Sheep breeds why?

There will be a lot of variables. But what fascinated me about Neilos situation. Is all of the stock were bought from the same recorded source by him and a fair number of others on here and that I know elsewhere. Neilo had an almost 100% terrible experience but appears to have been the only person I’ve ever met or spoken to, to have had that same negative experience. It genuinely intrigued me. Especially when it comes to maternal ability, as this is something that should rise above a lot of management issues etc.

Ordinarily you can clam that there is often more variation within than between breeds, and that some stock suits certain farms, systems or people.
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
There will be a lot of variables. But what fascinated me about Neilos situation. Is all of the stock were bought from the same recorded source by him and a fair number of others on here and that I know elsewhere. Neilo had an almost 100% terrible experience but appears to have been the only person I’ve ever met or spoken to, to have had that same negative experience. It genuinely intrigued me. Especially when it comes to maternal ability, as this is something that should rise above a lot of management issues etc.

Ordinarily you can clam that there is often more variation within than between breeds, and that some stock suits certain farms, systems or people.
Are you talking about Neil's lleyns or exlanas?
 

pgk

Member
Why are people attracted to different partners. I think it people you pick the point to like/dislike and focus on that point. I like welsh ewes because they are hard but I ignore the fact they only get to 15kg. Where as I hate Texels because they are a bugger to keep/ lamb and ignore the fact they produce a 22kg E/U lamb.
You've got the wrong Texels😊
 

Ysgythan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ammanford
Thinking about Neilo's post on another thread where he was describing his experience with Exlanas. Why do some people swear by some breeds and others swear at them.

Is it different farms, systems, etc enough to explain it?

For example I read a lot of positives about Lleyns and bought 50 from different sources. I wouldn't have another one on the place.

I tried some Suffolk mules and was very pleased whereas others don't like them at all. We now lamb quite a few beltex/Texels and they've not been anything like the bother people predicted.

Have others had similar experiences

Every ewe has her patch, and every shepherd their foibles.
 

egbert

Member
Slightly off topic, but here's a few words that came to mind regarding sheep husbandry @unlacedgecko might find useful..........
(recycled from a long ago lifestyley glossy mag)
(and further apologies to the OP)

'This back end time of summer brings the breeding cycle of the sheep round full turn once more. As the last of the lambs are weaned, thoughts turn to next years crop. Will anyone notice if we sneak up to Scotland to the ram sales? Obviously, there are ram sales locally, but where’s the fun in that, when we could just slip up the M6. (I should make it very clear. The whisky has nothing to do with this perfectly sound business planning)

The ewes, meanwhile, have a couple of months to put on condition ready to make whoopee with the tups again. Mind, given that they’ll ‘live on the smell of an oily rag’ at this time of year, you don’t want to keep them too well. If they’re too fat by autumn, they conceive fewer lambs. Admittedly, this is rarely the problem with the ewes on the high moors. For them, watching they’re not too thin is more important. This’ll be no better, as they’ll conceive even fewer, and then not have the reserves to get themselves through winter, let alone bring forth lambs and milk.

So ‘improving condition’ is the goal, aiming for condition score 2-3 (on the industry 1-5 scale, with 1 being way too plain, and 5 being the opposite, with sub-divisions ‘L’ for light and ‘H’ for heavy).

I did, for a time, use this scale with a fellow shepherd, to discreetly discuss the relative merits of lady bar staff. Sadly, we then ran into one of a rural bent, who knew all too well the terminology. She took a damp bar towel to the pair of us when we murmured, in admiration, that she must be, at the very least, a 4H.

I should also warn you that once they’re carrying a bit of fleece, you really need to put your hand on a sheep’s lower back to gauge her condition, possibly grabbing her by the tail will suffice as well. I advise against the method for assessing young ladies, bar staff or otherwise, unless you are very sure of your ground.



Perhaps now, in the era of celebrity status being everybody’s yardstick we could use a more up to date method of assessing a ewes body score.

Obviously, we’d better not use individual names, but I think we could allocate job descriptions to give some kind of indication – and to help you grasp the old 1-5 scale I suppose.

At one end of the range would be the ‘supermodel stature’, sometimes adopted by aspiring starlets of other disciplines. Unappealing to pretty much everyone’s eye except, for reasons that remain unclear, those in the fashion industry. She’ll struggle to hold to the tup, and we can all see she won’t have the wherewithal to rear a lamb anyway.

Next up is that spare build of the ‘long distance runner’. Fit, if a little lean to have reserves for hard times. In a good year, she’ll perform well

Still on the athletic vein, you get to the ‘Olympic swimmer’ build, -of ewes remember- who will perform as well as anyone, but is well found to handle a few harsh weeks through next winter. She’ll rear you a double and make you proud, no worries.

Getting into the higher grades, you meet the ‘Daytime telly presenter’ build, where good living and relative inactivity have graced a ewe with ample reserves to see her through a severe winter. She’ll likely only carry one lamb, and if the going is easy next winter, it’ll then be far too big to come out unassisted.

Lastly, we come to the ‘McWimpyKing customer of the month’ ewe, whose human equivalent only attains celebrity status when the ‘drastic band’ surgery goes horribly wrong. She hasn’t reared a lamb for 2 years, and her good points are limited to the colossal crop of wool she clips, and the fact that she’ll survive a 1947 type winter intact, coming out of a 3 month old snowdrift back down to supermodel build.

Now I’m aware that I may have upset some of you with these unkind comparisons. Perhaps I can address this with some useful lore on tup selection issues. A ram that’s too skinny will soon be exhausted, and be of little use after a few days at work, whereas an overly fat tup is likely to have to spend too much time lying in the shade, panting. No, what you’ll be wanting is a tup that lives happily out on the hill, lean, but full of virility…. (Sorry Sue, is this a bit near the edge?)
 

Speculative coverage on the gene editing consultation response

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Speculative coverage on the gene editing consultation response

Written by Defra Press Office

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There has been coverage today in the I and the Guardian, reporting on speculation around the upcoming government response to the recent Gene Editing consultation, which closed on 17th March.

A full government response, which will include a thorough analysis and summary of the responses to the consultation and which will set out our next steps, will be published in due course.

Gene editing has the ability to harness the genetic resources that mother nature has provided, such as breeding...
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