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Author Topic: Ouessant sheep  (Read 14447 times)

Pomme homme

  • Joined Feb 2013
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2016, 09:32:27 am »
Maybe Ouessants have that primitive instinct to be individuals. The Ouessant ram I had would as soon take a headlong run at a sheepdog than meekly flock and be driven into a pen. Great to see, difficult not to admire but hardly conducive to good husbandry!

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2016, 11:24:14 am »
A valid point Pomme homme but I see it slightly differently. Its better to exploit the peculiarities of the breed rather than try to make them work using the traditional approach if its found that the traditional approach doesn't work.

The is most definately a heirarchy within the two flocks that I have ( one of ewes one of rams) in reality there is very often only one sheep you need to control.  The others will follow ....like sheep.

Case in point the boys went on a joly thanks to some fence damage by the neighbouring tractor. ten rams on the loose early november.

all attempts to get them back across the fence line failed. Two were caught and manhandled back the rest were at liberty although they had been  tracked down before nightfall ( save one) the following morning early I arrived with the old ram now retired from his duties and removed as he would have fought to his death rather than give up his status as flock leader. He walks nicely on a lead and he was allowed to meet and greet everyone the boys then followed him back over the fence line with no issues. Job done  the other one who is always slower to keep up with the flock was found a few days later in with a couple of ewes at a local farmers place  :D reckon he had the best of it.
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

namethatsheep

  • Joined Jul 2015
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2016, 09:14:30 pm »
It was good to talk to the breeders at the Scottish Smallholder and Grower Festival and to see the sheep close-up.  I've attached two photographs so that you can see the difference between French and Dutch bloodlines. The white ewes are from French bloodlines whereas the ram is from Dutch. They are clearly different in conformation - the Dutch prefer a smaller, more wiry sheep and tend to favour coloured sheep.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2016, 09:42:44 pm by namethatsheep »

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2016, 10:03:21 pm »
 name that sheep your rather sweeping generalisation based on a select sample at the lanark show is  somewhat wide of the mark  but lets just say as I have presented home bred (Brittany france) breed  champions  at national level in France and exported to Holland, the UK and Germany there is a little more to it than your comments would suggest. Glad you enjoyed the show. :)



Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2016, 10:11:30 pm »
Anyone has any pics of shetland and ouessant next to each other? Just for comparison.
I'm picking up a ouessant ram soon!
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

namethatsheep

  • Joined Jul 2015
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2016, 09:41:03 am »
Dear macgro7 - this may give you an idea. It was sourced from the internet and shows Ouessant with Shetland ewes. http://www.townsendfarmquail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/IMG_06971.jpg

Dear Kanisha - I'm intrigued to know more about differences in conformation. Thanks

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2016, 11:30:19 am »
Name that sheep -

leaving aside differences attributable to bloodlines and flocks and as  you have identified dutch and french sources.
size  no difference between the two in preference.
colour the breed is traditionally a black wool breed and it has always had a significant bias towards black as the most  numerous, as its been identified as recessive this represents an historic and  significant  strong colour selection against white. The lack of available white sheep of quality in Holland has meant that to my knowledge only a very few imports have been made of white sheep and the majority of them from France as a consequence. Black remains even today the most represented colour in France although imports into the UK show a different measure of colour bias.

However your observations are not without merit. Even between sheep of the same breeding and bloodlines and therefore equivalent comparatively there is a difference between black and white colour variants. For genetic reasons the different colours  may have physiological or anatomical differences.  For example S.  Adalsteinsson identified statistically measurable differences in white icelandic sheep from other coloured icelandics. In the soay genetic studies have identified  black sheep as smaller a search continues for an explanation as to any selection advantage. Certainly within the Ouessant sheep population variation between blacks and white is noticable even amongst animals from the same flock with whites often being more corpulant and round boned with blacks  leaner ( carrying less body fat)  and with a bone structure which appears more angular as a consequence.

Hope that helps a little.





Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

namethatsheep

  • Joined Jul 2015
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2016, 02:06:32 pm »
Dear Kanisha

Thanks for the explanation, much appreciated. I'll certainly read more on the genetics and the influence colour may have on physiognomy. It's a fascinating subject. Trugarez.

Pomme homme

  • Joined Feb 2013
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2016, 03:04:15 pm »
Is it also a trait of Ouessants to try to camouflage themselves in order not to be driven with the flock?

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2016, 05:59:31 pm »
Mcgro, never turn your back on your tiny ram, they pack a whale of a punch! As said don't try to make a pet of him (if an entire ram) and don't let small children in the paddock with him! The best thing to do if he does try to have a pop is to put a bucket gently over his head or take him (again firmly but gently) by the horns and tip him up.
Kanisha, All I know about Ouessants is from the little flock I had, not for long enough, sadly but, as to  colouring, I had 4 white ewes and a black ram and he threw white ewe lambs always. would this be usual?

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2016, 10:05:28 pm »
Provided that black is recessive and white dominant and the ewes were genetically pure white then the offspring will be always white but the next generation could be something else. Because they would be visually white but some of them would carry black gene as well.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 11:12:41 pm by macgro7 »
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2016, 07:30:05 am »
Devonlady you are quite right to warn about the dangers of rams ( of any breed)  Ouessants may be small but   can easily take out a knee if wanted. 

Depending on the genetics of your white ewes,  in combination with your ram there would have been up to a fifty percent chance of producing a black lamb, but that would also depend on roll of the dice.
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2016, 04:44:37 pm »
Do those rams look ouessant to you?
Or more precisely do they look white ouessant?
Are they supposed to have brownish legs? Perhaps they are just dirty? Or crossbreed?
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

roddycm

  • Joined Jul 2013
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2016, 10:01:52 pm »
Do those rams look ouessant to you?
Or more precisely do they look white ouessant?
Are they supposed to have brownish legs? Perhaps they are just dirty? Or crossbreed?

These look like Portland rams to me :)

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Ouessant sheep
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2016, 09:24:42 am »
That's what I was thinking...
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

 

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