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Thread: Blue Faced Leicester

  1. #1
    romneymarsh
    Guest

    Blue Faced Leicester

    Anyone know why the BFL has never found its way to NZ and if it had, would the NZ indusrty have developed in a different way?

  2. #2
    nick_fr
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by romneymarsh View Post
    Anyone know why the BFL has never found its way to NZ and if it had, would the NZ indusrty have developed in a different way?
    Most likely kicked the bucket before they got there.

  3. #3
    romneymarsh
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by nick_fr View Post
    Most likely kicked the bucket before they got there.
    I do remember someone telling me once that they gave a free shovel with each ram!

  4. #4
    CairngormBeef
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    I knew an old farmer who was an absolute gentleman - kirk elder, never without a smile on his face, never raised his voice, never swore. He was standing next to my father at the ringside at a tup sale and my dad passed comment on the prices the BFLs were making. "That's because f***ing things die easily, so you have to buy a new one every year" came the reply.
    Sheep, and BFL in particular, can do strange things to even the most polite of gentlemen

  5. #5
    Nithsdale farmer
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by CairngormBeef View Post
    I knew an old farmer who was an absolute gentleman - kirk elder, never without a smile on his face, never raised his voice, never swore. He was standing next to my father at the ringside at a tup sale and my dad passed comment on the prices the BFLs were making. "That's because f***ing things die easily, so you have to buy a new one every year" came the reply.
    Sheep, and BFL in particular, can do strange things to even the most polite of gentlemen

    its funny because its true!!


    Surely NZ looked at the BFL and thought we were taking the piss so politely declined either that or like Nick said, they all died on the boat going over

  6. #6
    NZDan
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by romneymarsh View Post
    Anyone know why the BFL has never found its way to NZ and if it had, would the NZ indusrty have developed in a different way?
    Was the BFL even a regonized breed when the main imports occured into NZ? The Border leister was a very important crossing breed for a long time, effectivly produceing a mule type sheep. Its was from work done at Lincoln Uni on Border romneys that proved that a flock of stabilised cross bred sheep (composites, in that case what became the Coopworth) was at least equal if not better than the pure flock plus 1st cross flock combo.

  7. #7
    hilly bill
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by CairngormBeef View Post
    I knew an old farmer who was an absolute gentleman - kirk elder, never without a smile on his face, never raised his voice, never swore. He was standing next to my father at the ringside at a tup sale and my dad passed comment on the prices the BFLs were making. "That's because f***ing things die easily, so you have to buy a new one every year" came the reply.
    Sheep, and BFL in particular, can do strange things to even the most polite of gentlemen
    He was right that is true.:cry:

  8. #8
    Poorbuthappy
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Someone down our way was putting bfl on the Romney, he was pleased with initial results, but haven't heard anything since.

  9. #9
    Frank_the_Wool
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by Poorbuthappy View Post
    Someone down our way was putting bfl on the Romney, he was pleased with initial results, but haven't heard anything since.
    Why would you want to b****r up what is a good breed in its own right??

    The BFL would never have survived in NZ, all the sheep that have survived there are based on eating grass.
    I would have thought that without supplementary feed and cabbages most BFL's would have wasted away!

  10. #10
    b slicker
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    I've never heard such a load of complete twaddle.

  11. #11
    Poorbuthappy
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank_the_Wool View Post
    Why would you want to b****r up what is a good breed in its own right??

    The BFL would never have survived in NZ, all the sheep that have survived there are based on eating grass.
    I would have thought that without supplementary feed and cabbages most BFL's would have wasted away!

    I fully expected that reaction!

  12. #12
    nick_fr
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by b slicker View Post
    I've never heard such a load of complete twaddle.
    No its complete fact the slightest inclement weather and they will die quicker than any other breed,But that has nothing to do with their potential for breeding fat lambs where i rate them highly.

