Tupping a few ewes for christmas lambing

Obi Wan

Member
Location
Argyll
Hi - as said above I'm planning tupping a few ewes to lamb over the festive period, it's a bit of fun and a surprise for the kids really. Hopefully they will have a try at our local summer shows.

As it's away from the normal sheep system I'm planning to buy in a 2-3 hoggs and put them to a beltex tup. I'm thinking top end prime lamb as there's local breeders covering the pure texel, suffolk and charolias camps.

The question is;

1) Which breed should I opt for, any cross considered really.

2) What magic breeding tricks will I need to make it work?

As said It's a bit of fun, probably will give the wooly heads a miss though.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Will a Beltex tup work in July? Texels are very seasonal.

Whatever ram you use, you will need a ewe that’s capable of breeding early in the season, even with the use of sponges/PMSG. If you (wisely) want to avoid those woolly heads that come with Dorsets, Suffolk crosses are the other breed widely used for early lambing.

I would suggest that any half decent sheep lambing at Christmas will be long gone, or way overweight, long before the summer shows though. :scratchhead:
 

primmiemoo

Member
Location
Devon
Oooh, they sheepy things be a terrible addiction :facepalm::D

Choose Christmas Day as lambing date, and work tupping dates back from that - allowing for whether gestation time of the ram is known.

Use a Teaser (or an entire in a fortress pen).

Suffolk or Suffolk x probably best for hoggs. Or maybe Berrichons?
 

Obi Wan

Member
Location
Argyll
Will a Beltex tup work in July? Texels are very seasonal.

Whatever ram you use, you will need a ewe that’s capable of breeding early in the season, even with the use of sponges/PMSG. If you (wisely) want to avoid those woolly heads that come with Dorsets, Suffolk crosses are the other breed widely used for early lambing.

I would suggest that any half decent sheep lambing at Christmas will be long gone, or way overweight, long before the summer shows though. :scratchhead:

Thanks for the reply, yes I'm wondering if the tup will be in season in July, if not how could it be encouraged?

Wrt ewe breed - I'm pulled towards a beltex x charollais but perhaps I could try a suffloks x charollais. I suppose a top knot could be trimmed off if using a dorset type but I know most of the local judges that rotate round the showing scene seem to prefer clean heads and legs.

Yes I totally agree, weather lamb will probably end up in the freezer as be way out of spec for DW or market. It's just the way it seems to work here. Can't tell you how many times I've seen a cracking 40 - 45kg lamb lose to a average plain 60kg lamb.
 

Obi Wan

Member
Location
Argyll
Oooh, they sheepy things be a terrible addiction :facepalm::D

Choose Christmas Day as lambing date, and work tupping dates back from that - allowing for whether gestation time of the ram is known.

Use a Teaser (or an entire in a fortress pen).

Suffolk or Suffolk x probably best for hoggs. Or maybe Berrichons?

Hi primmiemoo, yes it's a terrible affliction but better than sitting indoors. Yes I've got a suffolk cross teaser so he'll get a summer outing :) I hadn't though about a berrichon, not easy to source up here I'd bet especially females :(
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Thanks for the reply, yes I'm wondering if the tup will be in season in July, if not how could it be encouraged?

Wrt ewe breed - I'm pulled towards a beltex x charollais but perhaps I could try a suffloks x charollais. I suppose a top knot could be trimmed off if using a dorset type but I know most of the local judges that rotate round the showing scene seem to prefer clean heads and legs.

Yes I totally agree, weather lamb will probably end up in the freezer as be way out of spec for DW or market. It's just the way it seems to work here. Can't tell you how many times I've seen a cracking 40 - 45kg lamb lose to a average plain 60kg lamb.

2 pellets of Regulin (2x£3?) given at the right time, can help make a ram work earlier in the season. Still a gamble with a Beltex though I suspect.

I’d certainly err towards Suffolk x Charollais, rather than Beltex X Charollais, if you want to be sure they’ll cycle earlier. More chance of getting lambs out alive too I suspect, although obviously less shapey.

