Mules are still supreme

Ysgythan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ammanford
I see no point in spending 130 quid on a sheep that has a year with nothing to do.
I can. They get wintered where they’ll be wintered every year. They go into the shed after lambing to pick up the shed bugs, get used to the drinkers, silage and cake on the bedding. They have a summer done on our roughest bits, get MV tested twice and are straight into the embryo recipient team. Younger ewes hold more embryos. You weigh that against inexperience, but at least we’ve managed as much of that as we can as above, and mules are bankers on mothering, even lambing first time as shearlings. If I have to pay £130 on the year’s trade for the type I want I’ll pay it. They can be anywhere from £80-£120 usually. This year we have enough of our Texel x coming on we don’t need to buy, but that would be the first time in 10 years.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I can. They get wintered where they’ll be wintered every year. They go into the shed after lambing to pick up the shed bugs, get used to the drinkers, silage and cake on the bedding. They have a summer done on our roughest bits, get MV tested twice and are straight into the embryo recipient team. Younger ewes hold more embryos. You weigh that against inexperience, but at least we’ve managed as much of that as we can as above, and mules are bankers on mothering, even lambing first time as shearlings. If I have to pay £130 on the year’s trade for the type I want I’ll pay it. They can be anywhere from £80-£120 usually. This year we have enough of our Texel x coming on we don’t need to buy, but that would be the first time in 10 years.
Not disagreeing that you might be willing to pay more for your specific job, but I find conception rates every bit as good in older recipients, certainly better than in shearlings. I have the luxury of having 500 mv accredited crossbred ewes to draw from, but most of my recips are drawn from 5 year old ewes that have been there and done it a few times. Very happy with conception rates (even managed 15 pregnancies from 15 embryos out of one donor, for the first time ever) and lambing ease.
 

Ysgythan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ammanford
Not disagreeing that you might be willing to pay more for your specific job, but I find conception rates every bit as good in older recipients, certainly better than in shearlings. I have the luxury of having 500 mv accredited crossbred ewes to draw from, but most of my recips are drawn from 5 year old ewes that have been there and done it a few times. Very happy with conception rates (even managed 15 pregnancies from 15 embryos out of one donor, for the first time ever) and lambing ease.
our record is 23/23
 

Ysgythan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ammanford
Everyone that has ever flushed many will know about the other end of the scale at some point.
oh yes. If they could tell you why it would be something.

We don’t sack old ewes either because of their age. An aggressive scraper may get the push, and that definitely gets worse with age. You don’t want the pen looking like a herd of sows has rooted through it when the lamb’s navel is still wet, but it has suckled and is having a nap...
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
I see no point in spending 130 quid on a sheep that has a year with nothing to do.
When I used to run hammering lambs I used to buy late lambs.

If gimmers are back next year so will lambs so they'll be fine, they should be used to the game by now.

Neither do I... but many do.

You're better going to the 2nd and 3rd sales to pick runners. Trade is typically easier and there is usually some very good lambs forward, they are just smaller and need to grow on.

But I've done the maths and if you actually wanted to make something at the job £70-£75 is about all you can afford to spend on ewe lambs - by the time you factor in the grass, some feed, your time looking them, meds etc... then ofcourse the 50 minutes each dressing them 🤯
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
As the old fella says "eh lad, they'll all tek th' tup. Little uns better thanth big uns. And they'll be th' ones to ave twins. But bare in mind if tha tups them little uns a purpose you've got to tsk care of them properly right through to 2 shears and they still won't grow out properly!" Sure enough whenever I have a cock up and a tup gets too what few runners we have they usually have twins. 😒
 

Anymulewilldo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Neither do I... but many do.

You're better going to the 2nd and 3rd sales to pick runners. Trade is typically easier and there is usually some very good lambs forward, they are just smaller and need to grow on.

But I've done the maths and if you actually wanted to make something at the job £70-£75 is about all you can afford to spend on ewe lambs - by the time you factor in the grass, some feed, your time looking them, meds etc... then ofcourse the 50 minutes each dressing them 🤯
We used too go with that logic. But this last few years the later lambs have been comparatively dearer than the first sales! But this year and this trade could see a swing back at the later sales. Always used to get some brilliant lambs from the 3rd sale at Lazonby
 
Neither do I... but many do.

You're better going to the 2nd and 3rd sales to pick runners. Trade is typically easier and there is usually some very good lambs forward, they are just smaller and need to grow on.

But I've done the maths and if you actually wanted to make something at the job £70-£75 is about all you can afford to spend on ewe lambs - by the time you factor in the grass, some feed, your time looking them, meds etc... then ofcourse the 50 minutes each dressing them 🤯
First sale lambs are often big spoiled singles.
 

Ysgythan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ammanford
You're better going to the 2nd and 3rd sales to pick runners. Trade is typically easier and there is usually some very good lambs forward, they are just smaller and need to grow on.
the top price at the later sales is often something that didn’t hit its reserve in the earlier ones. They won’t be there this year...
 

Agrivator

Member
First sale lambs are often big spoiled singles.
But those big singles will go on to have twins as Gimmers or older ewes.

