2013-04-10 xml
Milcomb Tups in Top Texel Flocks

With tups from their Milcomb Pedigree Texel Flock being used on many of the carcass breed’s top flocks in Ulster Ian Millar and James McComb are enjoying success in shows and sales alike.

Founded in 1978 by farmer and butcher Ian Millar the Milcomb Texel flock is now run in partnership with grandson James McComb. A young man also enjoying considerable success as a young handler having come tops at Balmoral Show this past three years.

Ian Millar, left, Milcomb Pedigree Texels, Ballyclare with Alistair Sampson of Volac and twin ram lambs sired by Westray Talisman out of this smart home bred ewe, a daughter of the Aberdeenshire tup Clintery Las Vegas.

Ian Millar, left, Milcomb Pedigree Texels, with Alistair Sampson of Volac and twin ram lambs sired by Westray Talisman out of this smart home bred ewe, a daughter of the Aberdeenshire tup Clintery Las Vegas.

With the family’s busy butcher’s shop in Ballyclare town square now run by son Gary a semi retired Ian is as passionate as ever about Texels.

Asked why breed Texels Ian answered as a farmer and as a butcher by pointing out that no other sheep equals the modern Texel for consistent carcass quality. “To be blunt, even a bad Texel produces a better carcass than most breeds!

“As a terminal sire the Texel adds value to every lamb produced and as a crossbred ewe is easy to work with and has lambs that get up and get on with sucking, surviving and thriving.”

Ian lays great emphasis on producing Texels with tight skins and heads suited to easy lambing. A policy that pays as Milcomb Texels attract brisk bidding from both pedigree and commercial flock owners.

Currently NI top breeders using Milcomb rams include Robert Mulligan, Michael Watson, John Foster and Jim Wilson, the latter having sold a Milcomb sired ram for 17,000gns. Indeed all four breeders have enjoyed success in sales such as Lanark and at shows, including Balmoral, using Milcomb genetics.

This emphasis on producing a quality sheep that does the job is also seen in Ian Millar’s choice of flock inputs.

Milk

For example, when it comes to milk powder Ian always uses the nation’s number one ewe milk replacer, Lamlac from Volac. With 24% protein Lamlac is a complete feed proven in on-farm trials to give outstanding results, reduce the risk of scours and stay fresh for up to 24 hours.

“We use Lamlac where necessary, for example when a ewe has triplets, but as an ‘insurance policy’ tube every newly arrived pedigree lamb with Volac Volostrum,” Ian explained.

“We all know colostrum is vital yet knowing how much a lamb has got and if it is good quality is always difficult. So tubing with Volac Volostrum gives every lamb a super start in life and gives us peace of mind. The natural alternative to colostrum and with 76% protein Volostrum is a highly digestible source of energy that helps reduce the risk of hypothermia.”

Having bred highly influential rams such as Milcomb Powerhouse Ian and grandson James are now looking forward to continued success with the progeny of two rams bought from Orcadian breeders.

“The NI Texel Club ran a marvellous trip to the Orkney Islands a couple of years ago where we saw some tremendous livestock and met some truly outstanding stockman and women.

“Today our stock ram is Westray Talisman and we are very excited about the sheer style and quality of lambs he is siring.

“When it comes to farming quality pays be it in breeding or using the proven products from Volac, Volostrum and Lamlac.”

Texel

   
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