Broken mouthed ewes on twitter

It isn't uncommon. When you go to these sales year on year, and you know the farms buying - you know how many they buy every year and how many ewes they're running... replacing around 25% is definitely the norm.
I'm no big mule fan but I don't think he sends 25%of his ewes to the 'works' each year. Probably sells most on before they are broken mouths. The coat of replacing them is lower. He might have harder ground and wants younger ewes.

dazza b

All this arguing about what sheep keep there teeth. Everyone knows Mashams are the best for keeping there teeth, I got some on a shepherding job born 2010 and they still got there teeth. Bloody terrible sheep but can’t get an excuse to get rid. View attachment 899488This is a single lamb, I might take 18 months to get the flesh on the bugger!
Nothing wrong with mashams lambs out of mine are first go my only downside with them is keeping wool off them as I sell live


Livestock Farmer
I'm sure that there will be folks out there breeding mules which will keep their teeth and live to a ripe old age and if you can find them, they will certainly be sheep worth having. Unfortunately, most of the mule trade will hinge on facial markings and presumably sheer size where commercial points may be an afterthought.
That's why after 30 years of buying mules we have a list of outfits too buy from. It's very easy to be dropped from that list, takes a bit of doing too get on it! Old fell bought some very very smart ewe lambs out of Bentham a few years back. The most useless, gormless, idle, shallow sheep we have had for years. By the time they were 3 shears I'd shifted all but 2 of them. Never buying from them again!


Livestock Farmer
Of course they're not all wrong. If you get the right ones in the right system, I'm sure that they'll do a good job. But that is a major testament to the power of hybrid vigour IMO. The horned breeds have mucked about with BS like plucking white hairs and focusing or horn angles for far too long. I don't know a lot about BFL breeding but I'm sure it's a lot more art than science. I believe the breeders doing any proper recording are a tiny minority (and big plaudits to them!). And then there's the mysterious appearance of the 'crossing type'...
Aye, trying too sell ewe lambs from a swale with front legs 3 inches apart... "but look at the colour of its face and it's horns, isn't she grand?" Er no....

Must admit I do blame the crossing type for the poorer miles we seemed to get getting. So I've moved over to Chevi mules!


Sunny Glasgow
I try and keep a few older ewes and normally ok but they tend to have 3 lambs and on a hard winter there more hassle as there worth, texel x's always seem to cope in there 6th lambing as mules do here.

I dont mind drawing broken mouths out, means theyve lastest. I used to follow ewe lambs kept in year one and how many are there after 3 crops... i dont bother so much now.

Big mules and nearly all texel x's are generally worth more as ewe lambs so we keep 160 and tup them all. Some years buy a few mule gimmers too and tup 800 in total.

Around my area i dont have any facts but i suspect more people that have tried to get away from mules have went back to them,.

I am not a huge fan of mules but some folks compare them to llyens lambing at 150% if mules were to do that they would be easy kept too, maybe struggle to get them to perform so low.
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Is that the same reputation that has made plenty switch to self contained flocks in various guises?
Exactly. The price of good mules is such that many of us can't afford to buy them or can only afford to buy a few. Why else would many of us keep their Texel and Suffolk cross lambs as replacements.

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