NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Black Welsh Mountain sheep  (Read 7043 times)

Simple Simon

  • Guest
Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« on: August 03, 2012, 07:52:50 am »
There's a comprehensive article about the BWM in the NSA Breeding Focus just published.  Has anyone got any experience of these sheep in a lowland setting?


I'm particulalrly keen on crossing for meat, and I like the idea of a sheep whose feet never need trimming.
Voss Electric Fence

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2012, 09:50:55 am »
Oooo.  Where can one find that article please?


I have BWMs on a lowland setting.  I like the idea of a sheep whose feet never need trimming ... if only it were true!  It's what I'm aiming for, but I do have some sheep that do need trimming 2-3 times a year, but I plan to cull if possible and keep only "maintenance free" ewes.


FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 10:44:41 am »
I'm not sure - but I think the mountain setting might have more to do with the feet than the sheep?  Our neighbours have welshmountain sheep, black and white, and they do occasionally get a lame one which needs a foot trim when gathered in, but they are clambering amoung rocks all day long, so I'm guessing that might ware their hooves.  Put them on a lowland field and that would change???  We have mountain sheep on a smooth field and their 'nails' dont ware and some need trimming 3-4 times a year. 

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 11:47:30 am »
I agree, the level of nutrition is (hopefully) greater in a lowland setting, so they grow differently.


However, I do have ewes who's feet I never need to touch.  It's probably all in the breeding/genes.

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 12:27:21 pm »
I kept a BWM flock for about 20 years, and at first trimmed regularly but as time went on I found it was not necessary.  The outside horny bit grew over, and eventually under their clees, and then sort of dropped off.  And I never had any foot problems except one would occasionally get some long grass stuck between the clees, which just needed taking out.
 
I am on wet heavy marl/clay with springs and nearly always had too much grass
 
They are excellent mothers, nearly always twin, I let the ewe lambs get in lamb with no ill effects, though they would normally have one large lamb so needed to be watched, otherwise pretty trouble free on the lambing, and the meat is excellent.  I never fed the lambs but let them fatten off grass.
 
If I can myself organized I shall get another flock, and they will be BWM
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

Fronhaul

  • Joined Jun 2011
    • Fronhaul Farm
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2012, 05:36:42 pm »
The problem if it is a problem and that depends on what you want to achieve is that BWM's kept in a lowland setting tend to increase in size over the generations.  So for show purposes some consider the lowland BWMs to be too big.  Having said that Rita Wise produces BWMs to die for in a lowland setting. 

Some may need trimming, especially if you have other breeds with less good feet and a foot rot infection gets into the flock but overall they do have good feet.  I have one shearling hopping around at the moment but it is my fault for not noticing one of the Jacobs she spends a lot of time with had started to develop foot rot.  I have another ewes I haven't touched in a year but I do check regularly.

And temperament wise they are astonishing in my view.  Very curious and that can lead to some wandering but they are a delight to be with.  We have one ewe lamb who we call Trouble.  (Sheep have to earn names here).  Trouble earnt her name because she was always in Trouble, in the wrong field, trying to suckle from the nearest ewe rather than making the trip to Mum on the other side of the field.  You name the mischief and she got up to it.  Suddenly Trouble decided that humans were worth the effort and with no effort from us she became extremely friendly.  I can now pick her up (although weight wise this is getting more difficult) and she will reward you noticing her with a series of leaps and bounds across the field that are such a joy to watch.  And all this by a ram from the largest commercial BWM flock out of a ewe from the same flock, albeit both came from the best group within that flock that the show team is selected from.

I am as some already know a huge BWM fan.  Sweet sheep, relatively easy to look after, few lambing problems, good mothers and just nice to be around.  And the end product for those that don't make the grade tastes delicious as well.  I can't comment on the taste of cross breeds because I haven't knowingly tried one.

If you get the chance to travel to Abergavenny at the beginning of September the annual show and sale takes place then.  It is a great opportunity to see why people who are hooked love the little black sheep.  And you will see examples raised in lowland conditions there as well as mountain sheep.  You will also probably find me tearing my hair out over a ram lamb I am hoping will sell but thats another story.



Mallows Flock

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Shepton mallet
    • Somerset Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2012, 10:04:58 pm »
The problem with this Forum is there are too many posts saying how great certain breeds are making me want more and more varieties of sheep breed. LOL.  Now I am furtively looking into BWM's.  ;D
From 3 to 30 and still flocking up!

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2012, 11:08:04 pm »
Our shearer claims to own 42 different breeds.  He has an opinion on every one of them....
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

Mallows Flock

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Shepton mallet
    • Somerset Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2012, 12:06:21 am »
I love each and every one of my breeds and have opinions of them all that they are great.... however chasing them today for trailering, i had a slightly, less rose tinted opinion of them.  My so-called uber friendly sheep now on newly cut, rested, green grass decided they want to be feral and wild until winter when they will mob me again for some ewe nuts. Horrors!!!!!
From 3 to 30 and still flocking up!

Simple Simon

  • Guest
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2012, 08:54:38 am »
We went to the BWM open day at a farm above Llandeilo last weekend and got real hands-on experience with the sheep and a chance to talk to people. What a lovely group!  It was really friendly, very informative and the food was splendid.  We then saw the BWM classes at the Pembs county show and could see what we'd learned being put into practice.


There are many reasons why you select one breed over another, but a strong friendly breed association has to be one of them.





Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2012, 09:04:52 am »
SS, we were there too.  We don't keep Black Welsh but only live a few minutes down the road, hence they invited us. Cliff is also the local huntsmaster.
Pity I didn't know you were there.
Sally
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Fronhaul

  • Joined Jun 2011
    • Fronhaul Farm
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2012, 06:30:16 pm »
Bah I was at the open day as well and would have been at the County Show if only I hadn't caught some kind of flu bug.  I thought it was a terrific open day and had a great time. 

Anyone at Llandeilo Show today or going to Martletwy on Wednesday?

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2012, 06:58:19 pm »
I was told by a local farmer that much of the Llandeilo show was cancelled i.e. sheep and horses. apparently it was only the tented event that took place.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 09:45:20 am »
I love each and every one of my breeds and have opinions of them all that they are great.... however chasing them today for trailering, i had a slightly, less rose tinted opinion of them.  My so-called uber friendly sheep now on newly cut, rested, green grass decided they want to be feral and wild until winter when they will mob me again for some ewe nuts. Horrors!!!!!

Im afraid thats sheep in general, like. :P

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Black Welsh Mountain sheep
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2012, 09:56:01 am »
Fronhaul I have never heard of Martletwy show. Is it any good?
Mind you I don't think the weather forecast improves much by then
Sally
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

 

welsh black mountain sheep

Started by littlelugs

Replies: 3
Views: 2412
Last post May 01, 2012, 03:57:31 pm
by littlelugs
Welsh Black Mountain Sheep

Started by Fishyhaddock

Replies: 10
Views: 2543
Last post November 02, 2013, 10:16:35 am
by Foobar
Welsh black mountain sheep, dexter cattle, ouessant sheep and guinea fowl

Started by the shepherd

Replies: 24
Views: 12546
Last post November 03, 2010, 02:38:08 pm
by jinglejoys
Black welsh mountain

Started by cyncoedfarm

Replies: 12
Views: 4967
Last post September 24, 2012, 09:22:06 am
by Foobar
Black Welsh Mountain?

Started by spidge

Replies: 4
Views: 661
Last post May 29, 2018, 09:56:23 am
by Foobar

Forum sponsors

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

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS