In 2019 we imported four Rams from New Zealand carrying double copies of the MyoMax gene which gives a 10% higher lean meat yield. These Rams were from the Nithdale flock whose previous owner spent many years selecting specifically for pelvic aperture, giving our girls the widest hips in the business!!
We now DNA shepherd our recorded flock which gives a 20% greater accuracy than paper recording. The samples are sent to the US for analysis and the results are combined on the SIL database to give the animals an EBV (Estimated Breeding Value). This score, ground truthed against the animal in the field allows us to select the best performers for our breeding programme.
We will bring our next crate over in 2024 with fresh bloodlines to keep the programme moving forward.
2500 breeding ewes have restored livestock to 800 acres of marginal land and ancient parkland in North Hertfordshire.
Set up with 200 ewes in 2013 we continue to hone our outdoor lambing system to fit our opportunities.
The ewes and ewe lambs lamb on permanent parkland, at weaning the ewes are left in situ to dry off while the lambs move onto our best pasture and forage crops for the ram lambs to finish and the ewe lambs to reach tupping weight.
In the Autumn the ewes move off the grass and take up their winter residence on arable stubbles and forage crops behind electric fence allowing the pastures to rest and gives the girls a change of scenery!
Having the sheep flock allows us to make profitable use of permanent pasture which we rotationally paddock graze (sheep version of mob grazing) this encourages the pasture to grow more quality and quantity and helps control weeds without the need for herbicides.