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 And you thought the registered Angus circus was bad?

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Posts : 850
Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: And you thought the registered Angus circus was bad?   Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:45 pm

Was reading a feature on a successful sheep operation in Scotland run by a guy I knew in my Young Farmers days. Running 2000 ewes for the production and sale of F1 "Scotch mule" females which are sold as 5 month old lambs. These are brown and white faced commercial sheep which will be bred 100% to rams that will produce either black faced or white faced slaughter lambs depending what sire breed is used. A couple of his comments from the article:

Lambs were sharper and cockier with the old type of Blue used six or eight years ago and they’re more flat-eared now, but the skins are definitely getting better,”
This refers to the major type change that occurred in the "Blue" breed that is used as the sire. So ear angle and shape is apparently important as are better fleeces (skins) although this is not talking about wool quality rather tightness to repel rain.

Followed up by:
They might not be as cocky nowadays but you’ve got to go with the fashion – if you don’t you’ll get left behind. They’ve got to have nice, clean colours, whether they breed any better or not I don’t know, but they’ve got to look smart in the ring."

All about the fashion! looking pretty in the sale ring and face colour which has no bearing on performance and is commercially irrelevant to the customer (yet they still pay more for the "best" coloured ones!)

That really was the jist of the article - these were the only points of importance with regard to type and breeding strategy. He was also complaining at getting penalised when selling the F1 female's brothers as feeder lambs (they never did make as much as terminal sired lambs) but had found that fattening them and selling them deadweight brought an extra £7 per head (about $10 US). Sounds good until he mentions the cost of presenting the F1 females for sale:

"It’s a bit of work to bring them out, with dye costing around £4 per lamb, but it’s worth it when you get a good price.”

The dye cosmetically enhances them on sale day so they look "more the same" although the buyers must have figured out by now that it all washes out and they all have white wool underneath.

So much madness, so little commercial relevance and their isn't a pedigree or registry involved!
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