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Author Topic: Kerry Hill's - Opinions  (Read 11702 times)

ZacB

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Suffolk
Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« on: April 29, 2012, 02:23:28 pm »
Just a bit of research at the moment. Does anybody on the forum keep / has kept ???

Have been reading / researching & thought I would post the question on here. Maybe in the future we will look to establish our own small flock of sheep. We have around 1.5 acres to play with at the moment, good summer pasture. I'm thinking 3 ewe's ???
Kerry Hill's seem to tick a few boxes. Native breed, good meat quality & not a hill breed (no disrespect meant), plus look pretty. This is as much for pleasure as food.
To any owners, are the lambs able to finish off on grass alone within a resonable time?
Anybody have any views or suggestions for other breeds. As I said, main boxes to tick, I think, are native / rare breed, not horned though, & good quality meat.
Voss Electric Fence

ZacB

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Suffolk
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 02:48:16 pm »
Oxford Down ???

Teeswater ???

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 08:05:19 pm »
This question comes up time and again, and I'm sure I must have asked it a few years back.
The answer that always comes up apart from ''have some of the breed i've got'' is
'have a breed that you like' at the end of the day I think that's the most important thing,
you've got to like them.
Kerry hills are known for running away to the other side of the field I'm told.
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012, 08:19:35 pm »
Is there a pool of genes you can access reasonably close - in other words are there other breed enthusiasts nearby?  If there are then you can borrow or buy rams.  If not then avoiding in-breeding becomes difficult. 

All the rare breeds have attractive points combined with less desirable attributes.  That's why they're rare.  You have to like them and want to persevere otherwise go for something easy,

Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

Brijjy

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Mid Wales
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012, 08:37:03 pm »
I don't have any myself but I live 2 miles away from where they originate. My local pub is called The Kerry Lamb. There are a few around here. I like the look of them, they are smart looking. I have found that they are the first to run away from you when you walk near them. That could be a good point or bad point depending on your perspective.
Silly Spangled Appenzellers, Dutch bantams, Lavender Araucanas, a turkey called Alistair, Muscovy ducks and Jimmy the Fell pony. No pig left in the freezer, we ate him all!

Mays

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2012, 08:46:02 pm »
a very good sheep farmer told me to always fill your feild with what is popular locally... that way they will sell when the time comes  :thumbsup:

bigchicken

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2012, 11:45:17 pm »
I would go to the Kerry Hill sheep society web page as they will have the information you seek. I like the looks of the Kerry, very pretty sheep and a field of them would be somethink to see. Maybe you could go and see a few flocks and get the facts from the people who are the experts. Best of luck.
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.

blades

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Old Aberdeen
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 06:43:20 am »
I agree with Moleskins.... choose a breed that you like but research it carefully. When we first started out with sheep and after a lot of research we chose Herdwicks, we loved the grey colour and the overall shape of them. For us they turned out to be a disaster, we found them very flighty and despite having good stock fencing, ours were without doubt all related to Houdini. We sold them on to a friend who has much larger fields than us and for him they have been perfect. At the end of the day I guess they are a hill breed and it was perhaps my mistake to think 4 and 6 acre paddocks would suit them. Now we keep Ryelands, we recently bought our first 2. It's early days but I have to start so far we have found them to be fantastic. Really friendly, calm and deliberate; throughly enjoying them.

Good luck with your search and hope you are has happy with your final choice as we are with our Ryelands!  :sheep:
Beekeeping

Tilly

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • "Possibilities and miracles mean the same thing"
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 12:03:18 pm »
Hi ZakB,
I have just read your post and just like to say.....

We have kept Kerry Hill Sheep in the past,they are the most eye catching, beautiful sheep .....They are very good mothers and woe betide any dog that gets to near to their lambs.
They are however noted to be independent and flighty ,and yes I agree they are fairly "lively",but saying that a lot of how  sheep behave depends on how you handle them.
I have successfully shown the breed and with correct handling CAN become quite tame.
I would say maybe not the ideal "starter" sheep, for inexperienced shepherds.

