With attentions starting to turn to the breeding season, many farmers are looking for new bloodlines to introduce to their flocks.
When purchasing new rams, the focus should be on finding bloodlines that will complement your flock and make it as profitable as possible. Belclares have long been renowned for their ability to increase output from a flock, thus increasing the overall profitability of the flock.
Prolificacy and Ease Of Lambing
Brian Nicholson, who runs a flock of 1,000 ewes on his farm near Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny, has experienced the many benefits of using Belclare genetics. The flock consists of a large proportion of Belclare-cross ewes.
One of the reasons Brian turned to Belclares in the first place was for their prolificacy and ease of lambing while still having excellent carcass quality and high kill out.
Realising that the best way to increase the gross margin/ha of the farm was by increasing output/ha, Brian set about growing his breeding flock.
While taking part in the BETTER farm sheep programme, the flock grew in size from 450 ewes to 1,000 ewes with the use of Belclare rams and breeding from Belclare-cross ewes and ewe lambs.
Brian found that lambing down ewe lambs was essential in growing his numbers quickly and Belclare-cross ewe lambs fitted the job perfectly as they were both excellent mothers and had plenty of milk to raise multiples.
The flock generally scans 2.0 lambs per ewe and weans 1.75 lambs per ewe. All lambs are finished off the farm by Christmas and with no concentrates fed until late autumn for the last couple of weeks before drafting.
Belclare ewes are renowned for their hardiness and excellent mothering ability but Brain was also quick to praise their male counterparts for their hardiness and durability; stating that rams are well capable of covering large numbers of ewes often running two-to-three rams with over 200 ewes.
Secure a Top-Quality Belclare Ram
Tuesday, August 4, sees the Belclare Sheep Society host its annual premier sale in Kilkenny Mart, where many of the best Belclare bloodlines in the country will be on offer, giving farmers the best opportunity to secure a top-quality Belclare ram to enhance their flock.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the show will be held behind closed doors on the morning of the sale, with purchasers given the chance to view rams between 10:30am to 12:30pm before the sale kicks off at 1:00pm.
There will be 90 rams and 44 hogget ewes on offer on the day. For further information, please contact Michael Neenan on: 087-2777721.