Does the hill shepherd get a fair share of the pie?

LTH

Member
Livestock Farmer
I do have 1 chev tup to see what I think. The cross ewe is ok but think I'm preferring 1/4 chev blood in the flock. The beauty is I'm not locked into any breed or type, just use the tups I fancy and can take my ewes in any direction.. but once I breed or find a tup I like I tend to use him extensively.

You'd be disappointed with the lambing % of a Cheviot compared to your Swale
Yes I know, someone local used to cross their pure Swales with Cheviot and sell big store lambs rather than mule gimmers. I personally like pure breeding trying to improve certain parts of breeds, it’s just down to preference
 

LTH

Member
Livestock Farmer
The hill sheep men don’t deserve much of the pie they do bugger all so only fair they get bugger all .
And what do you have to base that opinion on, ever run a hill farm or had part of it as your business.
 

LTH

Member
Livestock Farmer
I think this is the future. Breeds are an artificial construct and böllocks. Shape your sheep any way you want with desirable traits and characteristics from any source.
You still need pure breeds to get that hybrid vigour you get front cross breeding and the genetic improvements over the last century are as a result of improving breeds, even the New Zealand composites are a breed in their own right now. Bit daft to say breeds are just rubbish. desirable traits come for selecting for them over time which then leads to a breed.
 
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Guleesh

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Isle of Skye
You still need pure breeds to get that hybrid vigour you get front cross breeding and the genetic improvements over the last century are as a result of improving breeds, even the New Zealand composites are a breed in their own right now. Bit daft to say breeds are just rubbish

But surely you recognise the huge differences between flocks and types of the supposed same breed?

There being as much variation within breeds than between them is really the truth of it I think, and what defines an animal fit to be of a breed is the list of requirements the breed society chooses, until they fall out and create a new type within a breed. It is nonsense really.
 

LTH

Member
Livestock Farmer
But surely you recognise the huge differences between flocks and types of the supposed same breed?

There being as much variation within breeds than between them is really the truth of it I think, and what defines an animal fit to be of a breed is the list of requirements the breed society chooses, until they fall out and create a new type within a breed. It is nonsense really.
I’m talking about preserving gene pools to ensure sheep provide the qualities they are bred for. We started off with just one or few species of sheep and cattle and then selectively bred them to produce different breeds with qualities that we want and then we can cross them to get animals with multiple attributes. The Swales look different from 50 years ago but they are still genetically the same and produce a mule the same as they always did.
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
You still need pure breeds to get that hybrid vigour you get front cross breeding and the genetic improvements over the last century are as a result of improving breeds, even the New Zealand composites are a breed in their own right now. Bit daft to say breeds are just rubbish. desirable traits come for selecting for them over time which then leads to a breed.


Desirable traits are not what leads to a breed - a breed is just a gene pool of animals with a similar physical appearance. A breed can be totally changed in a short space of time... you're a Mule man - the Crossing BFL is a prime example of a breed being totally altered and how being pure is just a perception.


2 composites, if line bred and stabilised, will give the same hybrid vigour as your supposed pures - if the 2 composites gene pools are non related
 

LTH

Member
Livestock Farmer
When you go buy a pure tup
Desirable traits are not what leads to a breed - a breed is just a gene pool of animals with a similar physical appearance. A breed can be totally changed in a short space of time... you're a Mule man - the Crossing BFL is a prime example of a breed being totally altered and how being pure is just a perception.


2 composites, if line bred and stabilised, will give the same hybrid vigour as your supposed pures - if the 2 composites gene pools are non related
The blue faced Leicester are the same breed and produces the same maternal traits, just different appearance. When you go and buy a tup of any breed you know what your getting as they’ve been bred to produce consistent type of animal cross bred tups produce huge variation. But your still producing a breed by line breeding similar genetics and stablising them like the aberfield and primera have been stabalised to produce a breed, breed types are one thing that can be down to choice but preserving the genetic pool so you can breed the sheep you want is important, so when you buy a Cheviot tup to put over your ewes it is a Cheviot and you know the qualities you will get. Same with 3 way crosses in dairy cows you need good pure Swedish reds, fleckveihs or whatever to produce that animal!
 
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LTH

Member
Livestock Farmer
A park Cheviot, south or north country are all Cheviot genetics in a breed that will give the same maternal qualities like lamb numbers, milk and mothering ability just some have bigger ears and longer legs, and that’s down to what you like to look. Hybrid vigor comes into its own by crossing isolated gene pools (breeds) of desired traits so that you get a noticeable difference.
 
The hill boys have big areas for sub&lfass payments, running a bf ewe on a hill afew blocks threw the winter, probably 120% lambing, most will lmb there selves. But sell wee bf lmbs in September, October for 35£ does give you much, obviously a bit more this year. And those guy breeding scottish mules get a good go, but most of them aren't on real hilly ground, upland green ground with afew rushes.
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
When you go buy a pure tup

The blue faced Leicester are the same breed and produces the same maternal traits, just different appearance. When you go and buy a tup of any breed you know what your getting as they’ve been bred to produce consistent type of animal cross bred tups produce huge variation. But your still producing a breed by line breeding similar genetics and stanablising them like the aberfield and primera have been stabalised to produce a breed, breed types are one thing that can be down to choice but preserving the genetic pool so you can breed the sheep you want is important, so when you buy a Cheviot tup to put over your ewes it is a Cheviot and you know the qualities you will get. Same with 3 way crosses in dairy cows you need good pure Swedish reds, fleckveihs or whatever to produce that animal!

The Crossing type BFL are totally different to a Traditional Blue which they are originally bred from, to say they are the same is laughable. They're so different, there have been talks of splitting the BFL society!
They also bear no resemblance to the 'original' crossing type BFLs you got out of Traditional Blues which were just a rare anomaly of a throwback. And back then, it couldn't be bred (because it wasn't predictable when the colour would appear) - just like the pure black ones (or black Cheviots for example). You'll know yourself, they were not wanted by BFL breeders, or Mule breeders even 15 years ago.


A true breed can't be out bred or crossed. It is fixed to the gene pool that it has. A composite is not a breed because fresh blood can be added from its original composition at any time and it doesn't alter what it is.



As far as I'm aware, Innovis have not fixed the Aberfield, despite what's claimed... they still have and use BFLs. It's just a glorified crossbred mongrel
 

LTH

Member
Livestock Farmer
The Holstein bears little resemblance to the British Friesian but originates from the same Dutch black and white cattle and has just been selected differently, there’s photos of tups 30 years ago that have brown legs. The swale from 50 years ago looks more like a Scot. I’m not talking about fixing type that’s up to breeders and is a bit daft at times but preserving gene pools is important to produce other breeds!
 

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