  13. #13
    Daleslad
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by nick_fr View Post
    No its complete fact the slightest inclement weather and they will die quicker than any other breed,But that has nothing to do with their potential for breeding fat lambs where i rate them highly.
    They haven't the greatest of potential for breeding fat lambs. Their daughters do though.
    Think they only came to prominence in the 60s/70s? So maybe missed the boat to NZ at a guess?
    Their daughters out of Romneys would have a better lambing % than Romneys, something I've seen Romneys criticised on here for. But I have no experience of Romneys so I have no right to comment further on that!

  14. #14
    Inbye
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by Poorbuthappy View Post
    Someone down our way was putting bfl on the Romney, he was pleased with initial results, but haven't heard anything since.
    I've heard of a few romney flocks doing that, seems to produce a better ewe that is more prolific with a better skin. They seemed pleased with the results I think.

  15. #15
    b slicker
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    The fact that they are the most wide-spread crossing tup in the UK, speaks for itself.

    They even took over from the Border Leicester as a crossing tup on Scotch Blackface ewes in West Aberdeenshire and the Highlands. And are even taking over from the Border Leicester among the most conservative Cheviot men.

    There is no prospect of any breed knocking them off their perch. In this area, the Lleyn and the Highlander have been and gone.:cry:

    They seem to have a tremendous ability to nick with virtually any upland or hill breed. Whoever invented them should be canonised.

    I said 'canonised'.

    Schoolboy howlers:

    Frances Drake circumsized the world with a 100' clipper.

  16. #16
    Daleslad
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by b slicker View Post
    The fact that they are the most wide-spread crossing tup in the UK, speaks for itself.

    They even took over from the Border Leicester as a crossing tup on Scotch Blackface ewes in West Aberdeenshire and the Highlands. And are ven taking over from the Border Leicester among the most conservative Cheviot men.

    There is no prospect of any breed knocking them off their perch. In this area, the Lleyn and the Highlander have been and gone.:cry:
    Discovered one flock of Lleyns nearby! No sign of a Highlander in this area at all, but plenty of BFL and plenty of sheep men seem happy with them.

    But at some point something will knock them off their perch - used to be only Teeswaters and Wensleydales as crossing tups round here, and they're both long gone. And Suffolks for fat lambs - they aren't completely gone but not many left.
    Dalesbreds have about disappeared, replaced by Swales even in heafed flocks which is hard work. Mashams about extinct too. So trends, fashions whatever you want to call them do change.

  17. #17
    devils advocate
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by Daleslad View Post
    Discovered one flock of Lleyns nearby! No sign of a Highlander in this area at all, but plenty of BFL and plenty of sheep men seem happy with them.

    But at some point something will knock them off their perch - used to be only Teeswaters and Wensleydales as crossing tups round here, and they're both long gone. And Suffolks for fat lambs - they aren't completely gone but not many left.
    Dalesbreds have about disappeared, replaced by Swales even in heafed flocks which is hard work. Mashams about extinct too. So trends, fashions whatever you want to call them do change.
    Ahh was going to mention, Wensleydales & Teeswater.

    They have the most valuable fleeces in the world, odd that they have never been exported to NZ.

  18. #18
    Nithsdale farmer
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by Daleslad View Post
    Discovered one flock of Lleyns nearby! No sign of a Highlander in this area at all, but plenty of BFL and plenty of sheep men seem happy with them.

    But at some point something will knock them off their perch - used to be only Teeswaters and Wensleydales as crossing tups round here, and they're both long gone. And Suffolks for fat lambs - they aren't completely gone but not many left.
    Dalesbreds have about disappeared, replaced by Swales even in heafed flocks which is hard work. Mashams about extinct too. So trends, fashions whatever you want to call them do change.

    +1 couldnt agree more.

    The BFL is at the 'top', but there were other breeds before it and there will be other - maybe yet unknown breeds - will come along and replace it. Iv seen other breeds which cross well onto the blackie or cheviot to produce a very productive commercial ewe. The downside to these alternative crosses is they havnt got the name or same looks as the mules, which seems to be the single all important point of them They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and i as an ex-scotch mule breeder, personally dont see her as that attractive a sheep - in any of her forms.

    Also there is no other breed around which has the publicity/promotion of the blackie and scotch mule. They will easily take up 80% of all breed adverts in the farming papers in Scotland running upto and through the breeding sales.

