Pedigree Sheep - Feeding / Show Prep

Blitz

Member
Livestock Farmer
I've recently started my own Pedigree Texel flock. I've attended a couple of shows and notice that my lambs are way behind those at shows. Any advise with regards feeding, supplements etc would be much appreciated.
 

Longlowdog

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Show prep' starts with lambing. Synchronise your flock to lamb on the day your society permits. Definitely not a month before in a corner of a shed no-one but your best mate sees. (Although the embryo transfer and A.I companies are busy well before those conception dates so go figure.) Preferable even to that is to have synchronised lambs born 4 kilos heavier than pure breeds can stand by putting embryos into massive milky recip's.
Get the lambs onto creep as soon as possible. Mix the creep with dried grass to get them onto solids from about 3 days old.
Leave on creep and mothers milk till weaning then feed four times a day. They eat more if fed than if given ad-lib particularly if you add some damp show mash/soaked beet but adlib is better than feeding only twice a day.
Discard to the fat ring or sell at a breed sale any that sink on their fetlocks depending if you are a noob or a big name in the breed.
Red or dead baby, to heck with the costs and how they might breed for someone 'less diligent'...cough...in their feeding regime.. Remember that the biggest fattest show toppers are bred to respond to this treatment over many generations and they might just might look crap if brought up like regular sheep on fresh air and a fine view.
You could bolus for essential trace elements but you'll be feeding so hard that the 600quid a tonne showmaster-supergrowth-bonebuilder-wonderbloom mix should provide all they need.
 

Mc115reed

Member
Livestock Farmer
As above… you need a fairly keen eye if you don’t want too go bankrupt so you can pick your shoe sheep 6 months before Youv entered any shows… my picks this year didn’t really materialise too what I’d expected so I’m only doing 2 shows.. when Youv chosen your “show team” you want too fetch them inside or on a bare paddock and pump that corn into them.. you don’t want them filling up on grass when they could be eating that pellet
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
As above… you need a fairly keen eye if you don’t want too go bankrupt so you can pick your shoe sheep 6 months before Youv entered any shows… my picks this year didn’t really materialise too what I’d expected so I’m only doing 2 shows.. when Youv chosen your “show team” you want too fetch them inside or on a bare paddock and pump that corn into them.. you don’t want them filling up on grass when they could be eating that pellet

Your problem was that you only started 6 months before.;) That’s far to late, unless they have been in fine fettle and wanted for nothing previously.

A guy locally was saying that he had a Texel ram lamb that he had high hopes for for the Royal Welsh, but had always been well behind the competition. He decided he was going to go for it.
As lambs, they already been done very well, then from November he pulled Big Boy out on his own and fed some super duper ram coarse. He was the only one on it, so he knew exactly what this one ram ate. He apparently got through 1.2t between November and the show (July), with that coarse at £400/t at the time.

He was still well behind the competition.
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
Agree with all of the above posts :facepalm:

It's sad that modern showing has basically morphed into a feeding competition as it's a great way to meet like minded people who are keen to further the cause of their chosen breed.

We don't show anymore (well except at the show that hosts our breed society sale) but there's still a fair bit of craic in the sheep lines, so, if you fancy a go, good luck and get on and enjoy it - just remember that you'll only be challenging for the minor placings unless there's a feed wagon parked in your yard all the time 😏
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Agree with all of the above posts :facepalm:

It's sad that modern showing has basically morphed into a feeding competition as it's a great way to meet like minded people who are keen to further the cause of their chosen breed.

We don't show anymore (well except at the show that hosts our breed society sale) but there's still a fair bit of craic in the sheep lines, so, if you fancy a go, good luck and get on and enjoy it - just remember that you'll only be challenging for the minor placings unless there's a feed wagon parked in your yard all the time 😏

Has your breed society show & sale not morphed into a feeding competition as well?
I know ours certainly has, and the present direction seems to celebrate it even more. :(
 

Ysgythan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ammanford
We have never fed our Texel lambs separately for showing, they will be on creep and decent grass (and we have won at County level including interbreed ram lamb). Its a shame when it comes down to being judged on size (fat) over conformation. A good judge should be able to tell a good sheep regardless of its weight.
Let alone a judge which actively goes against over fat animals.
 

