be most suitable

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Advice needed please
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2011, 06:07:25 pm »
I started off with Wilts Horns because of their 'easycare' properties (ie - I can't be arsed to shear them and their feet are pretty sound). I like 'em - dunno how 'interesting' they are and the rams can be a bit of a bugger to handle due to  their size.

 

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