Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Getting a tup for ewes  (Read 5660 times)

Whitehills

  • Joined Sep 2015
Getting a tup for ewes
« on: September 12, 2015, 08:44:25 am »
Hello, first time sheep keeper here so finding my feet!

I've 6 texel x and 1 Suffolk and I'm looking to put a tup in with them mid November to hopefully get lambs mid April onwards.

What is the best way to get a tup and I presume I'd be best to stick with a texel or texel x? Is someone likely to hire one to me for just 7 girls or will I have to buy one and potentially sell it again? It's my intention to fatten the lambs for market but I may keep a few this year so I've got a few 'homebred' girls on the farm (not that I'm being soft!) hence if I bought a tup I'd have to sell it so no inbreeding.

I'm just north of Aberdeen so if anyone knew of someone with a tup that would be super.

Thank you in advance for your help!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2015, 09:25:59 pm »
Best bet would be to buy a tup lamb, use him and sell him (or eat him yourselves.)
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

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2015, 10:53:33 pm »
  :wave:
I'm a beginner, I hired a tup for my four Jacobs last autumn, which worked for us. Upsides are he's only 10 minutes away and he's only with us 8 weeks. Downsides are biosecurity, he may bring on worms/disease and he's not ours to do as we like with re worming, that has to be negotiated.

Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2015, 08:38:35 am »
Are your ewes first timer lambers? Are you a first time lamber? If the answer to both questions is yes, you might want to look at an easier lambing tup. Now, I've never had pure Texels so I'm not speaking from personal experience but they have a reputation for not being the easiest lambers - and if you're a novice and they are novices, something else might be better.

You'd still be able to sell them as Texel x and hey'd still have a good carcase for the commercial market.

Just a thought. Others with more experience might comment.


babysham

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Lancashire/Yorkshire Border
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2015, 08:50:31 am »
Last year I bought a tup lamb as didnt want to borrow a tup. I was going to sell him if he didnt perform or had any problems with lambings. He is brilliant!! Best £60 ever spent. He is a beautiful Suffolk and of course called FRED!!!

Whitehills

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2015, 09:31:58 am »
Thank you for taking the time to reply everyone. I'm a first timer but intending to delay lambing slightly so I can go on a course first plus hopefully give it time to warm up a little as we live in a wind tunnel!

The girls are experienced. I saw this years lambs and they were big but apparently needed no input from the previous owner.

I had thought the bio security might have been a bit of a worry bringing in a tup or indeed sending the girls 'off on their holidays'. Space isn't an issue here so buying might be the way to go. I was reading on previous posts that an older tup could be a good shout as you get a proven tup for meat value and I could sell him again for a similar price. Not sure if I'm best to stick with sheep that all know what they're doing this year rather than a first time tup given that I don't yet! I'm sure it wouldn't take him long to get the hang of it though although I read it can take them longer to cover the flock?

Grand plan is to increase the flock to 20 next year and produce happy fat lambs from happy mums and I can hopefully make a bit of money from them (if the price ever improves).

Whitehills

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2015, 09:35:26 am »
Ps. Loving 'Fred'. I'm sure once I've got my girls bucket trained I shall also be naming!

Scotsdumpy

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2015, 08:28:58 am »
Have a word with Joe Beedie from Beedie bros livestock hauliers. He often has tups/ram lambs at this time of year. He tends to have shetland or the smaller breeds. He might have some Jacobs - Ive seen them in his park not sure if they are male though..

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2015, 07:15:52 pm »
Not sure if I'm best to stick with sheep that all know what they're doing this year rather than a first time tup given that I don't yet! I'm sure it wouldn't take him long to get the hang of it though although I read it can take them longer to cover the flock?

Grand plan is to increase the flock to 20 next year and produce happy fat lambs from happy mums and I can hopefully make a bit of money from them (if the price ever improves).
It can work out well with a first time tup but it is a bit of a risk!  I had a registered Ryeland tup lamb that I put in with my ewes and he only got about 10 out of 25 in lamb.  The following year however, it was 100%.  I also got a young Meatlinc X tup lamb, absolutely fab specimen and put him in with some ewes - he got 100% of them in lamb on his first effort.  So a bit of hit and miss if you use an unproven tup, although I have to say I have used about four tup lambs on ewes and it was only the Ryeland who didn't do too well on his first attempt.


However I can afford to experiment and it's not a disaster for me if things don't go to plan, but when I started I was like you and didn't know much - I had four ewes and bought a young Ryeland tup and got some fantastic lambs without having to have much prior knowledge!
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2015, 03:21:49 pm »
It can work out well with a first time tup but it is a bit of a risk!  I had a registered Ryeland tup lamb that I put in with my ewes and he only got about 10 out of 25 in lamb.  The following year however, it was 100%.

