Hawaiianhighlandsfarm

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Aloha

I am a beginning shepherdess that has one Clun Forest ewe and ram. I live on the big island of Hawaii. There are two trusted sheep breeders here. One has Clun Forests with a very very small amount of Kathadin in the bloodline (that's where mine came from). The other has Romney's. I have done a lot of research on both breeds and find them both to be equally fascinating. Both are a dual breed, both are good mothers. CF's are known for high twinning rates and foraging on a considerably more diverse diet of forbs and other vegetation other than grasses. They also have the ability to carry amazing fleeces. My Ram is only 5 months old and already has a good 4 inches of growth. Romney's are a more prominent breed, so I'm wondering if there is any benefit or risks to doing a cross. My main concern for this is because all the CF's on the island are related. I need to get creative for breeding purposes. Mahalo for any advice. Oh and I am totally not looking to invest in this for fiber only. Meat production is huge factor as well.
 

Sheepshape

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Wow.....I wouldn't have thought The Clun Forest and Romneys would have liked the climate of Hawaii. Don't get me wrong.....I'd love your climate,but these guys originated from our damp, drizzly and depressing climate. Clun (and the surrounding forest) is about 30 miles away from here(Shropshire).

The Clun Forest is a hardy upland sheep (short wool), has a very rich milk, lambs easily and is a great all-rounder. She will eat just about anything and maintains her body condition easily.

The Romney (Marsh) originated in Kent and is a lowland long wool, producing a pretty massive fleece. She's also hardy, but not so good a forager as the Clun.

Crossing the two should give you a sheep with a very good fleece,be hardy and a be a good mother .... probably with a black face and maybe with a top knot of wool and woolly knees!.

Anything which eats a wide variety of plants generally has a good-tasting meat (But then again I'm a long time vegetarian, so have NO personal experience)....so the meat should be good.

Hybrids often are big and strong, but many crosses are directly for the meat trade over here (i.e not intended for breeding on). I can't personally see any disadvantage of the cross of Clun with Romney.

Whatever.....good luck with the sheep, and many apologies if I am showing a total lack of knowledge about the climate of Hawaii. At least I am familiar with the sheep!
 

Hawaiianhighlandsfarm

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No worries, Sheepshape, I've only been here a year and had NO idea how diverse a climate this island has. The volcanos create this sort of division the island. It is very interesting.

Anyhoo, where we live it is cold and wet and believe me when I say, it can get depressing. We just went 3 straight weeks with no sun and so much rain that the 2-3 inch little "pond" in the back of our property was a lake.

I am definitely going to give this a lot more thought. Thank you for responding.
 

misfitmorgan

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No worries, Sheepshape, I've only been here a year and had NO idea how diverse a climate this island has. The volcanos create this sort of division the island. It is very interesting.

Anyhoo, where we live it is cold and wet and believe me when I say, it can get depressing. We just went 3 straight weeks with no sun and so much rain that the 2-3 inch little "pond" in the back of our property was a lake.

I am definitely going to give this a lot more thought. Thank you for responding.
I can not see a reason why you would not want to cross them either with such a limited amount of genetics on the island. If you did a cross out to romney with your ewe you could hopefully get a ewe and cross her back to your clun ram when she is old enough and then breed to a different romney and keep going, etc. It would give you the best genetic diversity for what is available.

You might also look into getting AI straws from US mainland technically you should just be able to have them mailed in a shipper. Then have your vet AI your ewe. It would give you the added benefit of being the only one of the island with new Clun genetics which would make your offspring more valuable.
 

Bossroo

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AI for sheep is quite difficult and expensive to accomplish. The shape of the ewe's cervix then add the fact that frozen semen is prone to be damaged in the freezing / thaughing cycle one would expect a 10-55% success rate to produce a live lamb. Surgical implantation of semen into the uterus after the ewe is treated with hormones to induce heat then use ultrasound to detect ovulation is the most reliable option which most Vets are not equiped to do which means high $$$s.
 

misfitmorgan

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Most of the genetically diverse Clun Forest Sheep in the US came from AI semen from out of the country in the past two decades. The vets here charge $25 per ewe for Trans-cervical AI with a settle rate of 50-60% plus the $60 farm call fee. AI in sheep is very common for large producers of say meat sheep.
 

Hawaiianhighlandsfarm

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Most of the genetically diverse Clun Forest Sheep in the US came from AI semen from out of the country in the past two decades. The vets here charge $25 per ewe for Trans-cervical AI with a settle rate of 50-60% plus the $60 farm call fee. AI in sheep is very common for large producers of say meat sheep.
Where would I even begin looking for quality AI straws? I definitely think that is the route I'm gonna go. We need more diversity on the island and bringing in animals is a HEADACHE. Thanks for the idea.
 

misfitmorgan

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You could try the Clun registry...they know quite a lot about it and may be able to point you in the right direction for straws. The registry also has a page with breeders listed on it.
 

Hawaiianhighlandsfarm

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Romney breeder here has a closed flock and doesn't offer sire services. So I will have to do AI. Contacting the Romney breeders association to discuss the cross with a certified bloodline. I would just purchase a ram, but since my land isn't suited to their diet, a cross is my only option. Thanks all for the input. Will let you know how it goes.
 
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