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Author Topic: Why are my scotties thriving but my lleyns not?  (Read 3038 times)

DartmoorLiz

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Devon
Why are my scotties thriving but my lleyns not?
« on: December 20, 2014, 07:01:27 pm »
I have 14 lleyns and 20 Scottish black face ewes grazing together.  All the bfs look great but 5 of the lleyns look thin and hunchy.  If it was mid winter then hardiness would be relevant but now?


Any suggestions?
Never ever give up.
Voss Electric Fence

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Why are my scotties thriving but my lleyns not?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2014, 07:25:31 pm »
Have they been tupped?  If so, the Lleyns are likely to be carrying two, three or more lambs...

Also, if the Lleyns lambed this year, they may well have worked harder than their Scottish cousins and wanting a bit more building up?

Just a couple of ideas.
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

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Why are my scotties thriving but my lleyns not?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2014, 07:36:56 pm »
 Are all the ewes equal in age as younger sheep can  thrive while older sheep may struggle ?   .  Blackies can thrive on rubbish grass especially at lower altitudes  , while llyens need good grass at all times .     You might take a few blood samples from each breed  to check for any deficiencies ,  the land may suit one breed and not the other .  Have you got fluke ,  one breed may graze a different part of the field eg  blackies higher areas and the llyens  lower bits ?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Why are my scotties thriving but my lleyns not?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2014, 07:40:17 pm »
I just came back on to ask about minerals, and whether both groups have been born and bred locally, have been on your farm the same length of time, etc.

Also, if they are already tupped, about the tup breed.  And for any lambs they had this year too - if the Blackies had Blackie lambs and the Lleyns had Texel crosses, for instance, then the Lleyns will have worked harder.
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

DartmoorLiz

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Devon
Re: Why are my scotties thriving but my lleyns not?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2014, 01:34:03 pm »
Such a lot of good ideas  :excited: that's why I come on this forum and ask my silly questions.  The lleyns are all 3 years old and all but 2 had lleyn singles this year (2 had twins).  The Blackies mostly had blacky twins this year. 


I had not considered that lleyn lambs may be more demanding than blacky lambs and even though the blackies mostly brought up twins that might account for it.  (All the lambs are looking great).  I also had not thought that the blackys are all home bred and while they vary in age will be the result of historical selection for thriving here.  The lleyns were bought in 2 years ago after they had had lambs as lambs on nearby and slightly better land.


I had thought of mineral deficiencies and different eating habits and will do a blood test if they continue to deteriorate, they're on a new field now so there's a chance  they'll recover without interference.


Thank you all for your suggestions.
Never ever give up.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Why are my scotties thriving but my lleyns not?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2014, 04:04:31 pm »
You've also mentioned that the Lleyns were lambed as lambs...  Maybe that has an effect on their ability to sustain a productive life later on?  Both in terms of the demands on their young systems and also any effect of having been caked (if they were) at an early age, to fitten them for lambing as hoggs.

The Eblex research found that there was no detrimental effect on the ewe's longevity or lifetime performance of lambing as lambs, provided they were properly looked after and supported prior to tupping, during gestation and as young mothers.  Whether that's ever been quantified in terms of the amount of supplemental feeding required by a ewe lambed as a hogg, as compared to a peer group not lambed until they were shearlings, both for the initial crop and over their productive lifetimes, I don't know.
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

DartmoorLiz

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Devon
Re: Why are my scotties thriving but my lleyns not?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2014, 04:27:10 pm »
I'm still not sure if I made a good choice buying the lleyns but eblex research said sheep were more productive over their lifetime if they had lambed as lambs.  What I could never discover was whether this was because they had one more productive year or whether it was because they were better mothers having learned when younger.  ... and of course your point on feeding is another factor which I had not thought of till now.


Time will tell but so far the home grown scotties are winning on all counts except fly strike and that's probably because I've been tailing the lleyns and leaving the scotties with their tails (breed standards).   My neighbour thinks I should tail all so I'll do that next year and see what difference that makes.


I have 5 lleyn x scotties which went to ram for the first time this year (at 18 months old) and I'm really looking forward to seeing how they get on.
Never ever give up.

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Why are my scotties thriving but my lleyns not?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2014, 07:57:45 pm »
I know there have been numerous docking posts - but you mentioned keeping your blackie tails... We have Balwens (welsh mountain sheep) and we don't dock and we've had no fly strike at all... (& we didnt crovect this year)....Some people say the tails help protect the sheep....- just a thought...

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: Why are my scotties thriving but my lleyns not?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2014, 09:01:42 pm »
Had loads of strike in/on Beulahs tails this year and there were only a dozen of them so not sure about the protective effect

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Why are my scotties thriving but my lleyns not?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2014, 11:13:58 pm »
Hill ewes on the hill need their tails to protect their soft bits and their growing udders in winter.  The same sheep on easier ground do not have the same need.

On the hill, very often there is so much wind that flies are rarely a problem; the same is often not true on the easier ground lower down.

On the hill, the grass is rarely rich enough to cause scouring / loose poo / dirty backsides (although disease can, of course), whereas richer grass lower down may cause loose poo from time to time. 

So I can't see a problem with docking tails in a hill breed being kept on easier ground where other ewes of other breeds are handling the winter with docked tails.  Unless you want to show them, of course, or sell them as pedigree breeding stock.
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

 

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