Easycare Tup Lambs

Ok

Year one with Easycares.

I lambed 85 and have got 160 lambing percentage up to weaning with very little hassle and no feeding.

Impressed with the breed and like no clipping, no backing and how well they utilise the poorest permanent pasture on the farm.

I lambed them to Easycare tups first up to breed replacements and make the first lambing as easy as possible.

I left the males entire as this seems to be what most people do and they have grown well, already have 30 over 43kg that were born start of May.

Problem is how to market them. Being easycare and entire is obviously against them. Everything will be going to terminal sires after first lambing but want to continue first lambing to pures for replacements and ease of lambing.

Does anyone know what abbatoirs in Scotland take easycare ram lambs. Or has anyone tried the live ring and had relative success???

Going down the NZ Suffolk route with the older ewes to see how they do, very exposed hills for lambing so a bit worried about Beltex and have a lot of trouble with texels with big heads in all my ewes.

Does anyone have any pictures of NZ Suffolk lambs off Easycare ewes, be interested to see the results.

Many thanks.
 

Pan mixer

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Near Colchester
I haven't had such impressive performance as that, after year 1, (we have lambed for the third time this year) I decided that we had to ring the boys as they were too difficult to fatten as hoggets - we put ours throughour shop and we want mutton or at least mature sheepmeat. A few did go deadweight this February and made almost £100 a head, I hit the right week for once.

20 conventional ewes left, them and their lambs have been endless bother with the fly and on their backs, easycares - no problem.
 
As above, I've had no trouble getting Easycare tup lambs away deadweight and I normally use Farmstock Scotland (Farmers' co-op). Actually got on alright selling them through the ring as well, outwith the busiest lamb selling months although in fairness many of mine will have a splash of Texel in them which helps.
 
Thanks guys, located Fife but happy to take them to meet a lorry en route to the abattoir. Was going to try 5 or 10 that are 45kg to see how they do.

Will try Farmstock.

Have another 160+ gimmers coming home next week and will use Easycares on them again for easy lambing and Ewe lambs as I said.

Then experiment with different terminals to see how they do.

Anyone suggest any terminal breeds to be avoided, not keen on chasing then round a hill with swollen heads out the back at lambing time.

Cheers
 

Johngee

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Llandysul
We’ve been using a NZ Suffolk on Easycare ewes for around 12 years with good success, afraid no photos sorry. Used a NZ Sufftex only last autumn so could get pics. First lambs were ready at 12 weeks this year, averaged around 19 kilos, mostly R with a good proportion of U’s.
 
In NZ little difference is noticed between lambing ease of Sufftex compared to Suffolk because the majority of flocks are of Romney or Romney derivatives (crosses and composites) which have large pelvises and many decades selecting against birthing difficulties. However, NZ's fine wool industry is based on Merinos and their derivatives which have smaller pelvic apertures to their body weight than the Romney types and because of the harder environmental conditions of dry hard hill and mountain pastures of fine wool flocks they tend to have much lower lambing %, hence the majority of lambs are born as singles. On these flocks, the Suffolk breed predominates as a terminal sire because;
  • NZ Suffolks have finer heads and legs, hence faster birth than Sufftex due to no Texel influence.
  • NZ Suffolks have faster growth rate to weaning generally, but could be negated by dressing out %.
  • NZ Suffolks have lower birth weights as the Texel influence advances gestation by up to a week (longer in the oven to grow bigger).
  • NZ Sufftex lambs have a bit more hybrid vigour (3 way cross out of a maternal breed ewe) also influencing slightly heavier birth weights.
  • NZ Sufftex is a bit more resilient to bad weather after birth, due to longer birth coat, higher birth weight and the Texel vigour component.
Sufftex is by far now the most popular terminal sire in NZ.

The choice between these two options should be based on the ease of lambing of the ewe flock to be mated and the proportion of singles expected. Very little difference would be noticed at 160s% lambing where only a third of lambs are born as singles and if ewes are bred for easier birthing.
 
