Barbados x Shetland or Finnsheep x Shetland

Severne

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I’m considering crossing my Shetlands with Barbados Blackbelly or barbados katahdin cross, but have no info on this cross, I assume the lambs would grow a little faster and have shorter wool. If anyone has info on this cross I’d be most grateful.
On the other hand there’s a reputable finnsheep breeder with inexpensive rams. This cross would probably similar to a pure Shetland.

Which of these crosses is better. I’m looking for an intelligent, calm, fast growing sheep that dosnt need grain.
Danke!
 

misfitmorgan

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Blackbelly are pretty much the same size as your shetland and blackbelly are good meat sheep, but they grow slow taking around 9 months to reach the size of wool meat sheep at 4-5 months of age.

Finnsheep have good fertility, and fast growth but they are much larger then your shetland sheep.
Shetland sheep: Rams 90-125lbs Ewes 75-99lbs
Finnsheep: Rams 150-200lbs Ewes 120-180lbs
The size difference can cause a few problems, like lambing issues needing you to pull lambs, possible complications during lambing and pregnancy leading to the ewes death because the lamb is to big. You also have the other problem of a possibly 200lb ram jumping a possibly 75lbs ewe, generally you dont breed a female to a male over twice her weight for most livestock.

Now if you wanted to get ewes to add into your herd that were finnsheep they would be the obvious choice, since you are looking at a ram I personally would go with the blackbelly and then buy some large ewes someplace else to get growth rate and size up.

Shetland sheep themselves are a small sheep with slow growth, 9-12 months to reach 100lbs butcher weight.
 

Severne

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I sure wouldn’t cross with a Barbado sheep, or a Katahdin. Your sheep are small. Out crossing to a larger sheep could be difficult on your ewes.
Actually though, average barbados rams are 100-140 lbs, average ram shetlands are 90-130 lbs
 

Severne

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well, yes but y’all are also missing the intelligent, calm part. And I also don’t really need the fast growth because usually I butcher at. 10-12 months.
 

misfitmorgan

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well, yes but y’all are also missing the intelligent, calm part. And I also don’t really need the fast growth because usually I butcher at. 10-12 months.
Just replying to your post. You wanted fast growth without grain....no wool breed can do that, that I know of. Bigger sheep give more meat in way less time....just a fact.

Which of these crosses is better. I’m looking for an intelligent, calm, fast growing sheep that dosnt need grain.
Most any breed is going to be as calm or more calm then shetland and most breeds have the same average intelligence level. I have not found any breed of sheep be markedly dumber or less calm then any other.
 

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