Dupath Farm - Lambs sired by rams with superior genetic merit achieving top carcase weight and lamb value for commercial flock.
Adrian Coombe farms with his family in Callington, Cornwall. They run a mixed farm consisting of cereal and potato crops alongside the beef and sheep enterprise. The entire flock of 500 North Country Mules are used for the RamCompare project. Dupath farm has been part of the RamCompare project since 2017 and has tested a wide number of sires from different breeds over the years.
Ewes are lambed indoors in March before being turned out into grass paddocks as part of a rotational system, lambs are finished from grass from mid-June. Large differences in carcase weight and the impact this had on carcase value were observed from the range of sires on test.
The leading sire for carcase weight, was a Charollais ram, Lowerye U Cracker bred by Neil Oughton. This ram was very highly ranked for his Terminal Sire Index, sitting in the top 5%. In second place was a Blue Texel import ram, Turbo Blue Benefactor nominated by Jan Rodenburg, this ram excelled for carcase weight but had an increased days to slaughter. Progeny from both sires also excelled for carcase conformation, with nearly all lambs graded as R or above, achieving target market specification.
Carcase weight is key, with lambs sired by rams with superior genetic merit achieving top carcase weight and price.