Our particular interest is in producing the highest quality breeding stock of three terminal sire breeds and two maternal breeds which must be ‘Fit for Purpose’ ie fitter more fertile and more active rams which live longer with improved natural resistance to worms and grow faster with excellent carcasses. We have now supplied AHDB with four rams for the RamCOMPARE Project and had a tremendous success last November when the first set of results were announced at the Sheep Breeders Roundtable. Indeed, the top ram in the project so far, is the first ram we supplied to Ram Compare and the 2nd highest rated ram in the project is one of the rams we have used in both the last two years through AI.
Our flock is managed under commercial conditions and our stock are not fed for show ring , our philosophy of breeding for ‘Genetics, not Cosmetics’ means we produce the most successful long term sustainable improvements in profitability. It is the genetics of breeding stock and their general health, fertility and potency which design ‘Fitness for Purpose’. We rear all our lambs entirely on grass which means that all their own performance records are measured against their ability to grow whilst sucking a ewe, fed solely on grass, and then after weaning their own ability to grow on grass without any supplementation with creep etc. Over feeding can ultimately adversely affect all of these factors.
Our Rams and Breeding Ewes must be well above average for growth rate and carcass traits, and maternal traits but equally importantly, they must be able to survive, thrive and perform on grass with only minimal strategic cereal supplementation. I believe that the levels of cereal supplementation required to produce rams which will compete in the show ring or the major ram sales are not only detrimental to the ram’s future health and fertility but also tend to select for the wrong attributes. Since our business relies on the success of yours, we appreciate how vital it is to turn a ram cost into a ram profit.