2016-04-06   facebooktwitterrss

Claybury is AHDB Most Improved Texel Flock 2016

James Draper’s Shropshire-based Claybury flock is the winner of the 2016 AHDB Beef & Lamb Better Returns Programme Improved Flock Award.

This award is presented to the English Signet performance recorded flock that makes the greatest improvement in the breeding potential of the lamb crop during the year.

James Draper with some of the Claybury Texel flock

James Draper with some of the Claybury Texel flock

Through the BRP, AHDB Beef and Lamb aims to highlight the financial impact that improved breeding and better lamb selection strategies can have on commercial flock profitability.

This award seeks to reward those breeders using estimated breeding values to enhance the potential performance of their flocks and assist them to promote their achievement. The impact of performance recorded stock is significant and is increasing every year because of the activities of progressive farmers.

Founded in 1997 by the Draper family, the Claybury flock now extends to 40 pedigree ewes alongside a flock of 100 cross-breds, and James combines farming with working full time as an agricultural manager for ABP UK.

Day to day management of the flock falls to James’ father, Robert, with the flock originally founded to supply top quality commercial rams for Robert’s commercial ewes. Today the family farm is home to a mixed enterprise of arable land and beef cattle as well as the pedigree and commercial sheep flocks.

With a focus on high welfare and attention to detail animals are bred for growth and an overall high index, aiming to be in the top 5% of the breed, explains James. “Breed characteristics are also taken into account and it is important to remember that breeding any pedigree livestock takes time. The key to selection of any purchased stock are performance figures, locomotion, a good back end, length and a tight fleece.”

The family try not to buy in any ewes, but purchase rams annually to maintain broad bloodlines within the flock. Historic rams to note include Glenside Lord of the Ring, Haddo Ignitor, Humeston Juniper, Garngour Nijinsky, Claybury Indiana, Millar’s Olympian, Claybury Millreef, and Claybury Rocky Balbao. More recent purchases who have had an impact include Mellorvale Tomahawk and the 2014- bought Stainton Vantage II.

“His progeny have it all and he has been successfully included in the RamCompare project,” adds James who is always looking to improve the performance of his stock to help with overall quality and reducing problem areas such as lameness and mastitis.


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