Best ewe Indoor February lambing.

Just wanting to get some opinions.

Currently lamb 300 mules indoors Feb/March but to be honest getting sick of the mules and the amount they eat, the udder problems and the amount of triplets I seem to get from them.

Had Scottish mules for decades but as I get older I am losing my patience with them. I find it shocking how few ewes you have to sell fat after 5 crops of lambs, there is always too many with the cull mark on them after every lambing.

I am not needing any lessons in sheep farming or lambing thankyou please!!!!

Just curious as to what people would recommend to lamb indoors to cut out the problems mentioned above.

I am well aware all breeds have problems too, just not as many as my mules haha.

There must be a cross that is slightly more docile, doesn't need a kilo of feed a day so they have milk, have good udders and like the prospect of actually living for a year or two.

Posting this now because come May when I am selling lambs for good money I forget about all of the issues I get a lambing time.

Does anyone run any of the newer composites like Durnos, Highlanders, etc and have good success.

And just to include everyone in the conversation, which tups would give me the easiest lambing and Hardy lambs.

As you can see I am having a large clear out this year and looking to trial 200 ewes of a different breed to get my faith back in sheep.

Have 300 easycares but don't fancy these wild buggers in a shed, they are fine on the hill.
If you lamb in feb you are always going to have a lot more work than lambing outside in april.

if you go for a small maternal to lamb in feb you won’t end up with many lambs and they won’t be ready for may. You need to find some better mules imo. Old fashioned as they are can’t beat them for lambing in early imo
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cheshire
If you lamb in feb you are always going to have a lot more work than lambing outside in april.

if you go for a small maternal to lamb in feb you won’t end up with many lambs and they won’t be ready for may. You need to find some better mules imo. Old fashioned as they are can’t beat them for lambing in early imo
Most sensible thing you’ve said this year. 👍👍😉
 
No sorry they were EC X NZ ewe lambs we had bought but the man we bought them off said they were handy enough lambed
@Kingcustard would it be worth trying some of your own NZ Suffolk X EC ewe lambs and seeing how they do for the early lambing job?

Ref myomax/myostatin gene, two copies will increase muscle by 14% and reduce fat cover slightly. In sheep it doesn't seem to cause the problems it does in maternal cattle breeds. I have a family that has been bred for it. They have a fair splash of shedding Texel blood in them (most Texels carry two copies of the gene).
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cheshire
Have you considered Cheviot Mules? Touch ignorant but a better class of lamb than a mule, I know if umpteen 300-500 flocks that have swapped too them, all February lambers too hit that early summer market and they really like them. Less triplets, more twins. Just a thought.
 

Kingcustard

Member
Early lambing not totally a financial decision, it helps me manage the ewes better if I do 100+ early and I can protect the lambs better against bad weather, If I fill the shed in March or April they have to go out whatever the weather, and it can be harsh up here. Also a good chance to get rid of cull ewes before they need clipped and when the price is traditionally high.

The problem with the mules is there are a lot of people breeding them on farms that aren't as hard as mine so I think they are getting soft.

I am open to everything for replacements so may try some Hardy mules, some texel crosses and maybe some Durnos or similar.
 

Kingcustard

Member
What sre peoples views on Cheviot Mules, have had a few and they seem to be less trouble than traditional mules, but never had enough to say definitively they are better.

Do they have less triplets with the omission of BFL in the breeding??
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I use Highlanders from my April lambing flock as ET recipients, which lamb indoors. They are a doddle indoors or out, with none of the ‘let’s all lamb together in this corner’ nonsense. Anything that fails to hold the implanted embryo is covered on the first return and rarely has a single. Again, they just get on with it and are almost too quiet sometimes.

On the MyoMAX, all of my maternal sires (bar one shedder recently) since 2008 have been double MyoMAX carriers, and the ewes were originally from a Texel base, so there won’t be many ewes that aren’t double carriers. It increases lean meat yield in the hindquarter (but NOT the loin) with no affect on lambing ease. It’s a free ride ime, but must go hand in hand with performance recording

@Kingcustard , as I’ve posted previously, as you’ve already got & apparently like Easycares, and a supply of crossbred daughters, why not just try some of those in your existing early flock?
I doubt a NZ Suffolk will help their temperament, but a Texel surely would?
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cheshire
What sre peoples views on Cheviot Mules, have had a few and they seem to be less trouble than traditional mules, but never had enough to say definitively they are better
I really like them, they throw more lambs than the texel crosses they replaced, and with the right tup you get a top notch lamb too. Being out of a Cheviot they naturally carry more flesh so I find they take less maintenance feeding. They get fat on mediocre pasture where a mule would need a bit of help. I have only really just started on the Scotch mules but compared too my NoE mules I much prefer the Cheviots. The biggest problem is that they are in vogue at the moment and they take a bit of buying!
 
I use Highlanders from my April lambing flock as ET recipients, which lamb indoors. They are a doddle indoors or out, with none of the ‘let’s all lamb together in this corner’ nonsense. Anything that fails to hold the implanted embryo is covered on the first return and rarely has a single. Again, they just get on with it and are almost too quiet sometimes.

On the MyoMAX, all of my maternal sires (bar one shedder recently) since 2008 have been double MyoMAX carriers, and the ewes were originally from a Texel base, so there won’t be many ewes that aren’t double carriers. It increases lean meat yield in the hindquarter (but NOT the loin) with no affect on lambing ease. It’s a free ride ime, but must go hand in hand with performance recording

@Kingcustard , as I’ve posted previously, as you’ve already got & apparently like Easycares, and a supply of crossbred daughters, why not just try some of those in your existing early flock?
I doubt a NZ Suffolk will help their temperament, but a Texel surely would?
Good point about myomax improving gigot rather than the loin. That's certainly what I've found.
 

Kingcustard

Member
I like them to fire on if inside. I would be worrying all winter of a boring fortnight
I didn't tease and that's exactly what happened, one Suffolk cross lambed in a fortnight, but they were in a kilo a day all that time, thinks that why I had a few put their guts out the back. Whatever I do next year I will be raddle marking tups so I know when they are due to a degree.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I didn't tease and that's exactly what happened, one Suffolk cross lambed in a fortnight, but they were in a kilo a day all that time, thinks that why I had a few put their guts out the back. Whatever I do next year I will be raddle marking tups so I know when they are due to a degree.

Your entire rams worked as teasers by the sound of it. If you bung a teaser out beforehand, you’ll bring them forward, cheaply.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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