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Author Topic: hebridean sheep questions  (Read 8368 times)

happy larry

  • Joined Apr 2011
hebridean sheep questions
« on: May 29, 2012, 10:28:57 pm »
Could anyone tell me the average carcass weight of a heb ewe that is a couple of years old,i am not thinking of slaughter just yet,but might do when i reach my ideal flock number.


Secondly just had 6 ewes sheared 3 of which had not been shorn for 2 years it came off like a quilt,is there a market for hebridean fleece.Or do any member/s fancy making me some jumpers,socks etc out of it at my cost if its not too expensive.
Any suggestions please.
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Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 07:44:38 am »
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

humphreymctush

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • orkney
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 08:02:31 am »
A well grown hebredian ewe weighs about 40kg so I supose the carcass weight would be about half that.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 09:13:41 am »
Could anyone tell me the average carcass weight of a heb ewe that is a couple of years old,i am not thinking of slaughter just yet,but might do when i reach my ideal flock number.


Secondly just had 6 ewes sheared 3 of which had not been shorn for 2 years it came off like a quilt,is there a market for hebridean fleece.Or do any member/s fancy making me some jumpers,socks etc out of it at my cost if its not too expensive.
Any suggestions please.

Fleeces which come off in one piece have felted - you can use them to cover the compost heap or put in under stones to fill in potholes, but they cannot be spun - silk purses and sows ears  :D   The problem is that once the fibres have felted together they can't be pulled apart again.
To produce good quality fleeces for spinning or other craft work requires some input from you and you must be selective about which ones you offer for sale.  The problem with felting on the animal is not exclusive to Hebs but they do have a tendency to do it, especially when the weather is hot then there is heavy rain.  It's good to get felted fleece off the sheep as soon as possible as they pull tighter and tighter so must be quite uncomfortable.  We used to have a Jacob called Trixie whose fleece felted (cotted) nearly every year before we could shear her.  She would stand near my OH when he was shearing others and demand to be next in line to get the wretched fleece off  ;D
Heb fleece does make wonderful cosy socks, and a well chosen fleece can make a good hard-wearing jumper too - the wool is unusually lightweight but robust, however you wouldn't want to wear it as a vest  ;D
Have a look here for a bit more about Heb fleece:
http://www.scothebs.co.uk/wool-and-fleece.html
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 09:42:58 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

happy larry

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 10:06:07 pm »
Thanks for the replies,they didnt look 40kg after being shorn,more like 20 :'(  but we will see when they do go for slaughter.But hope to get another couple of seasons out of them at least.


Many thanks to you fleecewife for your very in depth and educating post,looks like i will only have 3 fleeces worth spinning then,which is a shame but due to several problems the other 3 didnt get sheared last year.


Sorry hope this is my last question on hebs,what would be the ideal ram to cross with these hebrideans to get a half decent size carcass.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 11:30:35 pm »
The only crosses we have done with Hebs are a narrow-shouldered Texel, Jacob and Shetland (because we had them), all of which produced a meatier lamb without spoiling the flavour too much. The texel though gave the most butcher-friendly gigots ie short and plump as opposed to the longer skinnier gigots found on both Hebs and Jacobs.  However, any good commercial sire which is not too broad across the chest for delivery will be fine.   I think the crossing experiments the HebSoc did way back when might still be on their website.   Because Hebs are very milky they can rear crossbred twins very well, reaching slaughter weight in their first autumn, unlike the purebred lambs which are not ready on average pasture until 16 months.  Hebs are an ideal breed to cross - do give it a go and let us know how you get on  :sheep:
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

humphreymctush

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • orkney
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 08:43:51 am »
I had a very long suffolk tup with quite narrow shoulders and a relatively fine head. He crossed well with my shetlands and hebredians for many years. Lambing in may the lambs still got to 38-40kg by september and they looked just like suffolks. The lenghth was passed on and they got a good price. Unfortunately he died this spring, but I'm going to keep one of his hebredian cross ewe lambs and see if I can find an ancient suffolk tup going cheap to cross with her in the hope of getting a nice 3/4 suffolk ram lamb.

happy larry

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 10:19:41 pm »
Fleecewife,many thanks again for such a very interesting reply you sure do know your stuff  :-* ,have you ever come across 2 ewes feeding 1 lamb between them.


humphrey,thanks also to you for your reply.


What would a grey faced dartmoor or hampshire ram crossing be like. 

mark@farmhouse

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2012, 11:33:53 am »
Hi I have crossed hebs with charollais tip this year lambs are great size already no lambing assists and got various size singles and twins bonus is lambs are White and polled do good for Market will try and get some pics for you

happy larry

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2012, 10:14:46 pm »
Cheers mark,im surprised you had no interventions with using a charollais tup as they can be on the large large side.But hey he who dares,would love to see your pics.

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2012, 10:53:31 pm »
A Shropshire tup worked well on one flock I know of, he was pedigree but too small for his breed really. Some lambs came out white/polled, some brown/polled, some looked Heb...

mark@farmhouse

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2012, 07:18:16 pm »
hi larry some pics hopefully
cheers
mark

happy larry

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2012, 09:23:32 pm »
Many thanks Mark,the 1 on the right between the 2 hebs looks a good stocky animal.Good luck with them.

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2012, 11:35:59 pm »
Our shearer, who has a contentious and outspoken opinion on everything and claims ownership of over 40 different sheep breeds says the Hebridean is a truly dual purpose sheep - no good for meat, no good for wool.  He's passionate about the Charolais though.  Reckons it crosses with everything and produces a small but fast-growing lamb.
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: hebridean sheep questions
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2012, 11:42:39 pm »
Your shearer clearly prefers quantity over quality where meat is concerned - I go for quality  :yum:   Heb meat is one of the best for flavour, tenderness and texture.
 
The wool may not be everyone's first choice, but for certain applications it's excellent.  Not everyone wants to wear a wedding ring shawl or an Italian suit to muck out the chickens  :D
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

 

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