Black Cheviots?

Old Tip

Member
Location
Cumbria
Yes that is correct to a certain extent
Any black must be called and the rousie picks it out, and it’s thrown in the bin or down the porthole. A fleece with any more than 3 or 4 black spots is discarded. Animals in stud flocks are definitely marked for culling, in commercial flocks it depends on the farmer.
As an aside, some rousies would have the black wool picked out before the shearer called, Johnny Kirkpatrick’s daughter was one of them.
At present black wool is worth more than white
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Their wool is shite though

No, the wool is exceptionally good!

VBN wool is actually very valuable, it’s the sheep under the wool that is far from commercially viable.

I charge £20 to shear them and the fleece is worth roughly £25, shorn twice a year that’s £10/head profit on the wool


If wool ever got back to the values it should really be at.... everyone would be putting a bit of VBN blood into their sheep to improve the wool

The crosses I've shorn are beautiful to shear too (just ugly, useless sheep)
 

Old Tip

Member
Location
Cumbria
No, the wool is exceptionally good!




If wool ever got back to the values it should really be at.... everyone would be putting a bit of VBN blood into their sheep to improve the wool

The crosses I've shorn are beautiful to shear too (just ugly, useless sheep)
It’s not good at all, very course and felts easily, be ok for vegan sheepskins maybe but not much else
 
as soon as i seen this thread title i knew this FB post would be in here,i can well sympathize,when lambing,i can always remember the relief when the newly lambed mum would jump straight into the trailer after her lambs(usually u hoggs),but after every gestation they seemed to get more cantankerous and just bloody difficult!!!,despite the good returns from sheep at the moment,the memory that still sticks in my mind is just what a vindictive species they are!!!.........still taste good though😋
 
IME (with another breed) you need to be very careful how you go with that.

Before you know where you are, you'll have recessive black genes polluting the main population and black bu66ers turning up all over the place, where they are not welcome.

I have no problem at all with people wanting to breed black sheep (of any breed) but, IMHO, if they are going to be registered, they want to be completely separate in a separate society of their own. Otherwise there is a big danger of the 'tail wagging the dog' when people with a handful of sheep (which, let's face it, don't fit the breed description) want to start changing things within the main society.

Breed society politics can get very nasty and black sheep can be a very controversial subject.
There are a couple of large Romney studs here in NZ that have a fair level of black genes in them. They don't seem to worried about it, as one of the stud principle said 'just put any black lambs of as prime' We tail on one place that gets rams from them out of 2500 ewes he probably gets 10-40 black lambs a year, they all just go prime.
The other perk around black sheep (not dominant black) is that the gene that causes the white pattern in sheep also causes a drop in ovulation rate of about 0.15 per copy of the gene, all other things being equal black sheep have more lambs than white sheep.
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
There are a couple of large Romney studs here in NZ that have a fair level of black genes in them. They don't seem to worried about it, as one of the stud principle said 'just put any black lambs of as prime' We tail on one place that gets rams from them out of 2500 ewes he probably gets 10-40 black lambs a year, they all just go prime.
The other perk around black sheep (not dominant black) is that the gene that causes the white pattern in sheep also causes a drop in ovulation rate of about 0.15 per copy of the gene, all other things being equal black sheep have more lambs than white sheep.
That's all well and good in big populations.
My experience is with a rare breed with limited blood lines. The problem comes when breeders source tups from small flocks that are 'not so scrupulous' (or honest) with their culling policy and those recessive genes get 'hidden' only to pop up a few generations on.
 

Sharpy

Member
Livestock Farmer
@Sharpy the biggest flock of VBN that I do is 5 sheep, they are bigger than most tups, wool everywhere and just plain awkward. Folk are happy to pay £20 so why not??
Makes perfect sense to me, business is business! Its £100 callout for any other skilled tradesman with his own tools. Just wondering what the OP of the scanning price thread would think.......
 
That's all well and good in big populations.
My experience is with a rare breed with limited blood lines. The problem comes when breeders source tups from small flocks that are 'not so scrupulous' (or honest) with their culling policy and those recessive genes get 'hidden' only to pop up a few generations on.
One of the biggest issues I've seen in rare breeds is the constant shifting of rams "to bring in new blood", all it really does is spread those recessive genes through the whole population, often flocks will use poorer type animal just because he's not related to their own flock, they'd be much better off using a better but closely related animal. A collection of small closely bred flocks that are relatively unrelated to each other is much better for a breed than a collection of flocks that are constantly swapping rams.
 

