Feeding cull ewes

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
But aren't the young ewes better to breed from on all fronts?
Isn't that what EBVs are about?

Is longevity not of value too? My oldest ewes, as long as they still have teeth, get a free pass into the maternal breeding bunch, just for being around a long time without giving any bother.

In the pedigree flock, most of my ET donor ewes are older, proven ewes too.
 

andybk

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Mendips Somerset
Is longevity not of value too? My oldest ewes, as long as they still have teeth, get a free pass into the maternal breeding bunch, just for being around a long time without giving any bother.

In the pedigree flock, most of my ET donor ewes are older, proven ewes too.
Definitely, as long as they keep their head down, feed their lambs ,dont limp , mothers age very big positive if im looking at keeping a stock ram , have half a dozen coming around 8 or 9 this year , still looking well though
 
Is longevity not of value too? My oldest ewes, as long as they still have teeth, get a free pass into the maternal breeding bunch, just for being around a long time without giving any bother.

In the pedigree flock, most of my ET donor ewes are older, proven ewes too.
It depends on what you class as bother.

Not being able to fatten off grass sounds like bother to me, and isnt an indicator of longevity as they are past it.

What about keeping them the following year, when the need even more help, but you still get more lambs because the ewe is even older?
Its just a little bit extra feed so it's OK.
 
I didn't say all of them, but aren't there enough of a trend upwards for there to be enough better ones to breed replacements from without needing to rely on old genetics?
It's a balance between keeping older ewes that have proved their worth and bringing through younger genetics. As there are limited recorded Easycares about, sometimes I have to use non-recorded genetics and they don't always work out resulting in more females being demoted into the B flock.

I will only keep an older ewe if I think she'll cope with another winter eating bales in a sacrifice field with a nice view of the North sea and do a decent job of her lambs. Sometimes I get that wrong, of course. Sometimes they manage that but are too slow to recover afterwards. The ewes in the B flock tend to be moved on a bit earlier.
 
Like everything it’s a balance.

Old ewes either need feeding in spring so they don’t go backwards too much and can be sent in end of July, their lambs creeping to lift them off the ewes sooner or just cull the lot as lean things at weaning taking the hit.

forage fed flocks need to keep some youth imo as they don’t have the feed to prop them up in later life especially on a harder farm
 

exmoor dave

Member
Location
exmoor, uk
It's a balance between keeping older ewes that have proved their worth and bringing through younger genetics. As there are limited recorded Easycares about, sometimes I have to use non-recorded genetics and they don't always work out resulting in more females being demoted into the B flock.

I will only keep an older ewe if I think she'll cope with another winter eating bales in a sacrifice field with a nice view of the North sea and do a decent job of her lambs. Sometimes I get that wrong, of course. Sometimes they manage that but are too slow to recover afterwards. The ewes in the B flock tend to be moved on a bit earlier.


Are you increasing numbers @Woolless ?

Just ask because, I'm in complete agreement with you on keeping the older girls abit longer to get extra ewe lambs, even at the expense of cull values.
We're expanding the flock, to replace a flock that was on ground we've taken on, like you say there are limited buying options of shedders, plus having been a near closed flock for so long now, I'm extremely reluctant to buy any females in, from a disease point of view,
also a big believer in stock bred on the farm, particularly a upland environment is always better for the flock.

So ewes have been going on a year extra, even with the extra mortality, I think it's worth it to get those extra replacements from them.
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
Are you increasing numbers @Woolless ?

Just ask because, I'm in complete agreement with you on keeping the older girls abit longer to get extra ewe lambs, even at the expense of cull values.
We're expanding the flock, to replace a flock that was on ground we've taken on, like you say there are limited buying options of shedders, plus having been a near closed flock for so long now, I'm extremely reluctant to buy any females in, from a disease point of view,
also a big believer in stock bred on the farm, particularly a upland environment is always better for the flock.

So ewes have been going on a year extra, even with the extra mortality, I think it's worth it to get those extra replacements from them.

Are you totally shedders now?
 

exmoor dave

Member
Location
exmoor, uk
Are you totally shedders now?

Out door flock is in theory, i.e. everything is at least a 2nd cross, but there will probably be some lingering mule genetics meaning the odd one won't shed.

Early indoors flock is full of first cross ewes that we've bumped up from the main flock as we've had full breds to replace them.
We got down to about 40 Suffolk crosses but wife has decided to wants some suffolks.... so that number is now growing 😅
 
Are you increasing numbers @Woolless ?

Just ask because, I'm in complete agreement with you on keeping the older girls abit longer to get extra ewe lambs, even at the expense of cull values.
We're expanding the flock, to replace a flock that was on ground we've taken on, like you say there are limited buying options of shedders, plus having been a near closed flock for so long now, I'm extremely reluctant to buy any females in, from a disease point of view,
also a big believer in stock bred on the farm, particularly a upland environment is always better for the flock.

So ewes have been going on a year extra, even with the extra mortality, I think it's worth it to get those extra replacements from them.
Not increasing numbers, just trying to keep replacements that are A1 now. I'm too soft on my old dears that have done a good job for me, if I'm honest.
 

New Fuel Supplier On The Way

  • 259
  • 2
Farmdeals is very pleased to announce that Exswift Limited will soon be joining our digital online platform. Exswift deliver all types of fuel to numerous locations around Essex and further a field. We will keep you updated as to when they go live. Farmdeals.ag powered by The Farming Forum & FutureFarm. #farming #workinghard #inittogether

Exswift lorry2.jpg
Top