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Author Topic: Zwartbles  (Read 5781 times)

Daisys Mum

  • Joined May 2009
  • Scottish Borders
Zwartbles
« on: July 09, 2014, 04:36:01 pm »
This is my first year with these sheep and I think it may be my last, whilst they are looking in really good condition they have cost a fortune to keep that way, really struggling to keep them sound. I did wonder if it was just me but my neighbouring farmer has 3 running with his commercials and he says the same, he is keeping my Tup for me just now but can't get weight onto it either, it is running with his Texel and Hampshire tups and they look really good. They have all been wormed and fluked!

Anne

horlicks

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Zwartbles
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2014, 05:42:06 pm »
Only had 2 zwartbles so no expert on them but they were always lean and usually lame, this is more likely the fault of breeders selling anything that looked right rather than being functional ( not singling out zwarble breeders ).
 Maybe its down to ourselves to be more critical and  fussy as to what and where we buy.

Daisys Mum

  • Joined May 2009
  • Scottish Borders
Re: Zwartbles
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 07:30:36 pm »
I am sure that you are probably right Horlicks, thought I was okay buying from a very reputable breeder.
Anne

Azzdodd

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Zwartbles
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 08:07:58 pm »
I'm with you ive had zwarble cross before they were fine bought some pure this year been a pain! Always lame don't really thrive like my commercial breeds.....I sold mine as I just couldn't imagine the bloody things in winter

Daisys Mum

  • Joined May 2009
  • Scottish Borders
Re: Zwartbles
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 09:46:08 pm »
I am going to sell mine, I know that I wont get what I paid for them but going to cut my losses, they are looking good just now, if I can just keep them sound :fc: and I do have some very nice lambs, a couple of which will fit very nicely in my freezer
 Going to spend some time researching which breed is best suited to my land and way of working, had shetlands before and liked them but would really like something that  could get away as lambs and not have to overwinter too many.
Anne

mowhaugh

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: Zwartbles
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2014, 09:50:48 pm »
I had a few for a couple of years, but could not justify the amount of feeding I had to give them.  I did put this down to our height/terrain though, probably not what Zwartbles were designed for.  I don't remember any lameness problems.

What about some Cheviots, Daisy's Mum, you are in the right area for them.

Azzdodd

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Zwartbles
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2014, 11:01:23 pm »
I was lucky the ewes I bought gave birth to ewe lambs so got good money for them I've kept 2 off the shearling ewes and they will go in with my texel ram now. Something you can sell to fellow smallholder & have a market value too.....that's what you need hard I know ha!

fiestyredhead331

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • NW Highlands
    • Facebook
Re: Zwartbles
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 01:50:17 am »
what a shame and very disappointing for you. We were very keen to get some as we get so many requests for sheeps cheese but just haven't gotten round to it yet, maybe thats a blessing in disguise  ???
keeper of goats, sheep, pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys, dogs, cats, goldfish and children, just don't ask me which is the most work!

sheepandponies

  • Joined Nov 2009
  • Galston
Re: Zwartbles
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2014, 07:45:54 am »
I will speak up for Zwartbles as I have kept them for 10 years now....also keep pedigree Lleyns but for bit longer.  We are a lowland farm (best LFA) and accept that as they are such big sheep they need more feed and the dutch type is harder to keep weight on than the british type, so over time we have selected that type.  Accepting that in every breed there are pros and cons, on balance the Z's have more pros.......easy to manage, easy to train to a bucket, to halter train and lead, stay put in fields and produce the most flavoursome and lean meat for the table..   I know some Z breeders do keep them on ground 1000 feet but I imagine it will be good well drained land, not bog.  My biggest gripe is with the market's discrimination for black sheep.   :D

si-mate

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Kent
Re: Zwartbles
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2014, 08:32:02 am »
I've only had my small zwartble flock since August so retain the right to change my views but so far agree wholeheartedly with what has been said above about their feet.
Regarding feeding they have been treated the same way as my other flock of 100 suffolk mules and have done no better or worse than those. That is fed from 6/8 weeks pre lambing then only grass for the ewes and ad-lib creep for the lambs until a few weeks after weaning.

 

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