Longlowdog

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
I've seen a few good judges.
I once entered Turriff with two shearlings in order to get cheap entry, preferential parking and a free coffee. I took my tups straight out the field no prep whatsoever and got 2nd and 4th. Talking to the judge as he walked the rows afterwards he said he was delighted to have a couple of natural sheep to judge amongst the bloated show sheep.
Of course I would call him a good judge!
I didn't begrudge him picking a big name winner as showing is about more than sheep really. My tups would not have been a great advert for uneducated onlookers with their muck stains on their hips and their hairy faces and legs. The shows that provide the facilities need good publicity and a stunning, clean show champ' does a great job of promotion on the front page of the local newspaper, my rough 4rsed boys maybe not so much.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I've seen a few good judges.
I once entered Turriff with two shearlings in order to get cheap entry, preferential parking and a free coffee. I took my tups straight out the field no prep whatsoever and got 2nd and 4th. Talking to the judge as he walked the rows afterwards he said he was delighted to have a couple of natural sheep to judge amongst the bloated show sheep.
Of course I would call him a good judge!
I didn't begrudge him picking a big name winner as showing is about more than sheep really. My tups would not have been a great advert for uneducated onlookers with their muck stains on their hips and their hairy faces and legs. The shows that provide the facilities need good publicity and a stunning, clean show champ' does a great job of promotion on the front page of the local newspaper, my rough 4rsed boys maybe not so much.

I disagree. The sheep should be judged on their merit, regardless of whether they have a grass stain on their hips, and most certainly regardless of who is holding the halter. I was once lambasted at a County Show for placing an untrimmed ram lamb from a relative newcomer first. He was the best sheep on the day, regardless of whether he'd been presented nicely, a good sheep presents itself. I did back my judgement by buying him privately afterwards, and what a good buy he was. :)

As to well fed ones vs lean ones, the judge can only place what is put in front of them. All to often, someone with leaner sheep gets uppity about the fatties taking the rosettes, when they might just have poorer sheep, as well as being less well fed. Feeding should be enough for them to exhibit their genetic potential, and very often those 'straight out of the field' entries aren't even that ime.
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
Has your breed society show & sale not morphed into a feeding competition as well?
I know ours certainly has, and the present direction seems to celebrate it even more. :(
It has to a certain extent but not as much as the show only classes.

The sale usually does have later born and grass fed entries and the sale sheep are judged in their own classes.

There are limited opportunities to sell rare breed sheep so we always try and go to support the society........





......as it's the week of unabashed self promotion in the showing world 😱😱, I might as well blow my own trumpet 🎺
20220620_132909.jpg

....for 15 of the last 17 years the tup championship trophey has lived on our sideboard 🤐🤫😉

It has it's drawbacks though, in such a low numbered breed - by now nearly everybody breeding Lincolns has got, or had, or has a son/grandson of one of our tups :facepalm: :playful::playful:
 

Ysgythan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ammanford
I disagree. The sheep should be judged on their merit, regardless of whether they have a grass stain on their hips, and most certainly regardless of who is holding the halter. I was once lambasted at a County Show for placing an untrimmed ram lamb from a relative newcomer first. He was the best sheep on the day, regardless of whether he'd been presented nicely, a good sheep presents itself. I did back my judgement by buying him privately afterwards, and what a good buy he was. :)

As to well fed ones vs lean ones, the judge can only place what is put in front of them. All to often, someone with leaner sheep gets uppity about the fatties taking the rosettes, when they might just have poorer sheep, as well as being less well fed. Feeding should be enough for them to exhibit their genetic potential, and very often those 'straight out of the field' entries aren't even that ime.

I remember watching a sheep judge that had taught me a lot in YFC stockjudging deal with a very difficult championship class in a small show. Basically he had nothing that jumped out. In the end he surprised me by going for a very plain sheep that was nevertheless very well turned out. I asked him what had swung it in the end, he said “well it is a show”
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Has your breed society show & sale not morphed into a feeding competition as well?
I know ours certainly has, and the present direction seems to celebrate it even more. :(
Poor job if its concentrate feeding after all theyre ruminants they should be outstanding, ashowing off theri abilities to convert forage to meat .
Trying to compete with pigs and poultry or even rabbits :oops: ie monogastric in that respect is on a hiding to no where they will always lag in efficient conversion in that way.
Grass or forage (as long as it doesnt harm them in other ways like the cabbage feeding habbit ) coversion to meat is the only long term worthwhile aim for pedigree or any sheep surely.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Poor job if its concentrate feeding after all theyre ruminants they should be outstanding, ashowing off theri abilities to convert forage to meat .
Trying to compete with pigs and poultry or even rabbits :oops: ie monogastric in that respect is on a hiding to no where they will always lag in efficient conversion in that way.
Grass or forage (as long as it doesnt harm them in other ways like the cabbage feeding habbit ) coversion to meat is the only long term worthwhile aim for pedigree or any sheep surely.

Well yes, but if people keep bidding up for the biggest & fattest, they will continue to be produced.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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