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Author Topic: southdown ram on portland or shetland ewes?  (Read 3940 times)

thenovice

  • Joined Oct 2011
southdown ram on portland or shetland ewes?
« on: January 02, 2013, 11:33:57 am »
Morning all, just wondering if anyone on here has tried the above, and what the results were like? Thanks  :thinking:

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: southdown ram on portland or shetland ewes?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 11:42:32 am »
I've not seen that cross, but the Southdown is a terminal sire breed so i would have thought the result would be quite good
I've seen a shetland cross Hampshire and  that was ok and a friend of ours uses a texel accross portlands, and they are really good.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: southdown ram on portland or shetland ewes?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 07:07:44 pm »
I use a Southdown (our main breed) on our Badger Face Welsh with excellent results.  Never had a lambing problem, lambs very quick to suckle and grow away well.  Good carcase.  Quite a few people are going back to the Southdown, particularly for hoggetts, as lambing is easy and the lambs finish off grass - we do ram hire but couldn't keep up with the demand last year.

Ladygrey

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Basingstoke
Re: southdown ram on portland or shetland ewes?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 07:57:09 pm »
I have two shetland ewes and both had been covered by a Ryeland ram, (sorry its not a southdown but similair  ??? )

The first one already had the lambs but the previous owner said she couldnt give birth and had to have both lambs pulled out, I bought another shetland ewe off this person 2 weeks ago due to me feeling sorry for her, she is pregnant to the same ryeland ram and aparantly cannot give birth either.

So with no idea when the due date is (ram is in with flock all year round, breeding with his offspring!) and her belly looking big yet she is skeletal, I am keeping a close eye on her  :fc:

This is Betty, Shetland cross Ryeland ewe lamb, going to cross a pure shetland onto her



Her brother (may he rest in peace, although its chilly in my freezer....)

thenovice

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: southdown ram on portland or shetland ewes?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 08:12:46 pm »
you must have a magic touch to never have a problem marches farmer  :innocent: . But seriously, i too like my southdowns, but was thinking that put to an easy lambing, non commercial breed, it might combine the best qualities of both breeds, and make a decent meat carcase. I feel inspired  :thinking:

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: southdown ram on portland or shetland ewes?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 02:09:49 pm »
Oh, we did at first!  We bought a whole small flock whose owner was retiring, which means you get the good, the bad and the ugly. It takes a few lambings to sort out the last two categories but we kept a record of every ewe's performance and after a couple of generations you can follow the line back through the poorer performing ewes.  We also culled out ewes having triplets.  I think the ewe should do the work, not me, and a young ewe may well be able to raise 3 lambs but an older one often struggles to produce enough milk.  I don't object to bottle feeding in exceptional circumstances but not on a regular basis - it would need to be done at a time of year when we're flat out with calf-rearing, incubating eggs and so on and I'd prefer to avoid it if possible.

Hazelwood Flock

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Dorset.
Re: southdown ram on portland or shetland ewes?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 10:09:21 pm »
My boss had Southdown on Portlands and it makes a useful cross, and results in largely polled lambs. The lambs are born red but with much darker brown/grey faces and legs. The only down side I have seen is they seem more prone to fly strike if not treated with vetrazin or the like.
Not every day is baaaaaad!
Pedigree Greyface Dartmoor sheep.

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: southdown ram on portland or shetland ewes?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 12:39:53 am »
Oh, we did at first!  We bought a whole small flock whose owner was retiring, which means you get the good, the bad and the ugly. It takes a few lambings to sort out the last two categories but we kept a record of every ewe's performance and after a couple of generations you can follow the line back through the poorer performing ewes.  We also culled out ewes having triplets.  I think the ewe should do the work, not me, and a young ewe may well be able to raise 3 lambs but an older one often struggles to produce enough milk.  I don't object to bottle feeding in exceptional circumstances but not on a regular basis - it would need to be done at a time of year when we're flat out with calf-rearing, incubating eggs and so on and I'd prefer to avoid it if possible.


Exactly the same here - I operate a one strike and out system, any handling for feet, assistance at lambing (and eventually I will fec them individually and get rid of wormy ones). My ewes are based around a Lleyn x wilts or easycare x milksheep and I fully expect them to raise trips.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: southdown ram on portland or shetland ewes?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 09:27:11 am »
We decided against triplets as we expect our ewes to raise at least 10 lots of twins but I think they'd be struggling with triplets after about 5 or 6.  We took the view that the main expense of the flock is raising the ewe lamb to the point where she's producing lambs so the longer lived she is the better.  We had sometimes been able to do some creative fostering with old ewes producing triplets but, again, it's a distraction.

 

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