Exlana Ram Sale pg 1

Forthcoming Open Days

“We hope this latest post finds you well.  With the exact implications of the post-Brexit outcome still far from clear, it’s encouraging at least to see a lift in lamb prices! Even so, as commercial breeders we recognise more than ever that our business is dependent on the success of your business.  With the sheep industry experiencing another tough spell this last year, we always aim to remain competitive and fair on price. As a result, with the performance figures of our rams continuing to improve year on year, we are confident we are unbeatable on price.                                                         

This year we have two  Open Days: the first is on the  4th August,  including a  Sheep Breeding and Grassland Management Seminar by AHDB Beef and Lamb  (Invite Sheep Breeding Event)

Sheep Event Weir Park

The other, our second Annual Exlana Ram Sale is on Tuesday 9th August.  (65 fully shedding performance recorded rams and 90 ewes.  We do hope you can make one, or both, and  look forward to seeing there.

Exlana Ram Sale pg 1         Exlana Ram sale pg 2





News from the farm July 2013

With the challenging winter and short spring now hopefully well behind us, we’re busy analysing and sorting performance figures of our ram lamb and shearling stock for sale.

Because our flock at Weir Park have always been performance recorded, the historical evidence gathered year on year,  is self evident and increasingly figures relating to EBV’s, growth rate and muscling are what our customers are looking for to support their final selection. We’ve never doubted increased selection through recording helps accelerate breeding performance, which ultimately lowers overheads, brings greater returns and consequently maximises yield.

We began recording over 20 years ago, but recently Signet have awarded our Suffolk and Texel rams Gold and Silver awards of Merit singling them out as the top 10% or 25% best performing recorded rams in the UK. This year also sees the introduction of a Maternal Index for the Suffolks for the first time. This will be an aid to people selecting Suffolks for crossing to keep the ewe lambs. Half of our rams on offer are in the top 10% for the breed for the Maternal Index.

The sheep industry is increasingly adopting the philosophy of Fit of Purpose, to support and improve profitability for the UK commercial sheep sector, by recognising the importance of the abilty to perform on grass based diet. Farming as we do on LFA pastures, on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, it’s essential our stock perform across all levels. Since we record ease of birth, lamb vigour, carcase growth rates, milk production and mothering ability and natural resistance to worms, our performance figures provide maximum opportunity to select best performing rams.  Our breeding philosophy promoting Genetics not Cosmetics, has always been the foundation block for solid genetic traits for long term returns.

This year we are launching a new breed. Working with a cooperative group of 7 other sheep farmers based in the south West we are delighted to offer our first group selection of Exlana rams and ewe lambs for sale.  A composite using genetics of native breeds as well as imported bloodstock, the Exlana is performance recorded wool shedding, or hair sheep, which we have been developing over the last eight years, using the most advanced breeding tools currently available.

We were delighted with the feedback and interest at the Sheep South West event on June 11th where we launched our new Exlana breed. Having had several enquiries since, and just last week a visit from an Exmoor farming group we anticipate a busy year.

Stock for sale

Suffolk, SufTex and Texel stock for sale!

With the breeding season well underway for some of us and  fast approaching for others, we are delighted to make contact again with our  latest list of rams available this year.

Stock for saleThe rams this year have come out of winter it looking as  well as ever, having had a fairly  hard winter, especially with the snow over  Christmas, but and their performance records are the best yet not only in the Suffolks and the Texels, but also in the SufTex’s. There is a continued and  growing interest in the SufTex which are a cross between some of our very high  index Suffolks and Texels. Their growth in popularity is we feel due to their  ability to compete with the best pure breeds in terms of performance but they  have the added benefit of hybrid vigour, which will undoubtedly improve  fertility, libido and probably  longevity.

We trust that the rams which you bought from us previously, are performing well and have produced the sort of lambs you are  looking for. As you will know we are highly committed to selling rams direct  from the farm because it enables us to fully concentrate on producing rams which  are truly ‘Fit for Purpose’.

We continue to get positive feedback from our customers,  and judging from the comments, it seems we are consistently producing the sort  of healthy and productive rams which you are looking for, and is what we’re all about.

Confirming our breeding programme, most of our rams have  been awarded Gold or Silver Order of Merit awards from the Eblex Better Returns  Programme, certifying that they are in the top 10% or 25% of the breed for  growth rates and muscling.

We continue our pledge to supply fit healthy active rams, reared on grass at sensible prices for commercial prime lamb producers.  All rams come with a complete set of EBV’s for growth rate, muscling, fat and FEC added to this, over the past four years, we can now supply additional individual data on ease of birth, lamb vigour and dagginess.

By maintaining our ‘Genetics, not Cosmetics’ philosophy and selling everything direct from our farm, we continue to:

Produce rams which are:
Fit, active and fertile
Thrive on grass alone
Over winter with little or no supplementary feeding if suitable grazing is available, and

Produce lambs which:
Have good vigour at birth
Grow fast on their mother’s milk and grass
Need fewer drenches
Produce top quality carcasses

We hope the figures (on the Stock for Sale pages) will interest you as much as they please us – there is still plenty of choice but we naturally don’t want you to miss the best of the pick, and so look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Yours Sincerely
Peter & Louise Baber