North country cheviot

Discussion in 'Livestock & Forage' started by Ocm-1994, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Ocm-1994

    Ocm-1994 New Member

    hi all first post on here. Currently building up our Flock after taking over from my great uncle, running 150 ewes at the moment with the plan to try and build towards the 300 within the next 18 months ish. We mainly run North country Mules with a few Texel X mule kicking about (around 30), put back to Dutch texels. The ground we graze is mainly permanent pasture, some small ish paddock sized fields with some bigger flaps, and in the past have struggled to finish lambs of grass, often selling stores until last year where we finished everything on a home made cereal based ration (home grown barley) with other bits. The problem I am seeing is the mule struggling to keep condition on this rough grazing, especially after carrying lambs. which has never been reseeded but has been limed, I like to keep the ewes mineral drenched, fed concentrate in run up to lambing. The texel X seem to maintain condition better too, but the reason I am posting is to pick people's brains about the NCC. Reading all sorts, sourcing info, been to sales up north to get more info, I under stand there is generally 3 types and is the Lairg or the border that interests me. I'd just love people's opinion on the breed, if they would perhaps cope better with the rough grazing than the mules, lamb wise crossed with a texel how well can they finish, or would breeding them for the breeding market be a better route. Lambing wise, crossed to the texel have read stories of folk struggling with them mothering wise, ease of lambing etc. I understand they are a complete different sheep to the mule but it's a venture the more I look into the more the breed appeals to me. Thanks for reading any opinions well appreciated.
     
  2. Kelso690

    Kelso690 Member

    Poss be an idea to get ewes and lambs FEC and blood tested to see if they are deficient in any TE or any underlying issues contributing to poor condition.
     
  3. Old Tip

    Old Tip Member

    Location:
    Cumbria
    Mules are the toughest most adaptable sheep I know off, I have Lairg type Cheviots and yes they will live off less than a Mule but you will get a lot less lambs and they are not as easy to farm as a mule.
    As above I would test the sheep and the land before making any sudden changes to your system
     
    Colliepup123, Hilly, MF135 and 4 others like this.
  4. MJT

    MJT Member

    Got rid of mules here as they took too much upkeep and not enough lambs, as couldn't stick it on our ground . Have cheviots now to breed our own aberdales out of, wouldn't want all cheviots though as like @Old Tip says they don't have enough lambs.
     
  5. Ocm-1994

    Ocm-1994 New Member

    Cheers lads. I seem to think the texel X maintain there body nic a lot better than the mules. I see what your saying old tip. Will look into getting a few blood samples. Cheers
     
  6. sherg

    sherg Member

    Location:
    shropshire
    Maybe look at aberfields, highlanders , lleyns or something similar keep your lambing percentage and have a ewe that will look after herself a bit more
     
    jemski likes this.
  7. CharcoalWally

    CharcoalWally Member

    Location:
    West of Scotland
    I thought I'd test the same two breeds face to face 20 odd years ago , and for production , the Mule won hands down. The NCC ewes gave away so many lambs that there was simply no way they could compete with the Mule on ease of keep , which , theoretically , they should be able to do.

    To be honest , I've tried a few other breeds against the Scotch Mule over the years and all have come up short for some reason or another. There's a lot to be said for a straightforward ewe with a broad range of maternal traits that doesn't focus on a trait extremity.

    Don't think the NCC ewe should really be compared to the Mule to be honest. I think they're for two different jobs. (y)
     
    2YardOfLard, Dyffryn and Old Tip like this.
  8. Old Tip

    Old Tip Member

    Location:
    Cumbria
    Can't agree more perfectly put
    @Ocm-1994 if you do do anything it may be worth getting a nucleus flock of Lairg Cheviots to breed your own mules if you really fancy the breed. In my experience the Llyn should be avoided at all costs and needs better ground than a mule anyway.
     
  9. dunk999

    dunk999 Member

    Sounds identical to my own dilemma over the last few years.
    I have seen a vast improvement in my lambs after reseeding some land and keeping the mules with twins on it. I put all dry hoggs, mules with singles and now my 120 south country cheviots on the old permanent pasture.
    Southies are awesome just learn to lamb at a distance yes they are weaning 30% less lambs per 100 ewes to the ram than mules but they live on next to nothing and have weaned a load of lambs off of the oldest grass at 40kg at 12 weeks.
    There is also a huge difference between mules be very careful, I have found now after trying scotch mules, cheviot mules but bred out of all different types of blackies and cheviots that certain types were not performing on my land.
     
    Nithsdale Farmer, MJT and Old Tip like this.
  10. Bones

    Bones Member

    Location:
    n Ireland
    Why not stick with your texel x mule ,
     
  11. Old Tip

    Old Tip Member

    Location:
    Cumbria
    Each to there own but I found with my brief dalliance with the cross that they didn't last well but others really rate them.
     
  12. Bones

    Bones Member

    Location:
    n Ireland
    Never tryed them my self, but they are very popular
     
  13. Bones

    Bones Member

    Location:
    n Ireland
    Cross your mule ewes with a hill type cheviot , keep your ewe lambs , they will be hardier than your mules but have more lambs than your straight cheviot.
     
    TexelBen, unlacedgecko and jemski like this.
  14. Ocm-1994

    Ocm-1994 New Member

    Interesting replies. Blood tested 6 lean ewes today so will be interesting to see what comes from that. @dunk999, cheers for reply, what do you put to your SCC and do most lambs go to the prime lamb trade? I understand there a smaller framed animal with similar traits to the NCC am I right in thinking. 40kg fat after 12 weeks that's awesome I can't imagine hitting them sort of weights of our grazing. Only the odd big single our weaning weight at weekend averaged 30.35kg. Cheers
     
  15. Run to the hills

    Location:
    whitby
    We have some SCCs x with suffolk they are tough creatures, bit smaller but built like little tanks and last for years. Few less lambs but can lamb on their own with little feeding input.
    Could try NCC x suffolk but they may be abit big for what you get out of them
     
    dunk999 likes this.
  16. Ocm-1994

    Ocm-1994 New Member

    @Run to the hills how many crops you had outta them? Bought from a sale or did you breed them yourself? Seen your from Whitby, I live 15 mins up road, in between Guis borough and Whitby !
     
    TexelBen likes this.
  17. reverand

    reverand Member

    Location:
    East lancs hills
    Ncc are very good at what they do. Little feed required, hardy creatures. However if your ground allowes I would keep a more prolific ewe. Look at Chev mules instead of ncmules . I run pure chevs on the moor and draft down on to better ground and put to a Leicester type tup. I then push the Chev mule hoggs hard on the moor knowing that they will thrive wherever they go after that
     
  18. Run to the hills

    Location:
    whitby
    Not exactly sure but must be around 10 for some. Bred ourselves from some SCC we got from longtown. Would like some more but have run out of SCC to breed them from now:ROFLMAO:
    And yeah just outside whitby on the coast road
     
  19. dunk999

    dunk999 Member

    Breeding the scc pure at the moment to try build numbers up to where I can cross to the blue face instead of buying in.
    The ewes aren't big but gee they are solid nice shape as well. I was very hesitant about trying them but the gamble looks to be paying off I would say as an average my weaning weight would be 37kg @reverand I would agree keep cheviot mules where the ground allows it doesn't matter how many fec or blood tests you do if the ground or pasture is not great then forget keeping big ewes better with a cheviot producing 130% the ewe lambs breeding premium will compensate for the missing lambs.
     
  20. dunk999

    dunk999 Member

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