  19. #19
    Daleslad
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by devils advocate View Post
    Ahh was going to mention, Wensleydales & Teeswater.

    They have the most valuable fleeces in the world, odd that they have never been exported to NZ.
    They're massive sheep so maybe too big a maintenance requirement? Stroppy bastards too, or at least the two pure flocks I clip are!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nithsdale farmer View Post
    +1 couldnt agree more.

    The BFL is at the 'top', but there were other breeds before it and there will be other - maybe yet unknown breeds - will come along and replace it. Iv seen other breeds which cross well onto the blackie or cheviot to produce a very productive commercial ewe. The downside to these alternative crosses is they havnt got the name or same looks as the mules, which seems to be the single all important point of them They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and i as an ex-scotch mule breeder, personally dont see her as that attractive a sheep - in any of her forms.

    Also there is no other breed around which has the publicity/promotion of the blackie and scotch mule. They will easily take up 80% of all breed adverts in the farming papers in Scotland running upto and through the breeding sales.
    Lleyn and 'EasyRams' seem to have a similar marketing budget so maybe they are the ones to watch? Lleyns seem to have failed to establish round here at all.

  20. #20
    skoda
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by b slicker View Post
    There is no prospect of any breed knocking them off their perch. In this area, the Lleyn and the Highlander have been and gone.:cry:
    .
    Gone where .

    Quote Originally Posted by b slicker View Post
    I've never heard such a load of complete twaddle.
    The fact is that Lleyns in Scotland have been increasing in numbers both flock keepers & ewes consistently every year ,the Lleyn society have figures to back this up.

  21. #21
    Nithsdale farmer
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by Daleslad View Post
    Lleyn and 'EasyRams' seem to have a similar marketing budget so maybe they are the ones to watch? Lleyns seem to have failed to establish round here at all.

    Cant comment on England, Wales or Ireland but certainly Lleyns get very little publicity in Scotland - the odd report in The Scottish Farmer every other year, and 1 or 2 ads over the breed sales season and that pretty much it along with the odd sale report. You have to keep an eye on the market ads to see anything about upcoming sales. I work with lleyns and get more information on whats happening by getting on internet and searching for things myself, as its just not in the public eye - unlike BFL, Suffolks, Texels, Blackies and a lesser extent Cheviots.

    Easyrams seem to get no promotion here, yet. Am interested to observe their growth.

  22. #22
    skoda
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by Daleslad View Post
    They're massive sheep so maybe too big a maintenance requirement? Stroppy bastards too, or at least the two pure flocks I clip are!



    Lleyn and 'EasyRams' seem to have a similar marketing budget so maybe they are the ones to watch? Lleyns seem to have failed to establish round here at all.
    Again The fact is that Lleyns in North of England have been increasing in numbers both flock keepers & ewes consistently every year ,the Lleyn society have figures to back this up.

    Thing is the Mule is a cross bred were a BFL is put on a mountain ewe ,and a Lleyn ,Romney & highlander is a purebred reared on land that is not as rough or difficult as land suited for swales,blackies and welsh mountain sheep .I would never condemn the BFL they will always have role to play,its just that every farm has different terrain ,altitude and quality of grazing .I keep Lleyn because I don't have land that is only suited to a welsh mountain ewe ,and also I would have to buy them in so I would not have a closed flock either.
    Personally I have nothing against mules as a concept only the way some are bred (bonny heads & biggest is best),but there are some big time Charlie's breeding Lleyns as well as in all breeds.

  23. #23
    Daleslad
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Skoda I agree with your view on mules and yes many breeders in this area follow 'fashion' but that is what gets the best returns so who is at fault? A lot of the mule gimmers bought last backend could easy die in debt.

    I'm not privy to Lleyn society statistics but a few been tried round here and only one flock remains. ANd they are continental cross really.

    Something will knock BFL off top spot at some point but I personally don't think LLeyn will be it.

