Mules are still supreme

irish dom

Member
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.
So a mule has more hardiness constitution and will to live even though they are losing teeth at 4 years old and need masses of feed to keep them alive. Bred off "hill" ewes that never seen a hill and marketed purely for the colour of their face because obviously the darker ones milk better. Are you having a laugh?
 

Ysgythan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ammanford
So a mule has more hardiness constitution and will to live even though they are losing teeth at 4 years old and need masses of feed to keep them alive. Bred off "hill" ewes that never seen a hill and marketed purely for the colour of their face because obviously the darker ones milk better. Are you having a laugh?
you don’t have to buy that type, there are others.
 
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.
So not only do you believe that multiple births isn't worth selecting for, you also think a mule is more hardy than a Swale or Blackie.
Interesting!

If thats the case, why not cross two other breeds that are both more hardy than a BFL and a Blackie and have something even tougher due to being an F1.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
So not only do you believe that multiple births isn't worth selecting for, you also think a mule is more hardy than a Swale or Blackie.
Interesting!

If thats the case, why not cross two other breeds that are both more hardy than a BFL and a Blackie and have something even tougher due to being an F1.
@Agrivator doesn’t just think it, he’s proven it through use of an imaginary ‘hardiness index’.🤐
 

z.man

Member
Location
central scotland
I thought they looked narrow alongside my other barren hoggs, then I sheared 3-4” of wool off either side of the woolly ones and there was bugger all difference.

Yes, the one in the picture is narrow, but it was a fairly young lamb on a Hogg working hard. Filled out now.
Remember buying some shedding x texel store lambs they were peeling and looked narrow-ish but when they stood on the scales by god they weighed heavy would certainly buy the same again whereas a blackie texel lamb looks great but weighs like a cork a lot of the time
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
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

Apologies, I don't recall what you're saying.
How can runners have been so cheap the last 2 years, but only this year a profit and last year a loss? If there's a loss, they were too expensive.

If you're lambing them as hoggs, they are not runners...

Bounce back loans, SFP paid early, highest fat lamb prices ever (?) in August /September... its no surprise many have went daft this year with money burning a hole. This trade is not the norm.

IIRC 2017 was very good trade, 2018 was down quite a bit. Last year was up a very small way... this year is record breaking. There will be a big influx of ewe lambs next year due to this.

I'm only saying what has happened time and again when prices rise. Im just hoping Brexit is putting off a lot of the casuals from jumping on the sheep trade with lamb prices so good

As for the moaning, it's all you hear at the gimmer sale when prices drop and the dealers /runners loss their investment. Heard it too many times
 

SteveHants

Member
Location
Gloucestershire
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.
Even if I agreed with your arbitrary "scores", one of those is a crossbred, so you haven't taken into account heterosis.
 

Agrivator

Member
So not only do you believe that multiple births isn't worth selecting for, you also think a mule is more hardy than a Swale or Blackie.
Interesting!

If thats the case, why not cross two other breeds that are both more hardy than a BFL and a Blackie and have something even tougher due to being an F1.
If only life was that simple.

When it comes to constitution and hardiness, what two other breeds do you suggest would produce even more amazing results
than a soft BFL crossed with fairly hardy hill breeds.

And there is no peer-reviewed research, or reliable observation, that within breeds, lambing percentage can be increased by rejecting single-born lambs, and only selecting twin-born lambs as replacements.
 

Agrivator

Member
Even if I agreed with your arbitrary "scores", one of those is a crossbred, so you haven't taken into account heterosis.
I didn't expect anyone to agree with my arbitrary scores. But having spent a lifetime working with Swaledale, Blackface, Mule and BFL sheep, they are the relative scores ( 100, 30, 120) I would give them. In tougher conditions, the scores might be 120, 20, 100, but it still demonstrates that the BFL imparts phenotypic traits to its crossbred offspring way above what one might predict from heterosis alone.

The BFL is truly a remarkable breed.
 
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neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
And there is no peer-reviewed research, or reliable observation, that within breeds, lambing percentage can be increased by rejecting single-born lambs, and only selecting twin-born lambs as replacements.
The Cambridge breed came about by taking a group of historically prolific individuals from several different breeds (Clun, Llanwenog, etc), then running them as a flock and selecting from the offspring born as multiples, and culling anything that was a single (& likely a twin in the early days).
The result was a breed that would routinely scan at 300%+ as purebreds (we had 50 once :facepalm:), whilst eating a sniff of dead grass over tupping.

An extreme example I know, but shows what is possible through ruthless selection on measured traits.
 

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Variety ‘watch list’ for wheat yellow rust released

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Written by Charlotte Cunningham

AHDB has issued a yellow rust watch list to help flag winter wheat varieties most likely to perform out of line with the disease ratings published in the Recommended Lists. Charlotte Cunningham reports. The watch list, which orders varieties based on yellow rust levels from the three worst RL trials (for each variety), can help identify those most likely to benefit from closer monitoring, says the levy board. It follows the development of a new rating calculation approach that better reflects the diverse and dynamic nature of the UK’s rust populations, announced at the launch of the online edition of the RL 2021/22 in Dec. Discussions on the latest twists and turns...
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