Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: tail docking - or not?  (Read 13232 times)

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: tail docking - or not?
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2012, 08:36:56 pm »
Awwww gorgeous!  :love: :love:
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

smudger

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • North Devon/ West Exmoor
Re: tail docking - or not?
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2012, 10:22:51 am »
I noticed in the current Country small holding magazine (Feb 2012, p19) an article which has Tim Tyne dagging and crutching sheep with........long tails.

So is that the answer? If you keep them long you have to clip hair of the tails?
Traditional and Rare breed livestock -  Golden Guernsey Goats, Blackmoor Flock Shetland and Lleyn Sheep, Pilgrim Geese and Norfolk Black Turkeys. Capallisky Irish Sport Horse Stud.

SingingShearer

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • South Yorkshire
    • Singing Shearer
Re: tail docking - or not?
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2012, 10:57:01 am »
Hi,

Some people keep the tails long to protect the udder in very cold areas.

Hope this helps,
Philip

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: tail docking - or not?
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2012, 12:00:03 pm »
This is the first time I have read this thread as I don't have sheep and possibly won't ever, but I DO have naturally bobtailed dogs. (Brittanys in the UK, Epagneul Breton in France where they came from)

Owners in our breed have become increasingly interested in breeding bobtails particularly up here ion Scotland as we cannot dock at  all.  There are ways round it in England, if you have a shooting licence or can prove your bitch is regularly worked on shoots (a shoot captain's certificate) and some people are just not bothering and breeding them with long tails - so we have quite a mixture of tails in the breed. 

One of mine has virtually no tail at all - about one digit I reckon; his mother and my older dog have about 2 or 3 digits and my older bitch was docked at birth along with all of her litter mates so I know she doesn't carry the bobtail gene. 

It basically means that if you breed a long tail to a bobtail you get about (statistically at least) 50% of each, and if you breed two bobs together that increases to 2 thirds bobs, and 1 third tailed.  The added complication is that it is really a short tail gene rather than a strict bobtail one.  So we can get all lengths of tail from none at all toa  full tail which is about teh length of teh body.  ::) 

Some breeders are afraid of the gene as a rumour got out that it was related to spina bifida and also that it was lethal - neither is strictly true.  Personally I wouldn't mate my no tail to another no tail just in case, but as for the lethal part of it, all it means is that the embryos with a double quantity of the bobtail  gene will not implant.  They are just never viable.  So effectively litters may be smaller.

A number of years a go an eminent geneticist who bred Boxers decided to have a go at introducing the bobtail gene so that he needn't dock - he used corgis - his name is Dr Bruce Cattanach and anyone who is interested in genetics and how he went about his programme can read it here - http://www.steynmere.com/

The Kennel Club is very strict about crossbreeds being introduced and usually 7 generations of breeding true to type is the maxim before allowing pups to be registered, but they accepted his bobtailed boxers a lot quicker than that.

If you have time it is extremely interesting and may help with sheep.
Annie
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 12:02:35 pm by doganjo »
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: tail docking - or not?
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2012, 12:03:30 pm »
I noticed in the current Country small holding magazine (Feb 2012, p19) an article which has Tim Tyne dagging and crutching sheep with........long tails.

So is that the answer? If you keep them long you have to clip hair of the tails?

We keep mountain sheep which need their tail to protect them from the harsh weather (traditionally all mountain breeds are kept with long tails). Also they tend to be on harder grazing so are less likely to get mucky bums from too much rich grass. If you keep the tails long, you don't have to clip tails but you do need to be more vigilant in keeping an eye out for maggots.
We do routinely clip the tails of all our ewes when they have lambed.

If we kept lowland sheep, they would be tailed.

Tim's article did also offer a tip on restraining sheep with short tails should their bums need clipping.
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colliewoman

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  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: tail docking - or not?
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2012, 04:24:33 pm »
I'm another who doesn't dock, again because I don't have too. Mine are a cross of Shetlands and Castlemilk Moorits.
They have the fluke tail naturally. If I had long tails, I would probably dock.
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onnyview

  • Joined Dec 2009
    • onnyview free range produce
Re: tail docking - or not?
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2012, 06:56:16 pm »
We dock our Llanwenogs to just below the fleshy bit on the tail. The Radnors we can do what we like as there is no breed requirement, but tend to not have them longer than the hock. Balwens when we had them weren't docked and we never had flystrike on the tail. Elsewhere, but never the tail. We don't castrate as we breed pure and send most of the lambs off by 6 mths that are not good enough for breeding and ewes and rams are separated. Personally I really struggle to get both testicles in the scrotum before then band goes on! :o
Onnyview free range produce- Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs, Hill Radnor and Llanwenog sheep.

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Southfields

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Salisbury
Re: tail docking - or not?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2012, 06:10:31 pm »
What a gorgeous lamb!!!

I dock our lambs within 48 hours of birth and any slight discomfort outweighs flystrike.

princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: tail docking - or not?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2012, 06:55:34 pm »
[quote author=Remy link=topic=21224.msg202479#msg202479 date=132860738
 I've lost a lamb to flystrike and have had to treat many other severely affected ones, including my pony - who's tail I had to totally shave off as the maggots had eaten  his entire dock 
[/quote]

any idea how/why that happened? was it a mucky tail or humid weather? ouch  :wave: :wave:

 

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