Our breeding system has a strong commercial focus, to produce the most profitable and productive rams. We breed and select our rams on a forage only outdoor lambing at the end of April and beginning of May, with the focus to produce high performing sheep from minimal inputs. Most of our grazing is unimproved, ewes lamb on these pastures until weaning when lambs are moved onto mixed species leys to finish over summer. We run two pedigree breeds (both MV accredited), Hampshire Downs (27Z) and Lleyns (2616). Both flocks are performance recorded with Signet to identify and select the sheep with the top performing genetics. Our rams are breed to produce easy lambing, vigorous and fast growing lambs
We believe the future of the sheep industry will be based on resilient sheep, that can be farmed under any conditions and produce a high value product. We are using this belief to drive the breeding programs for both our Hampshires and Lleyns. Both flocks are breed for ease of management, and are culled hard to achieve the highest standard of breeding stock. We try and breed the sheep under pressure to help the most resilient animals rise to the top, these traits are hard to measure and quantify, but have a big impact on a flock year on year.
All the sheep are MV accredited with the SRUC.
Our Hampshire flock is our terminal sire line. Along with ease of shepherding at lambing with highly vigorous lambs, the rams will sire fast finishing high value lambs. Our breeding objectives for the Hampshire’s are to add value through improved carcase value improving conformation and carcase weight while reducing costs and freeing up forage by reducing the days to slaughter of the lambs. We use ultrasound scanning and CT scanning to produce valuable carcase quality information.
We have rams entered into the RamCompare project where 27Z1700622 topped the 2020 results for days to slaughter across all breeds. Our Hampshire Down flock is one of the highest genetic merit in the country. We also like using the Hampshires as they colour mark the lambs, so we can easily pick out the commercial lambs.
Hampshire Downs are renowned for their eating quality, and we are striving to continue to improve this. Using the information from CT scanning we can select sheep with better eye muscle are (chops), spine length and intra muscular fat (IMF).
Our Lleyns are our maternal line of sheep. The breeding objectives are a moderate size productive ewe that can efficiently utilize any grazing. We use Estimated Breeding Values (EBV)s to select the sheep with the best genetics for prolificacy, milking ability, mature size, fertility and growth. We are looking to produce ‘curve bending’ sheep, that grow fast as lambs, but have a moderate mature weight so we can stock more ewes per hectare. We want our ewes to be resilient and stand on their own four feet, the lamb survival EBV is one of the key traits we are focusing on.
More recently we have begun to collect information on the worm resistance of our sheep, this means they are recorded under a worm challenge and have individual measurements recorded for their IgA levels.
Our stock rams are available from July to view and buy.