RamCompare Preliminary Results November 2017
Our interest in this trial was that current homebred Suffolk ram Hans Fokker 95 is one of the 67 rams of the 5 different breeds ( Suffolk, Texel, Charollais, Hampshire and Meatlinc ) that were compared with each other and their relative merits evaluated. Details are available on AHDB’s website.
Fokker was born 20th March 2013 Pictured at CT scanning in July 2013
AHDB RamCompare Preliminary Results November 2017
These results were presented by Sam Boon, head of AHDB Signet at the Sheep Breeders Round table conference 17-19 November 2017.
We had nominated our homebred Suffolk stock ram Hans Fokker 95 ( T79:13:095) who is a son of Sandyknowe Ettrick 07-1.
Ettrick was purchased at Kelso ram sale for £3000 ( at the time a record for a Suffolk shearling at Kelso) who has done extremely well in a number of flocks since.
Ettrick 07-1 with Malcolm Steward, Sandyknowe Suffolk flock
12 of Ettrick gimmers were selected by eye in 2010 by the Logie Durno flock to form the foundation of their Suffolk flock. When filling out the paper work they were all in the top 1% of the Signet analysis.
Picture of Logie Durno gimmers.
Fokker has produced ram lambs with actual muscle depth over 46mm at ultra sound scanning and muscle EBV’s over 8mm. His own muscle EBV is currently 7.8mm with an accuracy of 98%. Sons have sold up to £2600 at our On-Farm Sale.
Picture of Lot1 2017 sale with Hans and Andrew Elliott.
4 AI sons were sold at the Kelso 2016 ram sale in the ESSIE flock pen and averaged £ 975.
Fokkers dam is T79:K14 and still alive. She is a daughter of Drinkstone Horatio who was purchased in July 2006 for £500 when seen grazing in a field at Drinkstone. He had a great skin and conformation, fine bones and a small head. The deal was that Arnold Park kept him until October by which time he had grown into the largest Suffolk ram lamb on the farm.
Horatio sire was Ortum Supersire 05 (78X:F49), also used in this ram compare trial and his dam was Drinkstone Z25 who was also the mother of Drinkstone Supersire 04.
Horatio was an incredibly active ram who bent a metal gate to get into the next field to tup 20 ewes that night that were not supposed to be mated by him. We collected some semen for future use and I sold him for £750 to a farmer in Cumbria where he tupped 30 pure Suffolks followed by 120 mule gimmers in his first season. He worked a total of 7 seasons.
The main reason why commercial farmers are purchasing our sleak small headed and fine boned sheep was confirmed by two Northumberland farmers who purchased rams.
Stephen Smith from Greenridge Haydonbridge purchased 10 rams last year and 10 this year for the many thousands of ewes he farms. “ for the first time in my life I didn’t lamb a single ewe in=lamb to the Suffolks and I have had enough of these big headed heavy boned types.” He said when he picked up his rams this year.
Geoffrey Robson who farms at Whittonstone near Longwitton, Morpeth said: “ We bought some older in-lamb Mule draft ewes from you a few years ago, their lambs were finished weeks earlier than our usual continental cross lambs and weighed a lot more than what we produced before. They were all in-lamb to your Suffolks. It’s a no brainer.
These are comments that really meant something to me us a breeder of rams, says Hans Pörksen, as that does make an incredible difference at lambing time and to the bottom line.