Mongrels

The place to chat, fluff your feathers, and let off steam!
Post Reply
User avatar
Hen-Gen
Full Member
Posts: 622
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 5:12 pm

Mongrels

Post by Hen-Gen » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:38 am

CC649BA8-C2BB-46FC-A325-087791A3DD06.jpeg
CC649BA8-C2BB-46FC-A325-087791A3DD06.jpeg (58.59 KiB) Viewed 212 times
Year1
Purchased Texel x Shetland white ewe lambs

Year 3
Mated to Zwartbles (bought in Shetland) kept black ewe lambs, gave ram away

Year 5
Mated to Rouge de l’Ouest (bought in Aberdeenshire) and kept black ewe lambs, gave ram away

This year (Year 8) going to Shetland x Zwartbles ram in 10 days time, (unrelated stock, but own breeding), will keep black ewe lambs and will give ram away

Next year Texel x Rouge ram arriving from Scotland

Etc etc etc.

Only keep five sheep though. Just to fill my freezer, a great hobby and to sell surplus lambs to neighbours.

In the eyes of my jocular neighbour, “Why do you keep that black, European rubbish?”
He didn’t say those words exactly but this is a family forum!
A cottage on an island in the eye of the storm
bigyetiman
Full Member
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 8:27 pm

Re: Mongrels

Post by bigyetiman » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:26 pm

Nice lookers, as you say a great hobby and you get to fill your freezer.
Get to fill our freezer tomorrow when beef and pork comes back to our neighbour from the butcher. Dexter beef and Gloucester old Spot
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 6307
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Mongrels

Post by Marigold » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:01 pm

What a brilliant project, really interesting. Have you more pics of the generations?
dianefairhall
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 111
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:26 pm

Re: Mongrels

Post by dianefairhall » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:43 pm

They're lovely. Do they have the same fine soft fleece as their Shetland relations? A farmer near us when we lived in Yorkshire kept Zwartbles but I haven't seen any round here. Who do you give the tups away to?
User avatar
Hen-Gen
Full Member
Posts: 622
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 5:12 pm

Re: Mongrels

Post by Hen-Gen » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:17 pm

No more pictures unfortunately. In retrospect I wish I had. The surplus rams have gone to four of the thirteen crofters on this island as have surplus ewe lambs. For this reason there are now many more black sheep here than when I first moved here. Obviously I got much derision when I started the project (especially for calling them Viking Blacks) but high lambing percentages and good carcass conformation along with milkiness and easy birthing have silenced the critics.
Where I will admit the limitations of my work is in two areas. Firstly I have forgone hardiness and thriftiness that would allow them to survive a winter on the hill left to their own devices. They are definitely lowland/in by sheep requiring hay or silage in the winter. Secondly I have disregarded wool quality. My sole aim was big black sheep with high fertility and easy lambing so that a maximum meat yield could be produced from a given area of land. And no horns. Horns mean they can hang themselves on fences. And in rams they can be dangerous both to other rams and to humans.
Talking of which the lamb in the above picture I kept entire for future breeding. He grew to be the most aggressive and dangerous sheep I had ever known and soon after was despatched by a neighbour with a gun. 100kg of angry ram is not something you want to tangle with. I kept none of his progeny and hopefully that genetic tendency has been eradicated from my line. Certainly no one else has reported any problems.
So a four breed fusion (Shetland, Zwartbles, Texel and Rouge)
I’ll never step outside of these four breeds. They have the attributes I want and I’ve staked my reputation, such as it is, on my breeding.

Envy you bym. Decent pig meat is rare on the ground. Should be getting some cash in next week though for one of our Galloway steers. Have never tasted any of our own beef though.
A cottage on an island in the eye of the storm
bigyetiman
Full Member
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 8:27 pm

Re: Mongrels

Post by bigyetiman » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:33 am

fascinating reading Hen-Gen, glad you silenced the critics.
Our neighbours father started off in the late 50's with just chickens, and turkeys. Jean his daughter went to work in finance in the city, then gave it up to go into rare breed pork in the 60's her mum laughed and said she wouldn't last 6 months working around the farm with her father. 40 years later she is still going strong, her main interest now is Dexter's and rather than breeding pigs which she did for many years just buys in piglets to raise. Her friend rents some land and barns from her and he has Texel sheep.
She is now 76 and has a few mobility issues but manages well with help from her friend and OH. She used to breed Labradors and Airedales as well.
User avatar
LadyA
Full Member
Posts: 606
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Mongrels

Post by LadyA » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:34 am

That's quite an achievement, Hen Gen, and you should be very proud. My dau (before she had two small children!) used to do spinning, She has a scarf somewhere that she crocheted from wool which she had washed, dried, carded, rolled and then spun & plyed (plied?) herself. The wool was from one of her (now deceased) uncle's Jacob sheep. I hope she can get back to spinning some day, as she said it's one of the most relaxing things you can do.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
Post Reply

Return to “The Dustbath”