Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: The low-down on RYELANDS - please....  (Read 4767 times)

violet

  • Joined Jul 2009
The low-down on RYELANDS - please....
« on: September 18, 2012, 03:28:34 pm »
I've been looking into Ryelands as my next breed of sheep.
No where can I find the statement 'easy-lambing' - I have searched for some reference to it and it just seems to be avoided all together. Ok so not totally - I've looked at Rosemary & Dan's posts/articles and I've found that you mustn't feed the ewe's too much or the lambs get too big & then there's problems............
But I recently heard a bit of a nightmare story involving a caesarean.

So could some of you Ryeland keepers out there enlighten me please - what is lambing them like, what are the problems, things to be wary of etc.
Bear in mind that I keep Shetlands & Shetland crosses & have never had to assist with a lambing at all and that's really my main priority for my system.
Thanks folks :wave:

omnipeasant

  • Joined May 2012
  • Llangurig , Mid Wales
Re: The low-down on RYELANDS - please....
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 03:47:50 pm »
I don't say they are problem lambers, we have lambed them outside without incident, but you must not over feed them or leave them unsupervised.

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: The low-down on RYELANDS - please....
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 03:57:58 pm »
I have just bought some Ryelands.....never had them before, but have had many other breeds and crosses.
First thing that strikes me is the fact that they are lazy, friendly.....and live on air! I have 2 in a quarter acre paddock at present where they have put on weight like mad and cannot be bothered to eat grass at the same rate as other sheep I have had which informs me that they don't use up a lot of energy!

They are a very old breed of sheep, from when wool was king and therefore sheep with wool on their teeth would have been encouraged ;D They certainly are down type sheep and would never have been kept indoors or fed lots of concentrates.

Therefore I am going to keep mine without the use of any hard feed of any kind save for last few weeks before lambing, and only then according to condition, they will have access to ad lib hay from November.

I anticipate that this management will cause few lambing problems....I may be wrong, I will have to see. I know people like to feed their animals but I think many are allowed to get much too fat!
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
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kaz

  • Joined Jul 2008
  • Ceredigion
  • Dust yourself off when life throws you down.
Re: The low-down on RYELANDS - please....
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 05:45:20 pm »
I have had Ryelands for many years, and they are easy lambers. Saying that I do bring them in to lamb solely to have some control if there is any problems. I don't fancy going out into the fields with a torch in the middle of the night.
Mine are fed over the winter months on a maintenance feed i.e for arguments sake what ever a half a litre jug of feed weighs as we tend to lose our grass very quickly because of where we are situated. The in lamb ewes are fed at a higher rate toward the last few weeks prior to lambing and  then fed afterwards for a couple of weeks. Hay is available at all times.
We have had very few problems, but they must not get too fat prior to tupping (as you won't get them into lamb) and don't overfeed prior to lambing especially a first time lamber.
Everyone has some problems with lambing but mine have been very few (touch wood) and mainly simple problems like a foot stopping them lamb and just having to move it and away they go.
They are well worth having as they are really tame and easy to handle.
Penybont Ryelands. Ystwyth Coloured Ryelands.  2 alpacas, 2 angora goats, 2 anglo nubian kids, 3golden retrievers a collie and a red fox labrador retriever, geese, ducks & chickens.

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: The low-down on RYELANDS - please....
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 06:17:34 pm »
What do they cost? My dad is interested in Ryelands but he thought they might cost 300 per ewe lamb and so he couldn't afford many at all (and I don't think would pay so much).

Is that about right, or has he got the wrong figures? I think he mainly wants coloured ones.

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: The low-down on RYELANDS - please....
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 06:35:57 pm »
jaykay,
I got 3 coloured shearling ewes from Kaz earlier this year and then 2 further white Ryelands a couple of months later. I will let Kaz give you the prices.
I love the girls and they are sooo laid back. None of this escape artist larks. Their fleece is also good for spinning.
They are going back to Kaz at the end of this month for tupping. So hopefully I will have some of my own Ryeland lambs next year.
Sally
 
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

violet

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: The low-down on RYELANDS - please....
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 07:40:10 pm »
Thank you so much everyone for all your replies  :thumbsup:

I am now convinced & totally  :excited:

I have the facilities to take in ewes to lamb if the weather's really hammering it down or if I have other concerns, but I prefer not to. Kaz, my ground sounds a bit like yours, my shetlands vary - some can get quite fat, others seem to never put on weight, what ever food you throw at them. I give them a maintenance ration, with licks & hay, over winter.
I think I'll just separate out the skinny ones to feed them up a bit and keep the fat ones with the Ryelands  :thinking: ...........
Thank again Folks.
Haven't been on here for ages & am loving the new icons  :wave:

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: The low-down on RYELANDS - please....
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 07:52:31 pm »
We bought our first Ryelands in 2007 - three ewe lambs, we bought another two ewe lambs in 2009 to join our one home-bred one, then the same in 2010. In 2011, we had four ewe lambs and have kept three. I sold a ewe in 2012, so have 11 going to the tup this year plus three of this year's ewe lambs that won't.

I've never (touch wood) had one not conceive, although I wouldn't say we have the highest lambing % - about 150%, but I find them good mothers and the lambs are pretty robust.

We still have our three originals - they will go to the tup for the 5th time in November. They all have all their teeth and correct udders and they are almost never lame.

We had a section this year - big single in a smal gimmer. I got the feeding wrong. Both ewe and lamb were fine though - the lamb was 5.5kg at birth  :o

I think what's been said before is right - get the feeding right and you'll be fine, especially in young ewes carrying singles.

I love mine - they are so docile and friendly; they're just a joy to have around. Oh, and the boys are VERY tasty  :yum:

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: The low-down on RYELANDS - please....
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2012, 11:53:12 pm »
I anticipate that this management will cause few lambing problems....I may be wrong, I will have to see. I know people like to feed their animals but I think many are allowed to get much too fat!


I don't know much about Ryleands, but I certainly agree with that sentiment.  :thumbsup:

violet

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: The low-down on RYELANDS - please....
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2012, 12:14:32 pm »
Thanks again folks. Thanks for sharing your experience Rosemary, I'm not sure if you did before, as I've not been that far back on the site. It's helped to reassure me, because I think that's what the breed descriptions I was reading were hinting at. I wish they could be a bit more open about the potential difficulties of each breed, as well as all the good points  :thinking: but that's what this site is for  ;D

Either way I'm convinced and plan to be the proud owner of a small flock of ryelands in a few weeks time  :excited:


 

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