Tuesday 9 February 2016

Spring 2015

Having brought you up to date with 2014 we now move on to spring of 2015. The bulk of the silage made last summer fed as expected with feed value deficiencies having to be compensated by increased levels of concentrate feeding for the ewes to milk well. Even then it is not fully possible to compensate for forage inadequacies with increased concentrates. We saved the better quality second cut silage to feed to the ewe lambs which were lambing to avoid prolapse problems.

We have in fact fed home mixed rations for thirty years now as you have much more quality control. With the pedigree flock numbers stable for a number of years at 500 there is no room for extravagant feed as our flock is run very much on a commercial basis, for even though we sell a number of rams each year for pedigree use, the bulk of our rams produced go onto commercial farms.

The Foulrice flock has been performance recorded since its formation 34 years ago and has seen steady progress till in 2015 our average index has passed the 300 mark.
 Our aim has always been threefold :-
 1/ To have a flock of consistent type which maintains the easy lambing attributes of the Charollais.
 2/ To produce rams with good skins, good shape & hardy type - pleasing to our customers.
 3/ To see continual improvement in growth & carcase traits through recording.

Early in the year the Signet RamCompare Project was announced. It is a two year pilot project designed to trial strategies for capturing commercial data on slaughter lambs in the UK sheep industry. It will be similar to central progeny tests that are taking place in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.
So when the invitation was given for offers of high index Charollais shearling rams for the project we put some forward and had two accepted - both in the top 1% of the breed, and both March born on a grass based system. One sired by Lowerye Neils Favourite, and the other by Dalby Mount Aloe.

One of our best lambs in our December born batch was a Lowerye Neils Favourite son - Foulrice Pathfinder 15DG05165 who having an actual muscle depth of 37.9mm came in with a muscle EBV of 6 (the highest of the year) as part of an overall index of 414. Needless to say he was quickly sold to a private purchaser for a reasonable sum.
Great Yorkshire Show 2015 - First prize shearling ram on left shown by Stephen. Foulrice Osprey 14DG04650 March born twin sired by Dalby Mount Aloe.