best mules for heathland

Like everything else it is all down to how you handle them.
Kind of agree with you, but then I don't really treat them that different to all the other tups here. I will start giving them a bite to eat in the early Autumn before the rest if they need it, but they never get supplementary forage and they're never in- wintered.

If I can, I buy lambs instead of shearlings as I don't want them with a second Summer of feeding under their belts before they come here.
 

glensman

Member
Location
North Antrim
Kind of agree with you, but then I don't really treat them that different to all the other tups here. I will start giving them a bite to eat in the early Autumn before the rest if they need it, but they never get supplementary forage and they're never in- wintered.

If I can, I buy lambs instead of shearlings as I don't want them with a second Summer of feeding under their belts before they come here.
I think this is key. We only buy lambs now and find very few problems with longevity, we have had shearlings go wrong however more than once.
 

MJT

Member
I’d agree with others on here with regards to mules not being designed for heathland . An improved welsh ewe will out perform them in that environment , and with less input . Been there and got the Tshirt, and I’m by no means mule bashing, on hell of a lot of ground they’re the best sheep for the job but for what you’re describing I’d say no !
 
Have tried mules on stewardship ground and nature reserves , not heathland ,but varying quality grazing in amongst the reads stinging nettles, thistles and the rushes. Usually have plenty of nice lambs but many of the mule ewes will lose condition and need a lot of expensive feed to get them back to condition. Also tried a lot of other lowland type crosses with similar results. Can find good and bad examples of all the different breeds. The ones that have generally kept in good order are the Aberdale crosses. With this in mind, we are , this year selecting the thickest 200 ewes of any breed which have reared lambs this summer, and are putting them to another Innovis breed Aberfield SR , with a view to keeping the resultant ewe lambs and hopefully year on year we will get a ewe that best suits our ground.
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
Just giving this thread a bump.
Maybe getting access to a block of lowland heathland soon. Looks like it needs a breed that can live on 'next to nowt'. Mainly coarse old grasses, weeds and bushes. It's in a 'scheme' so no chance of improving it other than by grazing. No supplementary feeding allowed. Apparently the scheme requires the vegetation to be kept short.

From previous posts, it looks like an improved Welsh Mountain gets the most votes. Is there any other hill breed worth considering??

Swaledale? SBF? Cheviot(hill? park?)?? Herdwick??

TIA.
 

Old Tip

Member
Location
Cumbria
Just giving this thread a bump.
Maybe getting access to a block of lowland heathland soon. Looks like it needs a breed that can live on 'next to nowt'. Mainly coarse old grasses, weeds and bushes. It's in a 'scheme' so no chance of improving it other than by grazing. No supplementary feeding allowed. Apparently the scheme requires the vegetation to be kept short.

From previous posts, it looks like an improved Welsh Mountain gets the most votes. Is there any other hill breed worth considering??

Swaledale? SBF? Cheviot(hill? park?)?? Herdwick??

TIA.
Out of that list the Herdwick would be the toughest and the cheapest to get you started. If you cross with a Hill Cheviot and keep the gimmer lambs you will have a very smart flock in a few years
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Out of that list the Herdwick would be the toughest and the cheapest to get you started. If you cross with a Hill Cheviot and keep the gimmer lambs you will have a very smart flock in a few years

Hill Cheviot...

Do you mean THE Hill Cheviot (Southie) or Hill type Northie?:rolleyes:;):facepalm:


Depending on what the ground is actually like, the Soothie would be a good bet
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
Do you mean THE Hill Cheviot (Southie) or Hill type Northie?:rolleyes:;):facepalm:
Either will surfice but I prefer the Lairg type over the true southie
:eek::eek::eek: :stop::stop:

That's all I need :facepalm:
Until I joined TFF, I thought they were just Cheviots but it appears there are loads of 'types' - Southies, Northies, Park type, Hill type, Lairg type................:scratchhead:

Is there a 'Cheviot Guide For Dummies'?
Or could one of you guys explain (preferably in words of not more than one syllable and with pics) just what the differences are? :p:p
 

TWhist

Member
Just giving this thread a bump.
Maybe getting access to a block of lowland heathland soon. Looks like it needs a breed that can live on 'next to nowt'. Mainly coarse old grasses, weeds and bushes. It's in a 'scheme' so no chance of improving it other than by grazing. No supplementary feeding allowed. Apparently the scheme requires the vegetation to be kept short.

