Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

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Sheep / Re: sheep breed options
« Last post by Twotwo on Today at 06:31:16 pm »
Another vote for Dorset Downs ... they are medium sized calm sheep, also they lamb and easily are good mothers.
My rams have just gone in and even with the warm weather the ewes are ready .. lining up for their new boys 🤪 due mid Feb 🤞
Sheep / Re: sheep breed options
« Last post by SallyintNorth on Today at 05:25:42 pm »
Ryelands and Texels have shorter legs than Zwartbles but are both extremely chunky sheep, I would say hard for a small adult to tip over.  Ryelands are pretty tame, though, so you'd probably get on fine using a halter and doing their feet stood up like a horse.

For a high incidence of hands-free lambings, though, I'm not sure I'd choose any of those breeds.  Shetland every time for me on that front.  I say it often, my #1 piece of lambing equipment is a pair of binoculars, and I've never had to put my hand inside a Shetland ewe put to a Shetland or other small primitive tup.  Sometimes a first-time Shetland or Shetland x mother might need a steadying hand for the first feed of her first ever lambs, but after that they are brilliant.  I had one ewe developed a humungous "cow teat", which needed some milk stripping out and the lamb teaching how to get on it - but the ewe was so tame I could do all that loose in the field until the lamb got the hang of it. 
Sheep / Re: sheep breed options
« Last post by silkwoodzwartbles on Today at 11:06:41 am »
I love my Zwartbles but if you want small, they won't suit you. My little boy (5 years old) did a few Young Handlers classes this summer with his Z ewe but I did notice that a lot of the other kids either had coloured Ryelands or Blue Texels so I reckon either of those might be a good call if you're wanting something smaller, with a bit of carcass and easy for kids to handle  :thumbsup:
Sheep / Re: sheep breed options
« Last post by Richmond on Today at 09:50:14 am »
We have Soay and Wiltshire Horn. All bar one came here as 5 month old weaned lambs. One of the Soays was wild as hell and scared of everything. Within a year all of them were silly tame. The one who was very wild now lies down in the field with me and lets me roo her wool off come shedding time. Two of the Wiltshires come up for cuddles and I mean proper cuddles - arms round and big solid hugs, not just a face stroke. One will paw my leg for more attention. They are like big woolly dogs! Spending lots of time with them is the key to getting them tame and trusting. It's a great way to end the day, sitting in a field with sheep all around you.
Sheep / Re: sheep breed options
« Last post by PipKelpy on Today at 09:43:19 am »
If you do go Shetland, make sure you buy from a flock that is demonstrably friendly.  (They aren't all, and sheep from a flock kept very "hands off" could be quite feisty.)

Too right! Out of the 42 I bought the first time, half climbed the walls, literally! And I was younger!

These ones I have now, I purposely asked for friendly! Registered, delivered and glared at me! Next day, the black one was my new best friend, within days most of the others accepted me! The lambs all now adore me (helps they can eat out of my pocket when I kneel down) and 2 of the ewes, at first reluctant (as they are Castlemilk Moorits) also come running to me! Chuffed with them pair. They don't seem to mind Mary either (cow!)

These came off a REPUTABLE breeder!! Also bought in a few new WH off a "reputable" breeder, mum suggested shooting them as even now , 3 months later, they are mental. She did say they hadn't been handled I just didnt, to my cost, realise she was serious! Debatable whether or not these registered sheep will survive to the end of this year, let alone to lambing time, they're bonkers! Only got them so I could breed my own pure replacements! My own non registered WH remind me of my Dorsets, laid back!

Goes to show, high pedigree, registered etc ISN'T everything!
Sheep / Re: sheep breed options
« Last post by SallyintNorth on Today at 09:35:05 am »
My own experience with keeping bottle-reared ewe lambs on as breeders is much the same as PipKelpy's - some have been fab mothers but they aren't all, and in the main (with some exceptions - yes I am looking at you, Alice :hugsheep:) they seem to have a shorter and less productive breeding life than the average.  And choosing to cull a still quite young but not fully fit or very productive ewe which you reared on the bottle is a very hard decision, every time.  :'(

However, any sheep brought on as weanlings and run on in a friendly, well-handled flock, provided not from a very self-sufficient breed or feisty flock, will tame down pretty quickly and can become as friendly as any bottle-reared lamb, without the attendant problems. 

So I wouldn't be too wedded to getting bottle ewe lambs, if you can find the type of ewe lamb you want to buy at weaning. 
Sheep / Re: sheep breed options
« Last post by Anke on Today at 09:29:50 am »
My Shetlands lamb outside from mid-April onwards - simply because by that time I (usually) have some grass growing and we often have a last winter come-uppance in early April (Eastern Scottish Borders). Also by then it is light fairly early in the morning and at night - sheep lambing outside do so most often at first light, or just before. So I just go out before milking my goats, collect the lambs (and ewes) and pen for a day or two to observe bonding, spray navels and castrate the boys.
Sheep / Re: sheep breed options
« Last post by SallyintNorth on Today at 09:26:27 am »
If you do go Shetland, make sure you buy from a flock that is demonstrably friendly.  (They aren't all, and sheep from a flock kept very "hands off" could be quite feisty.)   

Downside with Shetlands for you...  Not so many bottle lambs to find, Shetlands have a low incidence of triplets and a very, very low incidence of birthing or mothering issues! 

Another option for you might be to get Dorsets or Dorset crosses for now (bottle lambs could be easier to come by, and the Dorset genes will give you great adaptability in terms of breeding calendar), then use a Shetland tup on all your ewes, at least for a year or two, and keep on the nice ewe lambs.  Once you have a flock of easy lambing good motherers, you can if you want start to stretch the tupping date to lamb later and outdoors.
Marketplace / Hebridean Ewes - South Cumbria
« Last post by harmony on Today at 08:43:22 am »
Registered ewes mostly two horned but also some four horned. Two and three crop lambers.

Also three aged ewes looking for retirement grazing. Used to horses so would suit someone wanting to keep pony paddocks tidy but not wanting breeding sheep.

Message for details.
Sheep / Re: handling system recomendations
« Last post by twizzel on Today at 08:07:59 am »
You can find them second hand sometimes, would be worth looking as new they’re over £1000 now. I paid £200 for my basic race, end gate, front stop gate and shedding gate. Make sure whatever you get is galvanised and has a sheeted race, there’s quite a few powder coated cheap knock offs with normal bars for the race sections which wouldn’t help sheep flow.

I’m looking for a second hand rappa but not found one yet. We may look at a new one when the new round of government grants come out.

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