  24. #24
    b slicker
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by skoda View Post
    Thing is the Mule is a cross bred were a BFL is put on a mountain ewe ,and a Lleyn ,Romney & highlander is a purebred reared on land that is not as rough or difficult as land suited for swales,blackies and welsh mountain sheep .
    I don't think the Highlander is supposed to be kept as a commercial purebred. They were introduced as a competitor for the BFL as a crossing sire on hill ewes.

    But experience so far is that they haven't produced much competition. The Highlander is a mongrel. How on earth can anyone with any nouse whatsoever about sheep breeding, expect a mongrel to compete with a purebred which has been popular for the last 50-60 years because of its ability to nick so well with hill sheep.

    There are of course, plenty of examples of sheep men who have crossed poor BFL with average hill ewes and produced poor mules. If they switch to another cross, there is no llikelihood that they will fair any better.

  25. #25
    sheepwreck
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by Nithsdale farmer View Post
    its funny because its true!!


    Surely NZ looked at the BFL and thought we were taking the piss so politely declined either that or like Nick said, they all died on the boat going over
    Sheep exports to NZ have to go as embryos to Australia and if nothing nasty develops in the resulting lambs, and subsequent progeny, they're finally allowed into NZ 5 years later. The Kiwis take no chances! Would BFL survive the heat of Oz?

  26. #26
    NeilO
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    I would love to be a fly on the wall when the BFL breeders tried to sell the idea to the Kiwis.
    'Why should we import your breed?' 'Well, because they have bonny heads',
    'Are they cold tolerant?' 'Yes, so long as you fetch them in and feed them well', 'How do you select and improve them over generations?' 'Well, they have bonny heads'.
    'What's the wool quality and yield like?' 'Does that matter, just look at their bonny heads'


  27. #27
    sheepwreck
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilO View Post
    I would love to be a fly on the wall when the BFL breeders tried to sell the idea to the Kiwis.
    'Why should we import your breed?' 'Well, because they have bonny heads',
    'Are they cold tolerant?' 'Yes, so long as you fetch them in and feed them well', 'How do you select and improve them over generations?' 'Well, they have bonny heads'.
    'What's the wool quality and yield like?' 'Does that matter, just look at their bonny heads'

    It's the Mule which has the bonny head! The BFL selling point was, well...blue-ness, on the head and neck. With the advent of the 'crossing' BFL, I have no idea what the selling point is. Aren't both varieties for crossing? The BFL society is now promoting performance recording. If, and it's a big 'if', they're successful, it could have a big impact on prime lamb production, but I have not the slightest idea how they're going to persuade the diehards to change their ideas.

  28. #28
    Global Ovine
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilO View Post
    I would love to be a fly on the wall when the BFL breeders tried to sell the idea to the Kiwis.
    'Why should we import your breed?' 'Well, because they have bonny heads',
    'Are they cold tolerant?' 'Yes, so long as you fetch them in and feed them well', 'How do you select and improve them over generations?' 'Well, they have bonny heads'.
    'What's the wool quality and yield like?' 'Does that matter, just look at their bonny heads'


    17000 Kiwi sheep and beef farmers would not be able to nod in agreement for p*ssing themselves with laughter.

  29. #29
    JD_Kid
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    must have missed the boat or like most said died on the trip over

    GO or dan may have a rough idea of what come over wild guess rom's chevoits ,boarder and english lester , lincons, hand full of black faces ,merinos .... don't know if any of the true hill sheep come over ..

    keep in mind NZ was only wool and salted meat exports so wool breeds would have been of more intrest

    only seen a pic of a BFL unless there is something magic about them on looks alone i would not touch one

  30. #30
    Gee
    Guest

    Re: Blue Faced Leicester

    Quote Originally Posted by JD_Kid View Post
    must have missed the boat or like most said died on the trip over

    GO or dan may have a rough idea of what come over wild guess rom's chevoits ,boarder and english lester , lincons, hand full of black faces ,merinos .... don't know if any of the true hill sheep come over ..

    keep in mind NZ was only wool and salted meat exports so wool breeds would have been of more intrest

    only seen a pic of a BFL unless there is something magic about them on looks alone i would not touch one
    Without them there would be a serious shortage of lamb in the UK.

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