From previous posts, it looks like an improved Welsh Mountain gets the most votes. Is there any other hill breed worth considering??

Swaledale? SBF? Cheviot(hill? park?)?? Herdwick??

TIA.
Depends where you live, In my opinion I think hardy little Welsh ewes with a charollais, texel or suffolk tup take a bit of beating in most places. I find the bigger the ewe you get you may aswell keep a medium size ewe like a lleyn, romney or highlanders which will scan higher and produce a better lamb while eating the same amount.
 

neilo

Member
Location
Montgomeryshire
Just giving this thread a bump.
Maybe getting access to a block of lowland heathland soon. Looks like it needs a breed that can live on 'next to nowt'. Mainly coarse old grasses, weeds and bushes. It's in a 'scheme' so no chance of improving it other than by grazing. No supplementary feeding allowed. Apparently the scheme requires the vegetation to be kept short.

From previous posts, it looks like an improved Welsh Mountain gets the most votes. Is there any other hill breed worth considering??

Swaledale? SBF? Cheviot(hill? park?)?? Herdwick??

TIA.
What exactly does the ‘no supplementary feeding’ mean? Usually it just rules out trough feeding and ring feeders, but allows/doesn’t specifically disallow feed blocks or feed dropped on the floor with a snacker or similar. The devil’s in the detail.;)
If that’s the case, would some of your Texel crosses not do the job, just kept at a bit lower stocking rate than you might normally, then fetched home for when they needed feeding, or ‘snacked’ when needs be.
Feeding a home mix on the floor could even be argued as feeding the birdies, without damaging the valuable/weedy pasture...:rolleyes:

Trying to think outside the box a bit, and assuming you don’t have to run the block as a completely separate, self contained flock of course.
 

Old Tip

Member
Location
Cumbria
:eek::eek::eek: :stop::stop:

That's all I need :facepalm:
Until I joined TFF, I thought they were just Cheviots but it appears there are loads of 'types' - Southies, Northies, Park type, Hill type, Lairg type................:scratchhead:

Is there a 'Cheviot Guide For Dummies'?
Or could one of you guys explain (preferably in words of not more than one syllable and with pics) just what the differences are? :p:p
In simple terms
NCC Park Type, big heavy boned terminal sire no horns and a big roman nose
NCC Lairg Type half way between a Park and a South type giving the best attributes of both some tips have horns most dont, narrower head
Hill Cheviot or South type is a smaller woolier stocky type with a short square head, tips have horns
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
What exactly does the ‘no supplementary feeding’ mean? Usually it just rules out trough feeding and ring feeders, but allows/doesn’t specifically disallow feed blocks or feed dropped on the floor with a snacker or similar. The devil’s in the detail.;)
If that’s the case, would some of your Texel crosses not do the job, just kept at a bit lower stocking rate than you might normally, then fetched home for when they needed feeding, or ‘snacked’ when needs be.
Feeding a home mix on the floor could even be argued as feeding the birdies, without damaging the valuable/weedy pasture...:rolleyes:

Trying to think outside the box a bit, and assuming you don’t have to run the block as a completely separate, self contained flock of course.
It's all still 'a bit up in the air' at the moment as it's coming to the end of one agreement and about to start on another but after a quick look round it, describing it as 'space out of doors' probably flatters it:facepalm:.
The sheep are a small part of a bigger picture - a small resident flock (that will eat the less attractive bits) are required and will be helped out with our own, as and when, grass is available.
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
In simple terms
NCC Park Type, big heavy boned terminal sire no horns and a big roman nose
NCC Lairg Type half way between a Park and a South type giving the best attributes of both some tips have horns most dont, narrower head
Hill Cheviot or South type is a smaller woolier stocky type with a short square head, tips have horns
Thanks for that @Old Tip (y)

I'll bookmark this page for future reference ;)
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
In simple terms
NCC Park Type, big heavy boned terminal sire no horns and a big roman nose
NCC Lairg Type half way between a Park and a South type giving the best attributes of both some tips have horns most dont, narrower head
Hill Cheviot or South type is a smaller woolier stocky type with a short square head, tips have horns
Been poking around the Cheviot Society website. Well, what do you know?;):)..............
Screenshot (43)_LI.jpg

Good old Lincolns - they got everywhere :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

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