Tilly  :wave:

« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 12:06:27 pm by Tilly »

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 01:09:17 pm »
If I kept what is popular locally I would have a great big Blackie x Texel or x Suffolk mule, be unable to tip it up for treatment on my own, the meat joints would be too big for us to eat and I would be having to assist with lambing/mismothering as it had triplets then stuck two fingers up at at least one lamb and peed off across the field 3 times round :-))))). sooo...whats good locally for sheep farmers in general might not be the best for a smallholder approach.

Instead I put up with the flightiness of the Shetlands in exchange for the fab meat, easy births, good mothering, toughness and cheapness of purchase and keep and lightness so I can manage them by myself when needed.

Its more important to me that they are easy every day of the year in looking after themselves and their lambs than that they are easy to round up every 5 minutes. (in fact they arent too bad if you get them bucket trained and get them to come to you instead of the other way round).

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 04:15:17 pm »

Instead I put up with the flightiness of the Shetlands in exchange for the fab meat, easy births, good mothering, toughness and cheapness of purchase and keep and lightness so I can manage them by myself when needed.

Its more important to me that they are easy every day of the year in looking after themselves and their lambs than that they are easy to round up every 5 minutes. (in fact they arent too bad if you get them bucket trained and get them to come to you instead of the other way round).
that made me laugh ;D ;D.  My new selection procedure for the Shetland ewes is 'last one to bucket feed is first one in the trailer - for the one-way trip'
a neighbour has KH's but they are pretty much left to fend for themselves.

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 05:01:14 pm »
Most people round here are mule mad too. Theres the odd "more enlightened" keeper of lleyns and Romneys creeping in. Dont know of many keeping the weird shedding things I am creating. I don't worry about it though because it is all part of my highly cunning plan....

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2012, 10:53:53 pm »
Hi Tilly is there a breed you haven't kept?

Jill, by the way produced a pair of fine lambs a few weeks ago.  Found her coughing and scouring and unable to get up this afternoon so had the vet in.  Two separate infections, but she should recover now the vet's bill is ticking up. 
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2012, 09:12:31 am »
I've had a few in the Kerry Lamb in the past, as I lived in Newtown years ago.

Kerry Hills are a lovely looking breed and my great uncle had a flock.
But if your going to keep Kerries your going to need a tup at some stage and finding one near you may be a problem.

I looked into getting Kerries and as I live near The Royal Welsh Showground enquired about availiblity and cost at the Royal Welsh Show.

They were asking stupid money even for miss marked, so I bought Llyens instead.

Best choice ever, as they are a superb breed.
Traditional Utility Breed Hatching Eggs sent next day delivery. Pure bred Llyen Sheep.
www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Utility-Poultry-Keepers/231571570247281

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: Kerry Hill's - Opinions
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2012, 09:57:18 am »
I started off with a mix of cross cade lambs given to me free - I think the owner saw me coming  ;D.  Four of them grew into fantastic ewes (three mules and some other cross) and I was talked into getting a ram by a farmer friend who thought I was mad having these 'pet' sheep.  He spotted a Ryeland ram for sale in the local paper for £40, I went along to see him and was hooked!  Jasper the ram has been fabulous, very calm and even tempered (although he can have his moments in the mating season lol) and has produced some cracking meaty lambs - my foundation flock was certainly a bargain!

I've since added five pedigree Charollais which I got at a bargain price from a breeder near me, they also breed with Jasper and have great lambs.  Last year I wanted to add some colour to my flock and got various coloured sheep I liked the look of (Gotlands, Zwartbles and a Herdwick).  I had to laugh at a previous poster's comment about Herdwick, they are indeed very flighty especially mine and I wouldn't get more of them, although I do love the look of them.  The Gotlands are by far the most friendliest sheep I've even encountered, some of mine are like dogs!  Friendly sheep do make all the maintenance jobs easier  ;)
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

 

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