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Author Topic: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?  (Read 3626 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« on: November 08, 2013, 06:21:57 pm »
As per the title really.

My aunt has a flock of Manx Loaghtans, and has offered me some ewes to get us started with sheep.

I just wondered if anybody else on here has experience with them, how they are to keep etc?  If so, it would be good to pick your brains  :thumbsup: .

Thanks in advance!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2013, 07:43:59 am »
I have two and I love them.

They're canny wee sheep, typical primitive / hill sheep mentality, but my two have been easily tamed.

Fantastic fleece for handspinning ;)

Good mothers, but will abandon weak lamb in favour of stronger sibling, as per any hill / primitive.

Hard to contain  :-J - use stone walls as vertical roads  ::) and find ways under over and through fences if they are dissatisfied with the pickings where you've put them - or hear you coming and want to come and meet you!

Possibly not the easiest sheep for beginners, but having said that, some folks I know have done exactly that and rate them precisely because they just get on with the job, produce their lambs and rear them, without any intervention / interference.

(Third pic is DC with her Shetland X ewe 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 cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2013, 09:02:41 pm »
 Totally agree with what Sally says. But don't consider them unless your fences are 110%! If there's a way out - they'll find it.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2013, 09:32:43 pm »
Eeek! you've both got me worried now!

Where we have fences, they're not too bad. However, we have a couple of sections which only have low walls, and a long stretch with a tumbledown dry stone wall, with a good fence on the far side of it which forms the boundary with our neighbours.

What do you reckon?  I would appreciate your honest opinions!!:










"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 08:16:39 am »
I reckon ML would be over those fenced walls and away  :) You want something like Ryelands  :innocent:

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 08:35:52 am »
I don't have sheep but i look at the picture of the wall in front of the fence and think, hmmm take off ramp for agile sheep!!!




Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2013, 09:52:54 am »
My Shetlands would love those rocks to play on ::) , Up, up and away!  The GFD's only lift one foot at a time, anything more is far too energetic :roflanim:

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2013, 10:15:01 am »
You'd do better with just the fence and not the wall - the wall offers so many footholds! :D

I have to say I wouldn't risk it if the consequences of them getting over that wall are a problem.  If it were your own land the other side you could decide to take the risk because the sheep are so cute.  We smile wryly about ours making free with our farm but put up with it because they are such characters. ::) :love: :sheep:  But we have had to hold off getting a horned tup because we don't think we'd be able to contain his wanderings  ;)

If you were choosing a primitive / rare breed without an offer from the family, I'd suggest you look at Castlemilk Moorits.  They are just as lovable, similar in many ways (the CM was created from crossing Manx Loaghtans, Shetlands and wild mouflon sheep, so has Manx in its makeup), and so far, on my experience of 4 wethers and 2 ewe lambs, has little propensity to jump fences or walls.  (Which of course is a stupid thing for me to say, as I will now go and check on mine to find them the other side of the river with my neighbours NZ Romney tup...  ::))

However, I realise you are being offered MLs so it's not a question of choosing a breed, it's whether to take up your aunt on her offer.

Personally I would, and would deal with the consequences, because I just adore my naughty little Manxes, Shetlands, and Castlemilks. :love: :sheep:
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 cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2013, 12:15:24 pm »
LOL,  If we just had ewes, I'd probably not worry too much about them getting out, as it's on our heads only.  The land just over the wall usually only has horses in it, so the consequences aren't too bad.

The trouble is, eventually I'm sure we'd want to keep a tup as well, and if he can only be kept in certain fields, that would cause a logistical headache that we really don't need (we only have 5 acres, divided into 3 paddocks of roughly 1.5, 0.5 and 3 acres each).
 
I can only imagine the upset with our commercial sheep farming neighbours if our boy were to head over the hills and far away and sire a load of Manx-Beltex crosses!  :o :o :o 
 
Oh 'eck.  Decisions decisions!  ???
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2013, 02:51:40 pm »
Get your aunt to tup the girls for you, or borrow a tup lamb from her to do the job, or get one-crop ewes and put them to a small / easy-lambing commercial tup...

Or buy an aged tup, use him and send him away.

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 cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2013, 09:46:34 pm »
Thanks Sally,

Help me out with my logic here though:

Year one isn't a problem - we'd either buy ewes in lamb or with lambs at foot. It's the later years that worry me, since if we can't keep a tup permanently, due to the fencing issues, I don't think there are any other registered flocks nearby here that we could hire or buy from (none in Scotland apparently, though there are some in the North of England).

Sourcing a small commercial tup would be easier of course, but doesn't that defeat the object of keeping a rare breed in the first place?

So, whilst I love the look of the Manxs,I do wonder if we'd be making a rod for our own back here. We're still deliberating though, so thanks again for your help.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2013, 10:47:12 pm »
if you are going the rare breed route - you really need your own ram. could you not put up a new fence? most of my livestock would be over that wall too.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2013, 09:53:51 am »
Firstly, unless your aunt has a queue of people waiting for her breeding females, you won't be harming the breed by having a few and not breeding them pure (except when/if you have the opportunity.)

I often think that the 'must breed pure or you're harming the breed' mantra causes more harm than it does good - a lot of people don't take on rare breed females for that very reason, but as far as I know, most breeders do not have waiting lists.  :idea:  It seems to me that the more people want to buy rare breed females, for whatever reason, the more can be bred, which can only do the breed good, surely?

(There are a few breeds where this is not true, or is less true - Shetland cattle, for instance, make such good crosses they nearly lost the breed, so there is a lot of sensitivity there.)

There is a flock of Manxes near Castle Douglas - not very close to you, I know, but a little nearer than other options.  And there is a network of people who are happy to help transport / harbour rare breed animals en route to breeding homes (our own Fleecewife being one such), so an occasional registered aged tup, or tup lamb, could probably be arranged...  ;)    :idea:  Oh, and transferring one at the Scottish Smallholder Show would probably suit most smallholders, eh?  Then there's Lanark Rare Breeds Sale end August, Carlisle Rare Breeds late Sept...

Again, because I love them, I'd get some in-lamb ewes from your aunt, and take any opportunity to breed them pure when it arises but be happy to put them to a nearby small/easy-lambing commercial tup (or a Shetland or other primitive - there will be some around you could borrow or take the girls to) when you haven't sourced a Manx.

However, if you really just want a few sheep, and Manxes don't especially float your boat, then it'd probably be easier all round to just get a few commercial types from your local friendly farmer.  You shouldn't feel bad about taking that option if it suits you better. ;)

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 cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Graemscifi

  • Joined Nov 2013
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2013, 10:47:23 am »
further to what sallyinthenorth said, my nehoubour ran manx amoungst her larger jacob flock and tupped them all with a jacob tupp very succesfully, made for a stunning lamb all black with white blaze, and very tasty. just a thought in the short term till you can get sorted, better any lamb than none?

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Does anybody keep Manx Loaghtans?
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2013, 04:22:08 pm »
i agree with sally, not all pedigree sheep should kept pedigree either if they arent up to standard - rare or not, so dont feel guilty by not keeping them pure.
couldnt you take some on trial from your aunt and send them back if they keep escaping?


 

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