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Hendre Ifan Goch Farm - Consider the benefit of faster finishing versus carcase value

Hendre Ifan Goch Farm, South Wales

The less grass you have in front of you, the more speed of finishing matters – that was certainly the view at Hendre Ifan Goch Farm in a year when grass growth was, on occasions, challenging. This is when it is handy to own the ram with the best breeding value for days to slaughter – a Hampshire Down from the Normanby flock – producing some of the fastest-finishing lambs in the flock for the second year running.

Carcase value must not be forgotten and this year the progeny from both Beltex and Texel rams have scored highly. The Beltex, Cynin Count Down, JRP.C030, provided by Matt Prince, is in the top 5% of the breed on his Terminal Sire Index – as is Antur Boomer, AAA1812526, from Aberystwyth University Farms. Clearly, using EBVs to select rams can have a big impact on progeny performance.

Rams with superior genetics for speed of finishing and carcase value will both influence flock profitability – the relative importance of either attribute depending on both the farming system under which lambs are reared and the market to which they are destined.

Value of recorded rams at Hendre Ifan Goch Farm
• Top sires for carcase merit = Generated an extra £6.67/lamb
• Top sires for days to slaughter = Reduced finishing time by 10 days

Key message
Consider how important speed of finishing is to your enterprise relative to the final value of the lambs that are sold.