"a_l_p" <hay_hell_pea@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
> Jill wrote:
>> In many parts of the world like, for example, New Zealand one man lambs
>> over 5,000 sheep -- its one of their easiest times of the year -- they
>> practise a no interference policy.
> Well... not exactly, you still have to do the rounds and see if any of
> them are in trouble, make sure the lambs are mothered up. Sometimes a ewe
> loses a lamb and you can use her to mother a twin or triplet but you
> generally have to bring them in and do the scent thing to get her to
> accept the other lamb.
In some places they may do this
In others its simply now longer practised. These are the farmers who have
really worked hard at improving the lambing. The selective breeding for lack
of problems means that the death rate is incredibly low. The number of
problems are so few that it is not cost effective to spend time looking for
them. Its extremely professional and superb example of what well constructed
breeding programmes can create. I know a number of farmers and their peers
who practise this very successfully
It may not be something you see throughout the Islands - they do cover a
vast array of systems and topography.
> Mothers don't usually accept another lamb suckling so in the old days
> farmers used to drape the skin off the dead lamb over the orphan or twin
> and tie it on till lamb and ewe had got used to each other!
Its something still practised in the UK
> But you're right, the trend is to selectively breeding for successful
> breeding. Since the wide availability of computers the job of keeping
> track of individual stock animals in detail has made a huge difference to
> farming practice.
For small flocks up to a couple of thousand beast indeed. The big flocks are
>> The stock have improved considerably and they stay out on the hill.
> Again, we tend to bring them in to paddocks closer to the house - but it's
> a matter of scale. Nearer the house, here, is probably what a lot of
> people would think of as a long way away! And not all farms are the same,
> as Jill pointed out the practice regarding special breeds or elite stock
> is different.
One of the big farms I know pretty well is producing thousands of elite
breeding stocks each year. Its stock are highly prized. The topography means
there is little one might call paddocks but the climate means there is
almost constant grass growing [or so it seems to me !!!!]
I am incredibly impressed by the breeding results of some of the farmers [
especially as so much of what is used are old English breeds which would be
considered almost dangerously rare over here!! that really surprised me when
I first learnt of it.]
> And the dog problem exists here too so it's vital to keep watch around
> lambing time so that if there are killings there is greater vigilance, or
> stock are shifted or whatever.
Probably the remoteness of some of the ones I know, and their use of
permanent electric fencing about makes this a rare problem
>> This country is heading that way with the lack of support for
>> agriculture. However the transition period is not one that will be
>> pretty. :~( Importing good breeding stock from New Zealand is non-viable.
>> Not having sheep on the hills will grossly affect the ecology to its
> Why not? Disease precautions, regulations?
Cost - the viability of UK agriculture, especially hill farming, is verging
on nil if it hasnot already passed that point.
The general costs of importing would outweigh the benefits within the time
scale of paying it off :~((
> Or is it about sheep that do well in our conditions not being
> automatically suited to yours?
We would have enough in common
The conditions NZ has are sufficiently varied from North to South to cover
And much of the higher sheep country is similar to ours
> NZ usually has the strictest regs about animal and plant importation
> because being stuck out here with so much sea all around we CAN keep some
> control of what crosses our borders. It's frustrating for poultry and
> other bird breeders but most of us can see the sense in it.
Its not stopped some nasties getting in even these days. The piggie people
have recently acquired the problems that many other countries around the
world have been fighting
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