About The Mayo Mule And Greyface Breeds
The Mayo Mule is a cross between the Scottish Blackface and the Blue-faced Leicester whilst the Grey face is a cross between the Scottish Blackface and the Border Leicester. Both crosses are renowned for their qualities.
The Bluefaced Leicester with a purebred lambing percentage of up to 230% is one of the most prolific breeds in the country and passes this attribute onto its offspring the Mayo Mule.
The Blackface Mountain breed which are renowned for their excellent mothering ability, hardiness, good foraging ability and longevity. The Blackface Mountain ewe also has good milking abilities which are all passed on to the Mayo mule ewe.
The outstanding conformation of the Mule ewe is the most popular breed of ewe in the British isles for producing large crops of quality lamb ideal for todays market. The Mayo Mule is becoming increasingly popular because of the beneficial traits and characteristics of the Mayo Mule.
The Mule ewe has become more and more popular over the years. This is due to their great prolificacy, mothering ability hardiness, ease of care and their ability to produce quality lambs at a fast rate.
The Mule ewe is able to produce 2 good even quality lambs a year .Many Mule ewe lambs at the groups sale are able to be bred in their first year. These strong ewe lambs have a lambing percentage of 1.2 to 1.5, with this return in the first year your investment is well on the way to being recouped.
Early Maturity (Breed as ewe Lambs)
- Ease of Management and adaptable to different production systems
- Excellent Mothering instincts
- Excellent Milking ability
- Mature Ewe 1.8 — 2.0
- Ewe Hoggets 1.6 — 1.8
- Strong Ewe Lambs 1.2 — 1.5
- Hardiness , thriftiness and longevity
- Can improve overall profitability
- Hybrid vigour -
Hybrid vigour arises as a result of crossing two contrasting purebreds e.g.(Blackfaced Mountain and Bluefaced Leicester). It gives rise to an individual (Mule) which is better than the average of its parents, producing a superior animal with better performance. Hybrid vigour has a large impact on the fertility and longevity of a ewe and can increase the number of lambs reared per ewe. Increased fertility, weaning weight, lamb survival are all of a result of hybrid vigour a characteristic which the Mayo Mule possesses.
- Efficient grassland ewe
- Lambs show tremendous vigour from birth.
Prolific Sheep Produce more lambs/ewe over time.
The Mule ewe is a prolific breed that can rear two lambs very successfully on grass with fast growth rates. These growth rates are due to the milking ability of the mule ewe and lambs can therefore reach slaughter weight of 18-21kg much quicker.
The Mule ewe can produce many lambs over her lifetime because of its longevity and prolificacy level. This reduces the replacement rate of the flock. The fact that the mule ewe produces and rears many lambs it increase the number of lambs sold from the flock and therefore increase the profitability of the farm.
Another advantages of prolific sheep are that they reach puberty earlier and therefore can be bred in their first year. Ewe lambs should be at least 45Kg (ideally 50Kg or above) in weight when let to the ram to achieve optimum performance. Mule ewe lambs can rear up to 1.4-1.5 lambs in their first year. Breeding ewe lambs is a specialised production system and requires good management and nutrition at mating, during pregnancy and after lambing.