A smaller, ‘chunky’ sort of Charollais ewe would breed as well as any Beltex x Charollais IME, as well as being reasonably aseasonal. Put a (Regulin treated) Beltex over them and you’d have some machines, but would need careful management over lambing time. A Caesar on Christmas Day might take the shine off your project somewhat.:(
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
If you’re only looking at lambing a small number, forget relying on the teaser imo. Sponge & PMSG so that they are all due at once, when you can concentrate on the job in hand, particularly if you are trying to breed fatstock type lambs.
Personally, if it was less than 30 or so ewes, I’d be inducing them at the other end too, in order to get them all lambing one day, when you give full time attention with no distractions.
 

Obi Wan

Member
Location
Argyll
2 pellets of Regulin (2x£3?) given at the right time, can help make a ram work earlier in the season. Still a gamble with a Beltex though I suspect.

I’d certainly err towards Suffolk x Charollais, rather than Beltex X Charollais, if you want to be sure they’ll cycle earlier. More chance of getting lambs out alive too I suspect, although obviously less shapey.

A smaller, ‘chunky’ sort of Charollais ewe would breed as well as any Beltex x Charollais IME, as well as being reasonably aseasonal. Put a (Regulin treated) Beltex over them and you’d have some machines, but would need careful management over lambing time. A Caesar on Christmas Day might take the shine off your project somewhat.:(

Yes it's just a handful, I'll sponge and PMSG - just thought the teaser might get them sort of familiar with a tup.

Top end carcass that looks good when it's alive is the focus, maybe a straight charollais is an option. Are they good for tupping in the summer? Yes I'm no fan of a caesar, wonder what they'd charge on christmas day ?????

I've tried our vet (only one in the area) and they'll not give me the meds to induce. Had a few tail ender from the 2nd cycle after sponging a few years ago, guaranteed tupping dates but they simply wouldn't entertain my request. I explained how it was safer as they would be watch regularly until delivery but no joy. 2 days later a hung lamb on the last one :(
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Yes it's just a handful, I'll sponge and PMSG - just thought the teaser might get them sort of familiar with a tup.

Top end carcass that looks good when it's alive is the focus, maybe a straight charollais is an option. Are they good for tupping in the summer? Yes I'm no fan of a caesar, wonder what they'd charge on christmas day ?????

I've tried our vet (only one in the area) and they'll not give me the meds to induce. Had a few tail ender from the 2nd cycle after sponging a few years ago, guaranteed tupping dates but they simply wouldn't entertain my request. I explained how it was safer as they would be watch regularly until delivery but no joy. 2 days later a hung lamb on the last one :(

Lots of pedigree Charollais flocks are lambing in early December still, with the aid of sponges, so yes, they will tup in the summer.

A teaser before sponging is supposed to increase conception rates, but i’m Not convinced. If you’ve got one anyway, it’ll cost nowt to put him in.:)
 

TexelBen

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Yorkshire
Lots of pedigree Charollais flocks are lambing in early December still, with the aid of sponges, so yes, they will tup in the summer.

A teaser before sponging is supposed to increase conception rates, but i’m Not convinced. If you’ve got one anyway, it’ll cost nowt to put him in.:)
Would the teaser have to be an earlier tupping breed to have an effect?
 

Obi Wan

Member
Location
Argyll
Would the teaser have to be an earlier tupping breed to have an effect?
Suffolk cross teasers here, most were my friends daughters pet lambs so here on a life time rent. Know how to be blooming pests - randy brutes though, always purring at the other tups. Think oldest is 6 shear now and still fresh.
 
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TexelBen

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Yorkshire
Yes, I think so. Dorsets are quite popular with those using them early in the season, but I get on well with Cambridge teasers, who seem as randy as hell from May until February.
Thing about doing it with a charmoise, onto charmoise shearings. But a bit wary as we've never done it before. My Gran did it years ago, but I was too young to be paying attention. That was with pure Suffolk's tho, and we dont have any of them (for good reason!)
 

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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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