Monday, 19 July 2010

Wiltshires without the Horn ....

Obviously, this is just an excuse to put photos in of sheep but as mentioned previously I made a visit to a Wiltshire breeder near Christchurch. Wiltshires in New Zealand are the same as Wiltipolls in Australia. The Sheens are one of two flockmasters that record breeding values in the breed, but Steven has added a 10 point scoring system of shedding variation which he has been applying for 5 years. He reports it has made a huge difference. A group of Wiltshire Horn breeders in the UK have been recording the same for two years with a five point scale, so technically he is cleverer than us!

Wiltshire Horns seem non existent and a major reason for this is any lamb or hogget killed has to have less than 40mm of horn or the processors will not accept them.

What the Wiltshire Horn has over the Wiltshires I saw was shedding ability. Steven would quite acceptingly shear his sheep as long as he could do it with the sheep standing up. Otherwise the sheep were big, meaty and selected for easy care characteristics. I was impressed!


julesandtim said...

Holy moly---3 followers, don't let it go to your head!

julesandtim said...

Well Michael, I don't know what your conclusions will be after your holiday---sorry -thats study tour-But ive been thinking about this new entrant stuff and from my own experience i reckon the following;
1) You have to really want to get to your goal
2) You have to be adaptable,f'r instance if you want to be a sheep farmer and the only viable way is to go into share milking first then you have to do it
3) Don't listen to the 'experts'--they only know from their experience NOT yours and by what they have read (and you can read everything they can)
4) It's never too late to start on this 'ladder' but the sooner you start then the easier it will be to reach those goals

Classic mistakes i have made----i broke all the rules above and spent the first 15 years after institutionalised 'education' (ha,ha) being an itinerant traveler, when if it had been more important (it wasn't) i could have made huge inroads towards the dream of being a farmer

So i guess the number one rule for me would be don't whinge about the odds being against you just get out there and get on with it

I am sure that's of no help at all to anyone starting out with a farming dream as it most probably seems such a daunting prospect but if you want to farm and you keep at it with a clear rational head then one day you will wake up and be suprised to find yourself there
Being a landowner in the Uk may be a different matter and my advice on that count is bloody revolution but thats another story comrade----