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Author Topic: shetland cross  (Read 9731 times)

thenovice

  • Joined Oct 2011
shetland cross
« on: April 22, 2012, 09:20:27 pm »
I (maybe foolishly) bought a couple of shetland ewes with a view to putting them to my southdown tup in the autumn. Just wondered if anyone had any experience of a shetland cross, what sort of a carcase they make, and wether they are hardy and easy lambs?  ???

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 09:27:23 pm »
No direct experience but the Shetland sheep society magazine had an article about just this and they reckoned that Shetland ewes reared cross lambs very well and that they made good carcasses at 6 months. I think the tests they did were with a Lleyn cross.

Certainly I have been incredibly impressed with pure-bred Shetland lambs, just how easily they were born and how quickly they've been up on their feet and sucking - my first year with them after commercial hill sheep for years.

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2012, 09:40:48 pm »
I'm not an expert but I put my shetland ewes to a Jacobs Ram - only got one lamb as the other ewe aborted early (due to flystrike) - but she had no trouble. I don't know how big a southdown is - Shetlands cross well with larger rams but I would avoide using a very large breed - esp. if the ewes are first-timers.

at 5 1/2 months my jacobs/shetland ram lamb was 38kg (live weight).

thenovice

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 10:06:47 pm »
southdowns are short and chunky, and really docile. Well that does sound promising, it was the easy lambing that drew me to shetlands in the first place. Thanks for the info  :thumbsup:

bigchicken

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2012, 10:39:50 pm »
I keep Shetlands and have crossed them with Beltex, Lleyn, and Texel and they all make good lambs. Have seen Shetland x Ryeland which looked good.  So see no reason to think a x with a Southdown will not work.
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2012, 10:43:36 pm »
Ive lambed 42ish lambs albeit pure bred shetlands.

Not one malpresentation, dead lamb at birth, any assistance needed, no lack of milk or mismothering. Half of them were first time mums. Half twins, half singles. Pre lambing, one case of twin lamb disease (lost lamb, saved Mum), post lambing one mild mastitis late on just before weaning, lamb just weaned early and went on to have her own lamb last year.

The only 2 lambs born I have lost was to a golden eagle and a dog or badger :-(

Shetlands have a v wide pelvis. Ideally breed them pure for lamb no 1 altho they should be fine with a smaller other breed. After that they can manage most breeds.

Much underrated as long as you have good fences :-))

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2012, 04:45:35 am »
A hill farmer relative acquired some Shetlands many years ago and has run them alongside his Swaledales and Mules, breeding Texel x lambs from them ever since.  The only problems he's ever had is that they are rather flighty and bounce over any fences if they've a mind to (which is how he came to have them, the farmer that previously had them simply couldn't contain them!)  He's still got one girl left, she must be in her teens by now.  Last year he sold her twins as stores for 63 apiece.

You say 'ewes' - do you mean they've already had a crop or two of lambs?  If so, you're probably safe enough crossing with anything up to a Texel straight away, if that's what you want.  If they're gimmers - haven't lambed yet - then I'd definitely be looking at either a Shetland or at least another smallish breed for their first time.  Oh, just reread your post, you're wanting to use your Southdown tup - Southdowns are fairly small, aren't they? 
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

PDO_Lamb

  • Joined May 2011
    • Briggs' Shetland Lamb
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2012, 04:37:23 pm »
In Shetland the traditional cross for Shetland ewes is North Country Cheviot. The cross ewes to a terminal sire are well able to produce 42kg lambs. I elected to specialise in pure bred Shetland ewes a few years ago because the cheviot cross lambs proved heavy boned with a poor killout %. I am now hearing that this problem has been solved using Llen tups. Because most of the flocks are recorded it is possible to buy tups with a good growth rate index at commercial prices.

The only problem would be delvering a late born big single lamb, so maybe don't leave the tup with the ewes too long.

horsemadmummy

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 10:16:55 am »
We have crossed Shetlands with both a Suffolk and also a Dorset horn both cracking lambs with no problems but suggest always putting to a Shetland tup first time to open pelvis then they should be fine.  You get best of both size of dad but get up and go of mums!!!!

Crofterloon

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • Mintlaw
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 10:41:48 am »
I cross my shetlands with North Country Cheviots, I have crossed them with wiltshires with no problems, also bought some that had been put to a texel although the guy said it was a charollais.
 
The shetlands put to the texel seemed to need quite a bit of intervention this year, but all lambs seemed bigger due to the mild winter.
 
Shetland cheviot cross ewes sell well in my area.

Mallows Flock

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Shepton mallet
    • Somerset Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 06:05:28 pm »
HUGE FAN OF SHETLAND CROSSES HERE........!!!!!  :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave:
I think they totally rock. Easy lambers, fierce mothers, plenty of milk, larger offspring with bigger carcasses but same, sweet meat. Can go to slaughter at usual commercial lamb time or as a slow grower. I really can't praise them enough and i have commercials, shetland pedigrees and shetland crosses. I crossed to Charollais and Lleyn tups! Gonna use a Ryeland next time I think! The offspring also live on  marginal grounds and hedgerows like shetlands and have much better feet than the commercials/lowlands.
I agree with horsemadmummy....should be put to Shetland tup first time round otherwise big lambs from first timer! Ouch! LOL
From 3 to 30 and still flocking up!

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2012, 11:01:57 pm »
'Gonna use a Ryeland next time I think!'

 :wave:
 3 years ago we kept back 4 Shetland x Ryeland store lambs.  They go to a Shetland ram and have each produced twins, great mums, no assistance lambing outside,  meat and sheepskins very popular  :thumbsup:

Mallows Flock

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Shepton mallet
    • Somerset Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2012, 10:42:29 pm »
'Gonna use a Ryeland next time I think!'

 :wave:
 3 years ago we kept back 4 Shetland x Ryeland store lambs.  They go to a Shetland ram and have each produced twins, great mums, no assistance lambing outside,  meat and sheepskins very popular  :thumbsup:
I can imagine the cross would be the best of both worlds bramblecot as well as being darn cute to look at :o)
From 3 to 30 and still flocking up!

horsemadmummy

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: shetland cross
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2012, 10:13:39 pm »
My Shetland cross suffolks out of my fawn katmogets produced blonde suffolks!  So cute really pretty.

 

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