Worth asking the actual date of birth of tup lambs.  Those born in February can probably cope with more than those born in April.  I don't recommend using a ram lamb on more than 10, especially if they're ewe lambs or tegs.

Keepers

  • Joined Jul 2015
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2015, 03:45:39 pm »
It can work out well with a first time tup but it is a bit of a risk!  I had a registered Ryeland tup lamb that I put in with my ewes and he only got about 10 out of 25 in lamb.  The following year however, it was 100%.

Worth asking the actual date of birth of tup lambs.  Those born in February can probably cope with more than those born in April. I don't recommend using a ram lamb on more than 10, especially if they're ewe lambs or tegs.

I think it would differ between breeds, cant really say that about all ram lambs, maybe its that number for Southdowns? the general known amount around my area is 1:25 for ram lambs however breeds with higher libido can cope with more and breeds with low libido less

Charmoise ram lambs are usually put from 25 or even up to 40 with good results, NZ suffolk ram lambs are recommended for up to 80, with many other breed ram lambs being able to tup around 50 pretty well

However yes I agree that it can be risky relying on just a ram lamb, often people will run a sweeper tup in after a ram lamb has been through a bunch to check if any have come back on heat

I used two ram lambs on their own in own groups last year and they did very well, one got all 30 of his in lamb and the other got all but two (one was a ewe lamb and one an older ewe) in lamb, however yes I took the risk that they may not have worked, but I raddled both and and the ewes were teasered so all were covered in the first two weeks, when I re-raddled the ewes were not re coloured so it was safe(ish) to assume all were tupped, I just had to cross my fingers that they were properly in lamb  :fc:

This year I am using two rams and two ram lambs, split into two groups, 1 ram going to 30 and the other ram plus ram lambs going to 110



Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2015, 03:48:34 pm »
Testicular size is the limiting factor to how much sperm the ram can produce in a given time, so a well developed ram lamb can serve ewes and serve again more reliably than one with smaller gonads. 

Whitehills

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2015, 04:43:36 pm »
This has turned into a really interesting discussion. Thank you to everyone taking time to post, I'm learning a lot!

I hope I've got this right but if I use a ram lamb on my 7 girls there's a much bigger risk of them not getting covered and if they do it's most likely going to be a longer lambing period. Given I don't really know any sheep farmers in my area (yet) the likelihood of getting a teaser ram in is slim to none to help synchronise the girls. I do however think I'll go down the route of buying rather than hiring.

I've been told by a few people that shetland x texel is a good cross. Given I've got texel x already (not entirely sure what they're crossed with but they still look very like texels) is it ok for the shetland to be the ram? (Sorry if that's a very rookie question). Personally I'd love to have blackface but have been told they're difficult to look after and contain. Is there much truth in that and would texel x blackie produce a good lamb?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2015, 05:19:17 pm »
would texel x blackie produce a good lamb?

No, you'd be going backwards.  Texel cross x Blackie would look like Blackie x Texel and I'd say they would fetch less than Texel cross x Shetland, which would look like a slightly smaller/younger Texel cross.   (But I'm not in your area, so I could be wrong.)

On synchronising your girls for a tight lambing, one thing that works well if you have good fences, is to have the tup in the field next to the girls.  His pheromones get them cycling ;).  It's not helpful if you can't wait two-three weeks before putting him in, though.

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

Whitehills

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Getting a tup for ewes
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2015, 07:35:02 pm »
Thank you so much Sally. Yes I have a quarter of an acre next to the girls which will one day be my veggie patch so he can go in there. The fencing had better be good as I've just spent a small fortune having the whole farm done!

I feel like I now have a sort of plan and a little bit more knowledge. Thank you everyone for being kind to a newcomer!!

 

Ewes being put to ram

Started by TenTors

Replies: 6
Views: 6124
Last post October 25, 2010, 05:20:33 pm
by katie
Is there anything in ram mix that ewes can't have?

Started by Bionic

Replies: 8
Views: 2679
Last post November 15, 2013, 10:56:03 am
by Penninehillbilly
ewes and tup together

Started by shotblastuk

Replies: 2
Views: 1202
Last post June 02, 2014, 03:37:51 pm
by Bramblecot
not sure what to do with ewes

Started by raygezer

Replies: 2
Views: 1287
Last post January 14, 2015, 09:30:20 am
by raygezer
how many ewes ?

Started by kelly58

Replies: 6
Views: 1904
Last post November 19, 2015, 12:44:16 pm
by kelly58

Forum sponsors

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

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2020. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS