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Author Topic: Creating your own easy care  (Read 2397 times)

nutterly_uts

  • Joined Jul 2014
  • Jersey - for now :)
Creating your own easy care
« on: April 14, 2015, 03:30:48 pm »
I'm sorry if the title is a bit vague (nearly put wooly  :roflanim: ) but I wasn't quite sure what to put.

I suspect most of you do this already, but if you had to pick a pedigree breed of sheep, and then breed on to "fix" the traits you didn't want to create an easy care for your system , what would *you* do and why :)

I'm asking because I have fallen in love with Zwartbles, but I'm hearing they can have problems with feet and some lines seem to struggle to keep condition. I'm looking for ideas and to see what other people would do and why as this is all "what if" for now and I know I may be limited to what's available locally (and I'm plain nosy)

So for me, Zwartbles and then crossing in some Romney for the condition and because they are supposed to have good feet. Not just the cross breeding but also culling problem sheep too - I guess my own form of easy care.

Voss Electric Fence

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Creating your own easy care
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 04:25:56 pm »
Not really ansering your question, but a quick comment on the Zwartbles:  We're similar, having started with them purely because Mrs Womble fell in love with one that chewed her sleeve at the Royal Highland Show  ;D . There's a lot to be said for keeping what you like though. After all, it's you who has to go out and feed them all winter in the dark, rain and snow!
 
I've since found out that not all Z's are created equal. Some are very leggy 'Dutchy' types. Some are also much larger framed than others, so logically they would need more feeding. So rather than buy into a breed and then try to breed out your undesirable traits, perhaps you could get closer to what you want by being very selective about what you buy to begin with.
 
We've just bought a smaller framed Z gimmer, who looks pretty hardy to me. Only time will tell if she's as good or better than the showier ones we started off with! Of course if you don't want to show, there are plenty of mis-marked but otherwise great Z's about at reasonable prices. Or, if it's all about the stripes for you  ;) , what about Balwen Welsh Mountains?
 
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

nutterly_uts

  • Joined Jul 2014
  • Jersey - for now :)
Re: Creating your own easy care
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2015, 04:37:32 pm »
I do like the balwen but they aren't Zs :D

I'm wondering more about fixing the traits as I'm currently in Jersey and looking at Northern Ireland potentially, neither give me much scope for buying in what I want and I fear I may have to buy what I can get and work with it :) If I end up elsewhere, I can be much pickier :)

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Creating your own easy care
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2015, 04:50:45 pm »
I have had a few breeds over the years and after vet bills and lots of stress I think it depends on what you are looking for in the end product., Important things for me are, good health, easy lambing, crossbred to produce meat lambs for early market is a must if you want a good price before the market gets flooded.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Creating your own easy care
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2015, 06:04:34 pm »
I do like the balwen but they aren't Zs :D

So what you really mean is how can I get some Zs without the problems sometimes associated with Zs?  If you find an answer to that one, do please let me know!  ;D
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Creating your own easy care
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2015, 10:26:20 pm »
What would "I" do?
I would use Hebrideans from my flock as the base - my flock is culled on a 1 2 go policy - 2 problems and they go.
Selection is for Ease of lambing - no foot problems, ability to thrive on grass with absolutely no other inputs other than hay ad-lib from Nov-Feb/march.

I would then X these with carefully selected LLeyn's for a better carcase and higher Lambing % without risking too much in the ability to finish on grass, hardiness and good feet.

After that I'd probably build up numbers culling for problems and keeping a close eye on performance's and then use them as normal to x terminal sires onto for lambs...
Or if the Lleyn confered a good carcase - keep breeding pure ...
You could also select on carcase within your new "sub breed" and over time improve it.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Creating your own easy care
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2015, 10:58:46 pm »
Just at the moment I am so delighted with my fleece flock's lambing so far, I'd suggest crossing pretty much anything with a Shetland and improving it  :excited:

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

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: Creating your own easy care
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2015, 10:29:37 am »
I have had Zwartbles from different breeders, one easily loses condition whereas the others didn't.  However I lost two who had the better condition, and the one who always looks on the bony side has thrived and produced twins and triplets from every breeding!  I use them for crossing.


All my Zs have had good feet compared with the Gotlands who always seem to be lame at one time or another!  I'd say the biggest drawback is the huge amount of fleece they produce, always having to watch for flystrike ..
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

 

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