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Author Topic: Best cross for Shetland ewes?  (Read 205 times)

Azzdodd

  • Joined Apr 2012
Best cross for Shetland ewes?
« on: September 12, 2017, 12:57:29 pm »
I have just purchased 30 shetland ewes  of a friend who was giving up. He used various tups on them over the years he said but lambs only ever went for stores or fat lambs.


My questions are :


1. Can these small ewes take a larger tup
2. Will the ewe lambs from them be good replacement ewes
3. I have 3 tups 1 texel 1 Southdown 1 blue face x cheviot (which I use on my Welsh ewes to breed a mule type) which would you recommend im a complete novice when it comes to these sheep.








shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Best cross for Shetland ewes?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 08:31:53 pm »
Traditional cross was a  Hill Nothie ram

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Best cross for Shetland ewes?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 08:54:27 pm »
Shetlands are good crossers, yes.  They can lamb large lambs but carrying them will have an effect on their belly muscles over three or four pregnancies.  One very respected breeder uses Shetland first time, then 3 crops commercial, then back to Shetland.

Yes you'll get good breeding ewes from crossing.  The classic cross on Shetland is the Cheviot, much sought after for ewes.  I have several Shetland x BFL sheep and they're excellent breeders - albeit maybe a bit prone to triplets :/.   So in your case I'd certainly use the Cheviot x BFL now, as if they've had several large tup crops already this might be the last time you want to cross them.

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

roddycm

  • Joined Jul 2013
Re: Best cross for Shetland ewes?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 08:59:38 pm »
I'd use the texal, perfect cross. You'll get decent lambs for sure!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Best cross for Shetland ewes?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 09:05:26 pm »
I'd use the texal, perfect cross. You'll get decent lambs for sure!

I'd use the Texel on the (Cheviot x BFL) x Shetland ewes, i.e. the offspring of these ones.  The latter will make better breeding ewes, in my opinion, than the direct cross.  Then the cross to the Texel is onto a scopier ewe (decent frame, milky, motherly, hardy, good feet) for great fat lambs and really decent ewe lambs.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Best cross for Shetland ewes?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 08:54:25 am »
Don't discount the Southdown.  The skull is no wider than a Texel but without the shoulders and short neck.  I always try to breed my Badger Face pure for the first lambing, although this year they'll be going to the Southdown as I'm getting a BF ram lamb so I'll put him with the old ewes so at least one half of the equation knows what it's doing.

Azzdodd

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Best cross for Shetland ewes?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 10:13:20 am »
Thanks everyone for your replies I was planning on putting them all to the blue face x cheviot after reading up abit on the internet. They haven't been put with anything substantial in there life. First year badger face,second Jacob an third a Shetland there mixed ages but All have lambed so I think they will be ok to a bigger tup. There all on fresh grass an there looking great ????

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Best cross for Shetland ewes?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 03:19:46 pm »
They sound great, I'll be interested to hear (and see!) how you get on :thumbsup:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

 

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