We’ve been using a NZ Suffolk on Easycare ewes for around 12 years with good success, afraid no photos sorry. Used a NZ Sufftex only last autumn so could get pics. First lambs were ready at 12 weeks this year, averaged around 19 kilos, mostly R with a good proportion of U’s.
Interesting to see some pictures of the SuffTex lambs. Might try a couple next year. I have plenty of my own Sufftex tups but worry they may be too big boned for the easycares.
 

Johngee

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Llandysul
Did they lamb easily or any problems with the SuffTex.

Did the NZ Suffolks fatten well

No problems lambing the Sufftex, have tended to use them on yearling ewes without any trouble. Easycares have been bred for easy lambing and should be fine with any breed of tup.
Suffolks fatten well, although any that are still about as winter sets in are harder to shift, hence why I use them on mature ewes who should rear them and get them away in the summer. Sufftex works better on the yearlings who may have a little less milk - although ours did all the crossing group last year after the Suffolk was injured.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Anyone suggest any terminal breeds to be avoided, not keen on chasing then round a hill with swollen heads out the back at lambing time.

Anything, of any breed, with skeletal shape that might cause lambing problems be that big heads, short necks/legs, wide shoulders, or heavy bone. Those animals exist in all the main terminal sire breeds as they look more masculine/powerful/etc, but so do animals that are less so. Pick your breeder and pick a wedge shaped sheep, which is narrower at the front than at the back (some are the reverse of that!).

The Kiwis certainly don't have a patent on that design. ;)
 

Green farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
What the very humble gentleman above is saying is stick a Charolais on them. They will lamb easy, and grow like mushrooms.
Other breeders are available closer than him, but you may wish a jolly to the Welshpool area ! (y)

Whilst not specifically easycare, lambed lleyns outside to charolais and easycare rams this year. Hadn't any bother with either really, both were up on their feet fast and vigorous to suck. The easycare had noticeably tiny heads though. Never saw lambs of any breed to be as small, which bodes well for future lambings. Once I complete the switchover to easycare, will continue with the charolais ( hairy faced ones) for terminals unless something happens to put me off them.
 
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neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
What the very humble gentleman above is saying is stick a Charolais on them. They will lamb easy, and grow like mushrooms.
Other breeders are available closer than him, but you may wish a jolly to the Welshpool area ! (y)

Well yes, that is one option of course...

But what I actually meant is that there are examples in all breeds, of sheep that can lamb easily. Plenty of UK Texel X lambs are born in outdoor lambing flocks all over the UK, just pick the rams. There are also examples of Charollais sheep that are wedged the wrong way round these days, as the same mistakes are being made in that breed as in all the others.:( I remember judging a show once and standing watching the sheep being led in, then lined up in front of me. There was one (as it turns out expensively bought) shearling ram that I could see both back legs between his front ones! The owner didn't like being placed bottom...

In short, pick the ram, not the breed, IMO.
 

Bill dog

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
With you totally on that ! (y)
Quick question, I was speaking to my brother last night, and he is going to use some blue texels on his ewes, as they are “ better shaped than texels “.
Aren’t they just texels with black coats ? Or maybe they have some Beltex flung in to prop them up ?
 

pgk

Member
With you totally on that ! (y)
Quick question, I was speaking to my brother last night, and he is going to use some blue texels on his ewes, as they are “ better shaped than texels “.
Aren’t they just texels with black coats ? Or maybe they have some Beltex flung in to prop them up ?
When I first saw them they reminded me of the first white Texels I saw brought into West of Ireland in late 70's. More torpedo like heads and narrower shoulders which crossed well with Mayo blackfaces, Kerry's and Wicklow cheviots which were commonplace then.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
With you totally on that ! (y)
Quick question, I was speaking to my brother last night, and he is going to use some blue texels on his ewes, as they are “ better shaped than texels “.
Aren’t they just texels with black coats ? Or maybe they have some Beltex flung in to prop them up ?

Almost all of the ones I’ve ever judged at shows have looked great, but had appalling fleshing when handled. Many would have struggled to grade as fat lambs IMO. I have only ever once been impressed by one, and certainly wouldn’t say that, as a breed, they were anything special at all.

Blue Texels are just Texels, with a dark fleece. They can however be trimmed for show and sale and, given the depth of fleece on many Texels, a carding comb and some shears can work wonders. ‘Ordinary’ Texels can’t be trimmed.
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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