Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: I cant believe im saying this!  (Read 4548 times)

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: I cant believe im saying this!
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2012, 09:41:44 am »
Our ewe lambs had not been handled much due to the owners circumstances and were to start with just brown blobs in whichever corner of the field was furthest away from any human they caught sight of. Did wonder how we could bucket train them as they had no idea that the bucket was anything to head for. However curiosity eventually got the better of them and within a few weeks they were coming when called. So even lambs that have had little contact with people, soon (in our experience) learn ..... may not be the case with older ewes.


Our local farmer said that it was best to get them used to taking food at a young age, not only for ease of handling, but so that they would readily take food as a matter of course during hard winters. He reckons they might otherwise behave like hill/mountain ewes who will starve rather than take hay etc. when brought down due to harsh weather. (Not sure how true this is  ???  but he seems to know his stuff  ;D ) In fact the breeder of my ewes said they refused to eat the hay that he struggled to get to them when the ground was covered in snow for weeks on end.

[size=78%]Our stock fencing is normal height .... no strands of wire. We do have thick hedges though. [/size]

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: I cant believe im saying this!
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2012, 09:58:24 am »
Yup, we keep soay (cutest), castlemilk moorits (most beautiful when shorn) and ronaldsays and I would never be without soay, most favourite and easy peasy.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: I cant believe im saying this!
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2012, 10:58:47 am »
I'm sure your advisor is right, inthehills, in that they won't take food if they don't know what it is.  Usually the dam teaches the young what is edible and they will stick with that initially.  Soay are very curious though so would eventually try some.  It is far better to have them so they will eat at least hay as soon as the bad weather starts.
Another point is that all sheep need to have the correct gut fauna to digest the food they are eating.  I would think that the fauna for hay would be the same as for grass, but when concentrates are introduced it must be slowly over about three weeks to give the appropriate gut flora time to develop.  So if you feed a tiny amount starting in the autumn then when deep snow arrives they will be ready to eat a bit more.
Then of course there's the bit about making them easier to handle if they are bucket trained (or pocket trained  ;D ).  The way to a Soay's heart is definitely via its stomach  :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:
 
We have just restarted our flock of all-black Soays  :love:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: I cant believe im saying this!
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2012, 12:39:09 pm »
That's interesting FW. We have an all black girl here but unfortunately she is slightly undershot so we won't keep any of her lambs for breeding as we wouldn't want to pass this on. Did read somewhere about the natural occurence of this on St Kilda. She seems to hold condition as much as the others and has produced a lovely black lamb - wethered.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: I cant believe im saying this!
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2012, 01:10:39 pm »
I will be looking for an unrelated black tup next year - but defo not from a ewe with an undershot jaw of course :sheep:   I hadn't heard about it on the island - interesting.  The only sheep we have had with that was a Heb tup, and he's just as tasty as normal ones  :hungry:   ;D
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: I cant believe im saying this!
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2012, 03:22:29 pm »
Yes, I'm afraid her lambs will always be destined for the pot, too.


Are black Soay very unusual?


We have a real mix of colours here and used a coloured tup last year so the lambs are a colourful bunch as well.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: I cant believe im saying this!
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2012, 05:32:47 pm »
On St Kilda, solid black sheep make up about 5% of the population.  I'm not sure if that also includes the solid brown variety.  There are far fewer on the mainland because Prof Jewell who brought the first Soay over, only liked the mouflon colour and sheep with horns in both sexes - on St Kilda 40% of ewes are polled.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: I cant believe im saying this!
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2012, 06:08:18 pm »
40 per cent  :o :o . I didn't know that. You are obviously keen on your Soay FW. I am going to be quiet now or I could steal this thread asking you questions about them.  ::)

 

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