Maternal tup for Texels

Wazmos

Member
What are your thoughts on a maternal tup to put over mainly 3/4 texels for breeding replacement ewes?
We are just finishing lambing and I’ve had to intervene with to many, what breeds are going to inject some maternal traits back into the flock. Thanks.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
What are your thoughts on a maternal tup to put over mainly 3/4 texels for breeding replacement ewes?
We are just finishing lambing and I’ve had to intervene with to many, what breeds are going to inject some maternal traits back into the flock. Thanks.

My Highlander ewes, and those on several local farms, are bred up from strong Texel x ewes, and moved away from that breeding for the same reason. I lamb outside with minimal intervention now, which would have been unthinkable with the Texels. Ewe size has reduced at the same time, allowing higher stocking rates but lower growth rates & cull ewe value.

One of those local flocks has since started using NZ Romney on them, which would make for bigger ewes, but all that wool!
I hate to say it, but plenty of others get on well with an injection of Lleyn blood on Texel X ewes, but I guess you’d need to avoid the more ‘Texely’ of them.

If you get on well with the Texels otherwise, could you not just choose to use a Texel with a more functional structure, such as from a Peter Baber or @easyram1 ?

Whichever way you go, you will have to compromise slightly on lamb conformation ime.
 
It will depend a lot of your system and how low maintenance you want to go before you start losing confirmation from the ewe side. Lleyn would be one of the many obvious choices or highlander or Romney or any other maternal breed really would do the job. I even heard of someone who put a Welsh mountain on big texel cross ewes.
Or of you lamb indoors and are quite intensive anyway you could even use a blueface Leicester and breed your own aberfield type ewes.
 

Bill dog

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
@neilo What’s the average weight of your highlanders? I did use 2 highlanders on my lleyn ewes years ago , and when they snuffed it, I started on the Romney. My ewe weight would be nearer 85 than 65 sadly . But I’m not too bothered, as I have the traits I want, I just wish they were at least 10 kg smaller.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
@neilo What’s the average weight of your highlanders? I did use 2 highlanders on my lleyn ewes years ago , and when they snuffed it, I started on the Romney. My ewe weight would be nearer 85 than 65 sadly . But I’m not too bothered, as I have the traits I want, I just wish they were at least 10 kg smaller.

That depends on how they’re being managed. Most of my outdoor lambing flock will be 60-65kg now. Where a few have had an easier life, being used as ET recipients in the pedigree flocks, they can get up to 75-80kg.
Every one of those recips that hasn’t held an embryo have scanned with twins from the next cycle, so maybe I should be kinder to all of them?
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I'd be trying a Roussin
@Sandpit Farm

I have a handful of purebred Roussin ewes here to try this year. Although OK for mothering, they are some way behind the Highlanders on that score, running on the same system.
I won’t be rushing to add them into my maternal mix, but the Roussin x lambs out of Highlander hoggs are certainly easy born and lively enough. They’d have the edge over Beltex on lambing ease but it remains to be seen how far behind they will be on lamb value, if they are.
 
I have a handful of purebred Roussin ewes here to try this year. Although OK for mothering, they are some way behind the Highlanders on that score, running on the same system.
I won’t be rushing to add them into my maternal mix, but the Roussin x lambs out of Highlander hoggs are certainly easy born and lively enough. They’d have the edge over Beltex on lambing ease but it remains to be seen how far behind they will be on lamb value, if they are.
Funny you say that, a mate had Cheviot ewes put to Roussin and Highlander, and says he'd choose the Roussin.

I'd guess they won't have enough birth cost to allow you to mate them to your Char either, certainly not up this way anyway, but they're fine crossed to a Texel.

We had our first Roussin lambs this year, and having lambed most breeds, I've never seen anything like them for ease of birth and vigour, they aren't Beltex type shape, but I'm guessing they'll be mostly U's.
For me they aren't really comparable as I wouldn't have a Beltex for a ewe.

Plus I don't have the down side of seeing Beltex tups every day :)
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Funny you say that, a mate had Cheviot ewes put to Roussin and Highlander, and says he'd choose the Roussin.

