May 2018

I recall making a worrying prediction about the lambing weather in early March. Well we largely dodged that snow bullet, with very little collateral damage. Very few mastitis cases – under 2%, and most of those out in the field, a couple of weeks after lambing. Apart from those “casualties”, lambing went remarkably smoothly. I was certainly expecting all sorts of problems after such a prolonged and wet winter. The warm weather came just in time and ewes with lambs were never short of grass, although last year’s ewe lambs were making do on very thin pasture, but still have not only maintained condition but grown well. Again the Lleyn has shown her remarkable ability to survive and indeed prosper even in the toughest conditions.

We are now wormed and also completed the 8 week weights, always an interesting time. Two very smart home bred ram lambs had 40-45 ewes, which nearly 90% lambed within the first cycle. We shear hopefully next week.

There will be about 15 shearling tups and 3 older rams coming forward this summer. The latest Signet EBVs are on the Shearling Rams page, along with the MyoMax results. All carry at least one gene with 8 carrying the 2 MyoMax genes. I am taking a selection to Newark for certification at the end of June.

Last year saw a lot of early interest in the shearlings and in fact they had all gone by early summer. The strong fat trade this year seems to have resulted in quite a few farmers anecdotally taking everything for slaughter this winter. If that turns out to be widespread, the price of shearlings is likely to be impacted. If you can sell hogs for £120-130 plus for 20kg dwt, shearlings are likely to be strong market.

We will have about 200 shearlings for sale. Please come and have a look.