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Author Topic: What breed tup to use with Texel shearlings to get smaller lambs or twins?  (Read 11081 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Our Charollais sheep are all soft as butter, very tame. 

I don't know about Lleyn lambs being smaller, sorry.

I agree about BFL and death wish - they are very soft sheep.

I don't know where you are, but amongst smallholders, and handspinners, I would have thought that Texel x Shetland sheep (and their meat and their fleece) would be popular... :thinking:  Some of your local farmers may even like some Texel x Shetland ewe lambs - Shetlands are renown for being able to produce and rear commercial-size lambs with ease.
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

colliewoman

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
I had a couple shetland x charly lambs last year and got 50 per half in November :thumbsup:
They grow like weeds and are very pretty too.
Also Shetlands are fairly easy to get hold of for a reasonable price, especially if you don't need registered.
The Skins make a pretty penny too ;)

We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
I had a couple shetland x charly lambs last year and got 50 per half in November :thumbsup:
They grow like weeds and are very pretty too.
Ooo, goody; I've got three of these due in a couple of weeks :)

The Skins make a pretty penny too ;)
And I'm hoping for lovely fleeces for handspinning  :excited: :knit:

Mustn't count my chickens lambies before they're hatched born
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

Big Light

  • Joined Aug 2011
    • Facebook
The Texels pelvis is a different shape ( quite obvious if you have ever tried to lamb one) and thats the main problem with them.

Marlboro

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • West Wales
  • 42 sheep, 5 ducks 10 chickens and Meg
We use a nice Beulah Speckled on our hogs and have no problems, the growth rate is very good from heavier milking mums as I also put him to some of my pretty older ewes in the hope of follow ons and one of his went with the first batch of texel cross lambs last summer.
Our first hog this year has just lambed and she did it with what seemed remarkable ease, it is a nice big pretty speckled girl, mum is cheviot/texel with loads of milk.
We have to change the tup this year as we now have too many of his daughters as both not in lamb hogs and hopefully this years follow ons.
Have a lovely texel for the older ewes and have had to pull three out of 23 so far, to be fair one had his legs back and I probably overfed the other two as they were scanned as twins.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
If you go to the ram sale at Builth you'll find small, tough, BFL's in their working clothes straight off the hills going for very reasonable amounts compared to the big, showy types. 

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Are you sure they aint Kerry Hill crosses?  :excited:

Azzdodd

  • Joined Apr 2012
3 rams I would go for 1. Zwarble the most underrated breed out there! 2. Wiltshire horn small chunky strong lambs 3. Welsh ram the ewe lambs with me good replacements an texels will push there lambs out easy

I use zwarble X texel or zwarble X beltex ewes to a welsh ram not had to help a lamb be born yet and all lambs are in my freezer by 16-18 weeks

Blacksheep

  • Joined May 2008
Whilst a Zwartbles tup won't necessarily give small lambs I can also vouch that the feedback we have had from commercial buyers who use them has been really good for ease of lambing due to their conformation.  One farmer since getting a Zwartbles tup has always used them on texel shearlings to give them a much  easier first lambing.   All the lambs on the first cross will be black, however if you keep crossbred ewes for breeding ( I am told they make good breeding ewes)and put them to a white tup you will get 50/50 ratio of white to black lambs.
Whilst Zwartbles are a relatively large breed there is a range of sizes and it should be possible to purchase a smaller tup, just generally the larger tup lambs are selected for breeding.

fsmnutter

  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Hi there
As a vet and long term lamber, I have seen a number of crosses to try and get the right size lambs.
As folks say, it is mostly the ewe and the feeding that determines singles/multiples, and it really will be conformation of the lambs that will help them lamb easier out of first-timers than anything else.
I knew one farm that lambed hoggs at a year old, these were texel cross ewes, and they were put to a Beulah tup, I've not seen many of these around, but I don't think we pulled a single lamb out of the hoggs that year, and they were all up and suckling like billy-oh!
Another farm I've worked on for 17 years uses British Milksheep and Lleyn tups on his gimmers (2 year olds as first time lambers) and the lambs generally pop out pretty easily also and are pretty nice lambs.
He often keeps some of these for breeding, and in their second and subsequent lambings they get suffolk or texel tups to cover them.
The Lleyns and milksheep tend to be prolific, so if you were looking to aim for more twins/triplets than singles, then if you kept some of these crosses they would likely do that for you.
Looks like you've got a lot of choices now, hope you find something that suits you :)
Suzanne

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
The only problem with Beulah tups is you need good fences or all your neighbours will have Beulah X lambs too!

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Wow - what a choice.  Thank you folks for some excellent ideas.  If a Lleyn tup on a texel shearling gives easier lambing because the lambs are more "streamlined"  that may be the answer because it fits in with our long term plan, having bought some Lleyn gimmers last year.


Saying all this we only have 7 Texel first timers (shearings) this year and all were flushed and fed the same.  As my OP the first 2 had really big singles, but just lambed the third  (at 4 am of course) - triplets! (2 live one dead).  We did try to scan them but the bloke never turned up :-( and stopped answering his phone, bet he would have come if we had 600 ewes not 60 ;-) 
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

Marlboro

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • West Wales
  • 42 sheep, 5 ducks 10 chickens and Meg
Hmm, strong fences indeed, my Beulah wanted one of the girls with the texel tup and he had half knocked a fence down before we went and knocked a few more stakes in, oh and moved him and his girls to a different field. He is a bit of a randy so and so. :eyelashes:

Pomme homme

  • Joined Feb 2013
;D  does he have a brother??   ;D

Yes, but he's in the freezer. Or what we haven't, so far, eaten is! The 'rogexels' live up to their names, as tups, and make good eating as well. For what more can one ask!

 

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