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Hampshire Down Ideal for the Future
26/11/06

The Hampshire Down has real potential as a terminal sire for commercial sheep producers based in the north, according to Janice Baker, of Hazlett House Farm, Waterhouses, Durham.

Members of the Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders' Association north east club: Matt Baker, Martyn and Glynis Harris, Nigel Hunt, Janice and Mike Baker and Helen Cooper.
Members of the Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders' Association north east club: Matt Baker, Martyn and Glynis Harris, Nigel Hunt, Janice and Mike Baker and Helen Cooper.

“Modern Signet SRS recorded Hampshire Downs are proving to leave cross bred lambs that finish just as quickly off low input easier care systems as those sired by popular terminal sires, and they grade within the specification. What’s more the lambs are lively, they’re got that get up and go, and they’re proving to be hardy,” she told members of the Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders’ Association when they visited the north east for their annual meeting.

Until 2001, Mrs Baker ran 200 commercial crossbred ewes, put to the Hampshire Down and other terminal sires on her 80 acre organic unit all of which is located in the LFA.

However, having identified the Hampshire Down’s potential to leave the lambs with the highest net margin, she decided to reduce the commercial flock and focus on breeding pure bred ewes.

Since then, the pure Hampshire Down flock has expanded to 60 ewes and followers and plans are to eventually grow the flock to 100 ewes.

“We have introduced Hampshire Down rams from within the breed’s top 10% on performance traits to develop a flock that combines growth and conformation with the breed’s native characteristics.

“We’ve found that we don’t need to any supplementary feed after lambing, the ewes are proving to be excellent mothers and the lambs are reared solely off milk and grass. In addition the rams have a quiet temperament. In fact we believe that the breed is ideal for the future; for profit led high output, low cost systems.”

link Improved Lamb Milks From Trouw Nutrition
link NFU Scotland Welcomes New Lamb Pricing Practice
link Williamsgill Pedigree Suffolk Flock Open Day

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