NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Hebridean and Shetlands  (Read 2507 times)

James1

  • Joined Jul 2015
Hebridean and Shetlands
« on: August 20, 2016, 03:36:21 pm »
Hi , I was looking for some opinions on cross breeding Shetlands. This year we had 8 Hebridean ewes lamb to the texel tup and I am so far really pleased with the progeny. We so far have 16 hebs to go to the Texel this year and I was going to increase them to around 30. Then I got thinking maybe I should be trying some other primitives before I have all hebs? Perhaps Shetlands or soays ? All would be going to the texel . Many thanks for any advice and opinions. James.
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Big Light

  • Joined Aug 2011
    • Facebook
Re: Hebridean and Shetlands
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2016, 01:49:38 pm »
We have mainly Hebrideans but also a few Shetlands we use them as Judas sheep i.e. they tend to be more greedy than the Hebrideans and will follow a bucket anywhere so handy to use to pull other sheep into the pen and then you can put them back out again to round up the more wary also. We also put them in with our spare tups to save them jumping out at tupping time. We crossed some with the Southdown also (see our FB page for photos) and the cross lambs of the Heb and Shetland are similar - have found the Shetlands to be slightly less hardy and do less well on rougher ground and eat more - so have to watch when feeding prior to lambing so they don't eat to much, feet probably aren't as good as the Hebs but as discussed at the start they have a place in our system here. Never kept Soays but i guess it depends how good your fencing is and what you would do with the smaller carcasses hope that assists

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Hebridean and Shetlands
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2016, 02:36:45 pm »
Just as Big Light says. 

I would be less happy though crossing Soay with too large a sire, especially for a first lambing and especially with a wide-headed breed such as Texel.

The trick of using Shetlands to calm more flighty sheep works well with Soay too.  Soay are only hard to handle if they are kept wild or roughly handled.  If handled frequently and gently they can be more tame than you would want them !!
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James1

  • Joined Jul 2015
Re: Hebridean and Shetlands
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2016, 09:31:17 pm »
Thank you both for your replys, I think I'll just stick to my  Hebs as really pleased with the cross lambs ,haven't weighed any yet but are bigger than their mothers now. I'll be heading to Lanark and possibly York for some gimmers to expand my flock!!

Davea321

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: Hebridean and Shetlands
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2016, 09:09:32 pm »
I only put my best Shetland ewes with Shetland ram. All the others are put with Lleyn ram (as long as they are at least on their 2nd crop of lambs). The resulting crosses have all the good points from both breeds and are sold as stores at 6 months for a price that compares well with the commercial breeds.

James1

  • Joined Jul 2015
Re: Hebridean and Shetlands
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2016, 09:48:51 pm »
Thanks Davea321,I have thought of maybe breeding the best pure and keeping the ewe lambs. The only thing is What to do with the tup lambs! Keeping them over winter and so on!
I have today just sold 8 texXheb store lambs and they have paid for the 9 heb gimmers I bought at Lanark on Friday! . I don't know if i can justifie buying a heb  tup at the moment to breed my own replacements although this might change in the future. I might be wrong as I don't have all the prices but the ewe lambs seamed to be making more than the gimmers at that sale.

Big Light

  • Joined Aug 2011
    • Facebook
Re: Hebridean and Shetlands
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2016, 07:57:09 pm »
What did you get for your store lambs if that's not to rude a question?

James1

  • Joined Jul 2015
Re: Hebridean and Shetlands
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2016, 09:40:00 pm »
Yeh sold them privately for £46/head. I may of got more at auction but I have no commission at home. I asked the man who bought them if they were what he was expecting and he said no , their better! He was surprised at the lambs the hebs have produced.

The gimmers averaged £39/head.

Big Light

  • Joined Aug 2011
    • Facebook
Re: Hebridean and Shetlands
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2016, 10:21:00 pm »
Sounds good - profit from sheep!

 

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