Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: rare breed sheep?  (Read 7223 times)

highhorse

  • Joined Feb 2014
rare breed sheep?
« on: May 12, 2014, 01:21:27 pm »
i would like to breed rare breed sheep or an unusual but in demand breed with a view to selling the youngsters on.

does anyone recommend a particular breed?

are they profitable?

any advice/suggestions appreciated :-)


Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 07:22:49 pm »
I would say that the Primitives are unlikely to be profitable - no one breeder sells more than a few breeding stock, the rest going for meat, and even the best don't make a fortune.  Some folk have found a niche supplying meat to restaurants, some of which will pay a good meat price.

I don't keep the other rare breeds, the downland types for example, but they seem to sell well at the sales.

There is little chance that you would be selling stock at top price until you've spent a number of years establishing your reputation.

I'll leave it up to others to fill in the blanks.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 09:15:40 pm »
sheep are so different i think you need to choose what character suits you, and also your land, and fencing.
for example. i personally dont like handling huge sheep, or ones that jump fences like deer, and as id like to learn to spin one day, a soft fleece is a plus. if you are working with them everyday, it helps to actually like them, whether its business or hobby.
have a look at the rbst website and see what you fancy, see what they sell for, what the demand is etc
sometimes rare breeds are so rare people dont know what they are so dont bid for them, and also cant source unrelated stock to breed pure.
i always like balwens but couldnt find a ram anywhere for the 2 girls i had.

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 09:29:47 pm »
Its going to be hard to find a highly in demand rare sheep.... rare sheep are rare because well... there went out of demand...

Profit comes from keeping inputs low and outputs as high as you can to get a decent margin, lambing outside, feeding no cake, hardy ewes, cull for problems etc all help to keep costs low

Breed depends on land, and what you have to offer, also market, I have had a butcher contact me about buying all of my lambs, purely because he doesn't want lambs that have been fed cake! but your local butcher may just want fast growth and good conformation, so look up your target market!!

Slimjim

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • North Devon
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2014, 07:42:05 am »
I would forget the "profitable" bit.  The answers above are spot on. Go for a breed you like the look of and suits your particular set up.  Keeping a few sheep for a hobby will cost you if you do it properly and care for your animals. Also think carefully about the ram and what you can do with him when he's not working. Many people are reluctant to hire their rams out because of the risk of taking something nasty back to their flock. If you keep one he will need a companion - often a wether. Good luck!

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2014, 07:58:22 am »
Highhorse ..... Slimjim has backed up what I just said on your calves thread.  Don't think profit.
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Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2014, 09:18:45 am »
Highhorse, if you're sold on the idea of rare breeds, try to get along to one of the rare breed sales (there are various of these depending on where you are). When I did this, I was able to get a good look at various rare breeds and see which I liked the look of. I also received some really good tips on what to look for when buying  :thumbsup: .
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2014, 09:43:21 am »
The top priced Ryeland EVER sold for 1000 guineas. And that was a gimmer from one of the very top breeders. Mainly, they go for slightly more than fat prices. My tup lambs are worth more as meat than for breeding.

Breeds like texel, beltex etc sell for ridiculous amounts but these are top breeders, who are part of the top breeders club.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2014, 10:05:22 am »
 
Help me out then somebody - how many pounds are there to the guinea?  I was trying to look up auction sale prices recently, and it's awfy confusing for the uninitiated!  ::)
 
Breeds like texel, beltex etc sell for ridiculous amounts but these are top breeders, who are part of the top breeders club.

Yes, the farm next to us has one of the top breeding flocks for Beltex. That's the primary reason I don't want to keep an agile rare breed tup - the consequences of him jumping the fence are too awful to contemplate!!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2014, 11:43:54 am »
A guinea is 21 shillings or 1.05 for those pretending to be too young to remember pre decimalisation.

Usually breeding stock is sold in guineas - the 1 goes to the seller and the 5p to the mart as commission.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2014, 11:55:05 am »
Remember to factor in all the kit you'll need, from buckets and foot shears to pour on and wormers, not forgetting the more expensive items like hurdles, something to transport them in .....

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2014, 12:14:06 pm »
Great, Thanks for the info Rosemary.

Thanks also for making me feel young - it's been a while!  ;D
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2014, 12:21:01 pm »
Highhorse, if you're sold on the idea of rare breeds, try to get along to one of the rare breed sales

good advice in theory although iv found at thainstone it is often the crap unregistered ones that are sold there, all the best ones are sold privately often with a waiting list, if they are rare. though the good ones at the mart will often get a decent price if they are the better known breeds. it does give you a shop window though to see what you like. buying from a private breeder at leisure is a better investment.

dont do what we did in our first year - buy all the cheap ones and wonder why they had no teeth or dropped dead.
i remember buying a hebridean ram for a fiver once to be told by a farmer id been ripped off! he did drop
dead too.  :roflanim: :roflanim:

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2014, 12:22:27 pm »
How many Groats in  a Shilling?

devonlad

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Nr Crediton in Devon
Re: rare breed sheep?
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2014, 02:52:10 pm »
How many Groats in  a Shilling?

now that's tricky. a groat was once worth 4 pence- meaning 3 groats to a shilling but then a groat became worth 1 shilling and eight pence meaning that there was 1.67 shillings to a groat or roughly 0.6 of a groat to a shilling- I thank you  :excited:

 

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