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Author Topic: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?  (Read 13731 times)

moony

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Dent
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2012, 11:32:47 pm »
We crossed our Hebrideans with a texel tup who is twice the size of them. Was very dubious about the cross but they all had lovely lambs outside unassisted with no problems. The lambs were as big as their mums after 10wks and matured heightwise somewhere between the Heb and the Texel whilst also carrying the meaty bulk. Males were horned and the ewes polled. Looking at them you wouldnt believe they had come from Hebrideans.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 11:34:21 pm by moony »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2012, 12:16:04 am »
As I understand it, the primitives such as Heb, Shetland, etc, have more room through the pelvis than the more modern commercial sheep, so are able to birth a proportionately larger lamb.

I haven't lambed a Heb or Sheltie, so can't tell you how they feel inside compared to a Mule.  The mule is more roomy than a Texel - but then, these days, a lot of purebred Texels are conceived using AI to a sponged ewe and born by caesarian.  :o
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2012, 12:23:07 am »
What about a Dorper?

I've always been impressed with the shape of a Dorper, but i hear that even the ones bred here struggle a bit in our climate.

You could just as easily use a wilts horn or another shedding type.

Quite why someone so far north would want self-shedding eludes me... ???


Shedding sheep will succeed on the hardest, most northerly climates - they just lose their fleece in summer. Its just that Dorpers were bred in very southerly climes to begin with so aren't hardy. 


Heres a guy on some very hard ground who runs shedding ewes from a NCC and an easycare: http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/livestock/livestock-features/‘unconventional’-cross-sheep-has-excellent-growth-from-low-inputs/37146.article


Edited to add: Wilts Horns themselves have been exported to Canada. Shedding sheep don't get 'cold' like some people seem to imagine and slso they shed out when the ewe is good and ready, unlike ones that are shorn when people decide they are ready, and ergo, all at once.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 12:28:01 am by SteveHants »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2012, 12:27:16 am »
Food for thought. :thinking:
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2012, 12:30:08 am »
I have herd people in other places mooting an easycare shetland - since shetlands naturally shed off a bit, I reckon it would only take one cross to a shedder to get the fleece off them- and then you have a very hardy, shedding ewe that can do on very little and like the shetland could rase a big lamb...


If anyone has shetlands, Id be very interested to loan you a wilts or shedding composite ram and maybe buy back some ewes...

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2012, 01:14:59 am »
If anyone has shetlands, Id be very interested to loan you a wilts or shedding composite ram and maybe buy back some ewes...
:'( :'( :'( :'( :'(  "All that beautiful Shetland fleece!"  wails the spinner...

But yes, it would be an interesting experiment.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Mallows Flock

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Shepton mallet
    • Somerset Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2012, 08:38:01 pm »
I have Scotch Mule x Texel cade lambs and they are pretty ace... fast growing, gaining weight nicely and seem to enjoy thistle tops, nettles and rougher grass as well as the good stuff.
They are quite baldy on their heads, ears and undercarriages compared to other breeds I have so would be a little concerned crossing them to naked Charollais' despite me loving Charollais x's as I keep bleating on if lambing outside although Charollais are renowned easy lambers.
I will prob cross mine to a Lleyn if i can get my hands on one... easy lambers, prolific, multiple births and fleecier. A Lleyn was a very good cross to my Charollais'.
I am also a huge fan of Shetlands crossed to commercials i.e to my Charollais'... the results were fantastic and all lambed outside on their own.... popping out like cherry stones.
From 3 to 30 and still flocking up!

Mallows Flock

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Shepton mallet
    • Somerset Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2012, 08:44:25 pm »
Just spoken to my Suffolk keeping farmer neighbour... he said avoid Suffolks esp if you are an inexperienced lamber as they are notorious for having lambing difficulties and often 'over-do' with smallholders. He said Lleyn or Poll Dorset.
As for Texels looking like Bull Calfs, I have always described them as the 'bull of the sheep breed' LOL! And I love them!
These are my Mule x Texels (see pic below)
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 08:57:22 pm by Mallows Flock »
From 3 to 30 and still flocking up!

pixie2010

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2012, 10:09:18 pm »
Thanks everyone, lots of great info and certainly food for thought. I appreciate all your comments.

ScotsGirl

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • Wiltshire
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2012, 10:41:46 pm »
Well here are a couple of my Suffolk crosses out of my mules.  Now 5 months old

Mallows Flock

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Shepton mallet
    • Somerset Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2012, 10:45:17 pm »
Wow...they look all suffolky with mule legs  :thumbsup:
From 3 to 30 and still flocking up!

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2012, 11:52:57 pm »
I'm quite pleased with my SufTexs ad expect them to be easy lambing.


I cant see why you'd put a mule to a maternal breed like a lleyn though, unless you wanted to keep offspring as replacements.




I'm not sure that wool cover as adults has much to do with the lambs. Wilts Horns are like little chewbaccas when they are born. Charrolais are like those hairless cats....... :P

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Best breed for crossing with Scotch Mules - Texel, Suffolk or Other ?
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2012, 03:43:57 am »
We were given the following advice by another Cumbrian farmer :
Quote
If you don't want bare lambs but do want to use a Charollais tup, make sure you choose one with plenty of wool on the top of his head - his lambs will be less bare than those from a bare-headed Charollais.

We have followed that advice, and the majority of our Charollais x lambs have sufficient covering to manage even on our Cumbrian hill farm.  If it's very wet and cold when they're born we might bring them in for a day or so, and we'll put jackets on the very young ones if it's very wet, but we only get one or two very bare lambs each year.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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