Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: When to take the tup out?  (Read 259 times)

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
When to take the tup out?
« on: January 18, 2023, 08:01:11 pm »
Hi, I'd like to take the tup and a couple of whethers out from the ewes,
he's been in just over 7 weeks, because I couldn't find the raddle powder, I used food colouring and veg oil, it seemed to work for a couple of days, but I still have a few unmarked sheep, presuming (hoping) the colour became too diluted to show before dear hubby got round to bringing the powder.
So, 7 weeks+ a few days, will he have covered everything, (only 11 altogether), I'd like to get them out and get some weight on them, or at least the 3 will have better access to feed and shelter if bad weather hits. Tup is an Easycare lamb, having my doubts about him keeping his condition. Snow and freezing here.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: When to take the tup out?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2023, 12:18:20 am »
In 7 weeks he's had 2 or 3 opportunities to serve the ewes.  I leave my tups in for 4 weeks only and they rarely miss (We don't use raddle so we just wait and see).
The longer you leave him in the more drawn out your lambing will be if he didn't cover them all in the first cycle.  Historically we have not wanted a lambing longer than 4 weeks so that is how long we leave the tup in. 
If you are needing to feed up your ewes then get the tup out now and let the ewes have the grass.
If your grass is very poor and you didn't have them in good condition when you put the tup in then that could be why some appear to have missed. It would probably be best to let those ones have a year off if that is the case.
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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: When to take the tup out?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2023, 01:18:27 am »
When I was farming large numbers commercially, we used to swap tups around after 17 days for another 17 days, then combine groups for a 3rd 17 days, making just over 7 weeks in all.  Over the years, we never had less than 95% take in the first cycle unless we had a tup firing blanks or unable to perform for some reason.  (Which I've had a lame tup couldn't mount once, which we spotted after 3 days, and a proven tup go infertile just once.)  By 6 weeks of lambing you'd have maybe 2% of the original ewes left, some of whom would have aborted so would never lamb. 

Now I put the tup in for 3 weeks and that's it.  Anyone doesn't catch gets sent away, or gets a year off.  Apart from the time a proven tup became infertile, so I had his batch all empty, all the ewes have always lambed.  But if one didn't, I would so much rather have to make a decision about her future than spend another 17 days on high alert watching her mostly not lambing! 
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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

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: When to take the tup out?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2023, 08:31:33 am »
  In last 2 years the ram has covered all in 2 weeks ..... last year left in for another 2 weeks and marked up one who we assumed had repeated ...... she lambed to the first date.

We only lamb a few so the last thing we need is a long drawn out lambing ....  especially as it gives no opportunty for fostering or colostrum sharing.
Linda

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Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: When to take the tup out?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2023, 09:52:55 am »
Thanks for replies  :) .
I was thinking they'd had long enough, thought I'd just check.
FW-its not the ewes that need weight on, in fact I was worried they would be to fat for him (a couple of texel and x offspring). A couple of late wether lambs, I thought Gemma had missed, found her in July with 2! they don't seem to be doing very well. But looks like one wasn't ringed right, hoping he didn't do the deed before I realised (saw him trying to mount a texel but she was too big), got him out straight away.
3 ewes were marked by EC the same night we put him in.
no grass to speak of, feeding haylage.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: When to take the tup out?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2023, 10:53:46 am »
In a smallholding setting, it's often important to have a known "lamb by" date, so you can stop having to watch.

We really pushed the boundaries of that this year by using CIDRs to synchronise ovulation, and then only hiring the tup for 3 days. It's a risk, but for us this year, knowing lambing will be either over quickly or not at all was more important than productivity.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
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Re: When to take the tup out?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2023, 11:36:01 am »
In a smallholding setting, it's often important to have a known "lamb by" date, so you can stop having to watch.

We really pushed the boundaries of that this year by using CIDRs to synchronise ovulation, and then only hiring the tup for 3 days. It's a risk, but for us this year, knowing lambing will be either over quickly or not at all was more important than productivity.

A really good idea for us older less able smallholders .... you can hire help for just a few days if needed.
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
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Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: When to take the tup out?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2023, 11:48:51 am »
Oh, I never thought of that angle, Backinwellies.  We do it to fit in around Easter holidays, but you make a very good point.

In some ways I miss having our own tup, but doing it this way means we get a better tup than we could afford to buy, for roughly the same price it would cost to buy and keep an average one. The real advantage is in not having to worry about keeping different groups of animals apart, not having to fill multiple feeders etc in the winter, and being able to keep two extra ewes on the ground that the tup and his wether companion would otherwise need.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2023, 07:28:56 pm by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: When to take the tup out?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2023, 01:59:34 pm »
I tried sponges with the goats, it worked quite well previously, but this time one managed to lose hers, seemed to have a false season, then another proper one, which meant trailing about 75 miles to a Togg billy, twice :-(.
Certainly good when it works.  :)

 

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