I'd guess they won't have enough birth cost to allow you to mate them to your Char either, certainly not up this way anyway, but they're fine crossed to a Texel.

We had our first Roussin lambs this year, and having lambed most breeds, I've never seen anything like them for ease of birth and vigour, they aren't Beltex type shape, but I'm guessing they'll be mostly U's.
For me they aren't really comparable as I wouldn't have a Beltex for a ewe.

Plus I don't have the down side of seeing Beltex tups every day :)

Most of those Roussin lambed to a Charollais, one stole the Roussin tip when in quarantine overnight, and 3 cycled late and had Highlander lambs.

The pure Roussin lamb is a handy thing and the Charollais x are certainly tight skinned, although I don’t think they have the shape as Charollais out of my Highlanders.

Yes, I would anticipate the Roussin x lambs coming out as U’s, whereas all the Beltex x come back as E’s, eventually. With 5p/kg difference that’s only an extra pound a head, or thereabouts though.
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
I suggest trying a tiger sheep to give your flock an 'edge' over the competition
FB_IMG_1588937914107.jpg
FB_IMG_1588937920780.jpg
 
Most of those Roussin lambed to a Charollais, one stole the Roussin tip when in quarantine overnight, and 3 cycled late and had Highlander lambs.

The pure Roussin lamb is a handy thing and the Charollais x are certainly tight skinned, although I don’t think they have the shape as Charollais out of my Highlanders.

Yes, I would anticipate the Roussin x lambs coming out as U’s, whereas all the Beltex x come back as E’s, eventually. With 5p/kg difference that’s only an extra pound a head, or thereabouts though.
I wouldn't think they'd grow or grade like a Char.

If they are U grades with some R's and are good mothers with milk I'll be very happy, assuming all else is suitable, but so far I really like them.

Roussin mated to a Char I think they'd maybe be better lambed inside up here, but they'd be a lively bugger at birth!!
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I wouldn't think they'd grow or grade like a Char.

If they are U grades with some R's and are good mothers with milk I'll be very happy, assuming all else is suitable, but so far I really like them.

Roussin mated to a Char I think they'd maybe be better lambed inside up here, but they'd be a lively bugger at birth!!

I'm not expecting them to grow or grade like a Charollais, they are here to try them for maternal traits and to try as a terminal on hoggs. From my small sample, and all maiden shearlings, they don't appear to have as good a natural mothering instinct as the Highlander. I won't be retaining any females anyway, unless I'm short on numbers later on and decide to keep a few of the Highlander Hoggs' lambs back.

Good luck with yours, we'll look forward to the reports.... :)
 

Agrivator

Member
A good tight-skinned Suffolk. But avoid the heavy-boned Aberdeenshire types.

The other choice would be a Lairg-type Cheviot, but the offspring might have too many singles.
 

S J H

Member
Location
Bedfordshire
I've always fancied using a cheviot, but never been brave enough, and I don't think it would do much for the mature weight,

I think using homebred tups so you can judge birthing ease and vigour has more benefit than trying introduce it through unknown breeding.
 
What are your thoughts on a maternal tup to put over mainly 3/4 texels for breeding replacement ewes?
We are just finishing lambing and I’ve had to intervene with to many, what breeds are going to inject some maternal traits back into the flock. Thanks.
You won't beat a Zwartbles, you'll have a hard milky prolific easy lambing ewe and a good fat wether to sell fat, only down side is if you happen to be racist and don't like black sheep, the Zwartbles is an under rated ewe, I think initially everything was kept and so they have a bad name, but they are very good sheep (daughter had her first draw of lambs this week, 9 weeks old neither ewes or lambs have been fed, 43kg £107 apiece). As for Rousins, poor mothers and only enough milk to do one lamb properly, they'll rear twins but not make a very good job, you'll end up with store lambs at best(thats pedigree's)
 

Wazmos

Member
Thanks for your thoughts. Would using a BFL or Suffolk increase the size of the ewe further? There already big strong ewes, wouldn’t mind decreasing size if anything. What are the highlanders like to handle?
Cheers
 

New Fuel Supplier On The Way

  • 293
  • 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