Old Tip

Member
Location
Cumbria
One of the biggest issues I've seen in rare breeds is the constant shifting of rams "to bring in new blood", all it really does is spread those recessive genes through the whole population, often flocks will use poorer type animal just because he's not related to their own flock, they'd be much better off using a better but closely related animal. A collection of small closely bred flocks that are relatively unrelated to each other is much better for a breed than a collection of flocks that are constantly swapping rams.
I agree to a point but the other reason is to many poor quality ewes and are rams are kept by breeders in the misunderstanding they are helping the breed. Far better to just breed from the best and be very selective on ram quality and cross the poorer quality ewes to reduce the temptation to keep the offspring
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
One of the biggest issues I've seen in rare breeds is the constant shifting of rams "to bring in new blood", all it really does is spread those recessive genes through the whole population, often flocks will use poorer type animal just because he's not related to their own flock, they'd be much better off using a better but closely related animal. A collection of small closely bred flocks that are relatively unrelated to each other is much better for a breed than a collection of flocks that are constantly swapping rams.
Couldn't agree more.

It's just a pity the RBST don't think the same way.
They are currently 'very hung up' on their inbreeding coefficient (or whatever they call it) and are rating breed vulnerability on how a few rams are in the pedigrees of a lot of the population.
They've been trawling back 30 or 40 generations to come up with all sorts of statistics. In a breed, like ours, that 30 or 40 years ago only had 3 main breeders left, it's bound to throw up a lot of similar pedigrees.

They've had a couple of goes at interpeting their statistics which has thown up different answers.
(The phrase lies, damn lies and statistics springs to mind).

Meanwhile, I'm just 'jogging quietly along' with my line breeding and careful selection of the odd flock for an outcross now and again.
 

Old Tip

Member
Location
Cumbria
Couldn't agree more.

It's just a pity the RBST don't think the same way.
They are currently 'very hung up' on their inbreeding coefficient (or whatever they call it) and are rating breed vulnerability on how a few rams are in the pedigrees of a lot of the population.
They've been trawling back 30 or 40 generations to come up with all sorts of statistics. In a breed, like ours, that 30 or 40 years ago only had 3 main breeders left, it's bound to throw up a lot of similar pedigrees.

They've had a couple of goes at interpeting their statistics which has thown up different answers.
(The phrase lies, damn lies and statistics springs to mind).

Meanwhile, I'm just 'jogging quietly along' with my line breeding and careful selection of the odd flock for an outcross now and again.
They do think the same way, Now, it Will just take a while for the message to get across to some people.
But on the other hand some breeds especially those using largely AI are very in bred with only a couple of bulls being used on a large proportion of the breed. This can lead to issues with unwanted traits increasing such as breed abnormalities.
in one of my favourite breeds the Whitebred Shorthorn this has been a problem but mostly due to the concentration of the breed in the North of England and the Scottish Borders. This led to a mass slaughter of the herds in during F&M culls and then some inbreeding leading to a recessive gene becoming more prevalent. So a geographic spread of the breed is also a factor in case a similar crisis hits us again like bird flu or swine fever.
 
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They do think the same way, Now, it Will just take a while for the message to get across to some people.
But on the other hand some breeds especially those using largely AI are very in bred with only a couple of bulls being used on a large proportion of the breed. This can lead to issues with unwanted traits increasing such as breed abnormalities.
in one of my favourite breeds the Whitebred Shorthorn this has been a problem but mostly due to the concentration of the breed in the North of England and the Scottish Borders. This led to a mass slaughter of the herds in during F&M culls and then some inbreeding leading to a recessive gene becoming more prevalent. So a geographic spread of the breed is also a factor in case a similar crisis hits us again like bird flu or swine fever.
It wasn't the inbreeding that lead to the recessive gene becoming more prevalent, in fact the opposite, it's herds constantly seeking outside sires that spread genes through the whole population. If the herds had kept themselves closed and close bred that gene would have popped up early and been manageable. To be fair the same happened in the Angus breed, large scale use of AI and no inbreeding meant 3 genes (which came from just 2 bulls) spread well through the population before they reared their ugly heads, close breeding would have exposed the genes 15 to 20 years earlier
 

Old Tip

Member
Location
Cumbria
It wasn't the inbreeding that lead to the recessive gene becoming more prevalent, in fact the opposite, it's herds constantly seeking outside sires that spread genes through the whole population. If the herds had kept themselves closed and close bred that gene would have popped up early and been manageable. To be fair the same happened in the Angus breed, large scale use of AI and no inbreeding meant 3 genes (which came from just 2 bulls) spread well through the population before they reared their ugly heads, close breeding would have exposed the genes 15 to 20 years earlier
The issue was exposed a hundred years ago but it’s never been tackled and so is a lingering problem, F&M drastically reduced the numbers and it would seem the incidence has increased. You would think a gene that caused females not to breed would naturally sort itself out but it would seem it’s a lot more complicated than that
 

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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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