The heritability of twinning is very low, so all those folk who select twins for replacements in the hope that they will be more fecund, are deluded.

But fecundity is very repeatable. So if you sell all first lambers that have singles, the rest that are retained will give a higher lambing percentage in later lambings.

The down side is that there will be more triplets.
 

Ysgythan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ammanford
But those big singles will go on to have twins as Gimmers or older ewes.

The heritability of twinning is very low, so all those folk who select twins for replacements in the hope that they will be more fecund, are deluded.

But fecundity is very repeatable. So if you sell all first lambers that have singles, the rest that are retained will give a higher lambing percentage in later lambings.

The down side is that there will be more triplets.
I’ve seen it quoted as 9% heritable, so over a long time not so deluded.
 
But those big singles will go on to have twins as Gimmers or older ewes.

The heritability of twinning is very low, so all those folk who select twins for replacements in the hope that they will be more fecund, are deluded.

But fecundity is very repeatable. So if you sell all first lambers that have singles, the rest that are retained will give a higher lambing percentage in later lambings.

The down side is that there will be more triplets.
So you believe selecting for singles is a good way to get twins and that ALS isn't heritable enough to select for? :scratchhead:
Ok!

I wasn't referring to selecting for twins in particular, I was more suggesting that those big singles aren't a sign that they are off a good rearing mother as pretty much any ewe can rear a single.
I prefer to keep good twins as replacements because their mother has proven she can rear 2 good lambs.

If twinning has such low heritability why bother using a prolific breed like BFL?
By your theory they won't lift lamb numbers in their progeny.
 

Heatgereater

Member
Livestock Farmer
I think to lift twinning you need to be religious in keeping twins as female and MALE replacements to start to get anywhere just keeping twin lambs for ewes without doing the same with the tups is a waste of time IMO
 

egbert

Member
As the old fella says "eh lad, they'll all tek th' tup. Little uns better thanth big uns. And they'll be th' ones to ave twins. But bare in mind if tha tups them little uns a purpose you've got to tsk care of them properly right through to 2 shears and they still won't grow out properly!" Sure enough whenever I have a cock up and a tup gets too what few runners we have they usually have twins. 😒
time honoured response when hill farmer is quizzed about why he put those little heifers in calf. 'They looked big enough when i bulled em'
 

Agrivator

Member
So you believe selecting for singles is a good way to get twins and that ALS isn't heritable enough to select for? :scratchhead:
Ok!

I wasn't referring to selecting for twins in particular, I was more suggesting that those big singles aren't a sign that they are off a good rearing mother as pretty much any ewe can rear a single.
I prefer to keep good twins as replacements because their mother has proven she can rear 2 good lambs.

If twinning has such low heritability why bother using a prolific breed like BFL?
By your theory they won't lift lamb numbers in their progeny.
I don't think there is much evidence to show that Mules are more prolific than either Swaledale or Blackface ewes, when both are kept under good nutritional regimes.

Just to put a few rough figures on expected scanning percentages of mature ewes all fed a similar adequate diet.

Swaledale or Blackface - 175%
BFL - 240%
Mule - 190%.

I would guess the increased Percentage in the Mule is due to hybrid vigour rather than heritabilty.

And another surprising result if you take imaginary figures for ''hardiness, constitution and will to live''.

Swaledale or Blackface - 100
BFL - 30
Mule - 120

Which shows that hardiness has an inverse heritabilty.
 
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@dlm

Member
A lot of runners buy at the first sales, not the 2nd. Ewe lamb averages were nearer £130.

As usual, this time next year, these boys will be moaning about the kicking they've just taken on this year's lambs because of the guaranteed drop in trade next year
Runners been soooo cheap last 2 years and this years sales of shearlings showed a huge profit for those lambs. Probably only balanced previous years loss!! The guarenteed drop and kicking people will take i seem to remember you saying bang on a year ago, questioning if it was a good idea me buying an extra 100 mule lambs when i was short of grass, and the certain price drop in the following year.... i know my land and the young leys always respond in autumn after a summers drought. Shearlings sold leave 48 over purchase price plus lamb sales. I dont see guarenteed kicking but will wait and see. If it does then lamb price drops so gimmer lamb price drops and margins the same bar shortfall in store lamb price. Dont see the need to predict how everyone moaning next year of their disaster as you predicted it last year for me. Though sods law i will stand corrected this time next year. I actually thought lambs were value for money, bought odd kilo heavier for 4 pounds extra, well pleased
 

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Second demonstration planned as controversial Agricultural Bill is finalised

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Written by William Kellett

A campaign group for farmers is planning a second protest in Parliament Square in Westminster in response to the return of the controversial Agricultural Bill in the House of Commons.

The group Save British Farming (SBF) is planning to hold a second demonstration against the bill which they believe will lead to the introduction of lower food standards.

A “socially distanced” tractor demonstration is planned to take place next Monday (September 28).

The protest centers around the proposed introduction of free trade with countries like the US and they believe this will lead to ‘the opening of floodgates to lower-regulated food’.

A demonstration by SBF had...
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