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Saughland Farm - High genetic merit rams enhance carcase value.

Owen Gray farms at Saughland Farm in Midlothian, the commercial flock is made up of maternal composite ewes and a small flock of pedigree Suffolks run alongside. The commercial flock is lambed outside from mid-April, where ewes are set stocked, with the intention for lambs to finish from grass alone when conditions allow.

Carcase conformation was key in achieving top prices, rams with high genetic merit enhanced carcase value of progeny. The top performing sires consisted of Texel and Suffolk rams, Texel rams from the Clayhill flock, PNS1800078 and the linkage ram Drinkstone Rocket Gun, PJP1000047, bred by R J L Park and supplied by the IBERS, Antur flock, both ranked highly within their breed for carcase traits.

A homebred Saughland Suffolk ram, UK 0 561448 25024 also achieved top prices, throughout the pedigree of this ram there is a deep history of Computed Tomography (CT) scanning to enhance the selection for carcase attributes and he ranks with the top 1% of the breed for Terminal Sire Index.

Selecting rams for superior carcase traits paid dividends for this farm, highlighted in the table below where rams with greatest carcase conformation achieved nearly £5 per lamb more than lower performing sires.



Number of lambs

Carcase Conformation EBV

Average Value

Top 3 sires for Carcase Conformation EBV




Average of all sires for Carcase Conformation EBV




Bottom 3 sires for Carcase Conformation EBV





Key message:

Selecting rams with the right genetics to improve carcase conformation can enhance flock profitability, increasing the value of the lamb crop. This can soon lead to significant rises in a farm income.